The New York Jets and Their Offseaon Problems

John HartContributor IJanuary 16, 2009

First, the quarterback position poses many possibilities for the Jets.

First is Brett Favre and the possibility of him coming back. I think Favre has too much pride to end his career the way he did, with nine interceptions in the remaining games after the win in Tennessee. Favre will take a month to figure out what is best for him and his family, but if he goes by what the fans want, he will not return.

I think he wants to play but not for NY. The fans made it obvious they do not want him to return, with the boo's that fell from the stadium during that last game against Miami, in which I attended.

He is too old and just does not have the arm strength to throw down field anymore, but why does that have to be the game plan? The Jets' game plan grew further and further away from the mid range passes and allowing the receivers to get YAC.

They also played further away from the run when this team was built to run the football, especially with the AFC leading rusher and an explosive secondary back that made it obvious that he can score touchdowns from 30+ yards out of the end zone.

Favre was not the problem, the play calling and utilization of the players around him was the problem. Where did Dustin Keller go? It seems after the dropped ball against SF Mangini decided to not use him and it was a tool Favre missed in the later stages of the season. So is Favre to blame? Yes and no.

He was horrible down the stretch but so was everyone else. Jenkins got no penetration on the D-line on either the pass rush or run defense. Harris, who was Vilma's replacement, did nothing the second half after being injured and limited in the first half.

In addition, Ty Law was a signing that was almost invisible after the Pats game in New England. Favre was not THE issue but was an issue. So will Favre return? No, I do not think he wants to be apart of the NYJ family any longer, like most of its fans.

So then, what are the other options?

My personal recommendation is Brett Ratliff. I know he is unproven from not playing in the regular season but if you watched him in the preseason last year, you saw he was calm and collective with an understanding of time and presence in the pocket. He reminded me of Flacco this season. He has a zip on the ball that was not seen by Favre or Chad in recent years and I love his attitude.

As a fan, I am willing to concede next season to develop him because in all honesty, I feel that they could be a much better team with a far worse record because of their schedule.

The Jets must face the AFC and NFC south next season and it seems every team in those divisions is on the rise. When the Saints are the worst team in the NFC South, there is a problem.

Take a year to develop him and if all works well then he may lead them to a decent season looking forward.

The next question is the coaching position. Mangini lost his job not only because of their record down the stretch but also because of the decisions made during that time. First, there were no half time adjustments and it was obvious when they were outplayed in the second half by team like the Bills, Seahawks, 49ers, and Dolphins.

The Jets refused to blitz frequently, which lead to giving quarterbacks more time to find an open receiver. The longer it takes A QB to be hit the better the chance of a completion.

A perfect example is against Seattle where Wallace was given all day to find his receivers. Mangini felt the Jets front D line was good enough to penetrate the inexperience of Seattle’s O-Line.

At the half it was apparent that the D-Line was not getting any penetration and no adjustment to blitz was made, therefore Wallace was able to move the ball at will and in the very least allow the Seahawks to win the battle of field position. Many other questionable calls in the Seahawks game led to his demise, which included not going for a TD on the Jets first possession.

If the Jets won that game their fate was in their own hands and Mangini was excessively conservative early and way too risky late. Not going for the first down with four and one inside the Seahawks five-yard line was a mistake, especially with the AFC leading rusher who running at will during that possession.

Later, Feeley made a field goal that would have been good from 60 yards out, but a false start penalty brought it back five yards and Mangini optioned to punt. Those three points turned it into a two-possession game later on when it could have been a one-possession game. This leads me to my last decision.

Mangini, with two timeouts and before the two-minute warning decided to go for 4th-and-long while being deep inside their own territory and he decided to go for it, which was a bad decision obviously because they didn’t get it, and it led to a Seattle field goal, which made it a two-possession game.

Citing the earlier FG, it still would have been a one-possession game if they had gone for it.

So who will replace Mangini?

Well I want it to be Spagnuolo. He has the aggressive personality that Mangini lacked and has a great defensive mind that is not afraid to blitz. I think he could bring pressure on a QB that Jets fans have not seen since the New York Sack Exchange.

I know he would make the teamwork hard and would get a consistent performance out of them week after week. Players said Mangini eased his training camp to be less strict and less demanding, which leads me to believe that the team’s endurance was not as good as it was when he first started coaching.

Spagnuolo would get consistent play out of the team and would not let small feuds with players get in the way of the teams performance, like Mangini and Keller.

If the Jets cannot get him, I would hope they would go after Rex Ryan. He has a great defense mind like Spagnuolo and would give the defense the aggressive attitude the Jets' defense needs. The major difference is that Spagnuolo has won a Super Bowl and put out a defense in 2008 that lost major elements to its success and still made them a major part element of the Giants success.

The Jets need a championship winning mentality.

The Jets need help in other places too. First, they need to get rid of the 3-4 defense and go back to the 4-3. It works so much better and it relies less on speed and more on being big up front, which the Jets have. The 3-4 works if you blitz and give many different looks to the offense.

The 3-4 is used to confuse the offense and that is impossible when you give them the same look. Using the 4-3 will allow them to remain a good run stopping team while being able to better defend the short range and screen passes. The linebackers are simply not fast enough for the 3-4.

This brings me to my next problem, which are the linebackers. The Jets have decent linebackers but anyone who has the ability to be involved in every play like a Lewis or a Farrior.

They need to draft a linebacker who has speed, and can stop the run while being able to cover the pass. Next, the Jets need a safety.

I do not care who it is but I am sick of seeing the Jets safety playing back in a kind of "safe" coverage that would assure the tackle but never the interception or incompletion.


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