The Jets are never a similar team from one year to the next. It seems that every season, some big changes are made, either to roster, personnel, scheme or stadium. While this seems sort of obvious, an interesting tidbit that relates is that every year, Mike Tannenbaum commits his fair share of blunders.
Editor’s Note: (Yes, the season has not begun yet, some of these mistakes may pay off small dividends, but for now, fans are near baffled by the idea)
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Jets' offseason, which may have been spoiled for a long, long time.
5. Changing to a 4-3 Defense
Months prior to the NFL Draft, teams were looking at prospects. As time progressed, the Jets were a team believed to be enamored with Alabama outside ‘backer, Courtney Upshaw. While he wasn’t a speed rusher, he had a knack for getting in the backfield and wreaking havoc.
While rumors passed along that they were looking at Michael Floyd, Trent Richardson, Bruce Irving and Melvin Ingram, it seemed that the Jets were just hoping that the final player in that list, the Front-7 Man from South Carolina, would be available at 16. They were so worried that they looked to trade up.
Alas, on draft day Ingram shot down the board. At 16, Jets fans near unanimously thought that Ingram was the quick pick. When the clock was running down and the Jets still hadn’t made their pick, some were suspecting that a trade would occur. When they announced that the Jets took Coples out of North Carolina, I nearly jumped out of my chair.
Wonderful, the Jets now have two NTs, two 3-4/4-3 DEs, two 3-4 ILBs, a 3-4 OLB and the rest of the players are outcasts. While renowned Bleacher Report featured columnist Ryan Alfieri has gone on to say that the Jets do not run a Base 3-4, I still remain worried that the use of more 4-3 formats will only hurt this defense. Sure, their new defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar from the Minnesota Vikings, knows a thing or two about working a defensive line, but are these 3-4 players coachable?
Pouha is in his early-to-mid 30s and David Harris just did not fit in the 4-3 when they wanted to test him in 2007. So what good could come out of this? Well, for one it will boost the pass rush with speedy Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson rushing from the edges. As well, the linebackers will be relied on for more run stuffing, which they are quite good at.
The downsides are great. First, while Rex Ryan has experience coaching variations of Buddy Ryan’s 46 Defense, the former best coaches the 3-4 base. Second, much of their personnel is best suited for the 4-3, such as their linebackers who cannot cover. In the 3-4, the outside linebackers were always hunting the quarterback down, and DeMario Davis/David Harris would have to drop into coverage. Now, Harris, Davis and Bart Scott will drop into coverage.
So while the Jets pass rush might be feared for the first time since the days of Shaun Ellis and John Abraham on the edges, their defense’s statistic output should be at a Ryan low.
So what do you guys think? Was the unconfirmed but likely change to the 4-3 defense smart? Will Ryan be able to control his defense's understanding of the new system? Leave a comment with your thoughts, and if you'd like, also leave some predictions for my other four. Come back to this page tomorrow for the next mistake.