New York Jets: Rebuilding Is the Best Path, but How Should It Be Done? Part 1
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After finishing the 2005-2006 season 4-12, Terry Bradway stepped down as general manager. Herman Edwards was traded to Kansas City. Mike Heimerdinger and Donnie Henderson were both fired. It was time for a change in New York.
Star players Kevin Mawae and Jason Fabini were allowed to leave for free agency, while John Abraham was traded. The Jets stockpiled draft picks and said it was time to rebuild.
But they did not rebuild with a completely new slate. Rather, they did a semi-rebuild. They already had an infusion of young talent all over the field. On offense, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery; on defense, Jon Vilma, DeWayne Robertson, Erik Coleman, Kerry Rhodes and Victor Hobson. And leadership was found on both sides of the ball, namely exemplified by Chad Pennington, Curtis Martin, Shaun Ellis and, to an extent, Jon Vilma.
They made no dumb move in the entire draft, and secured two All-Pro linemen (D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold), three solid starters (Leon Washington, Brad Smith, Eric Smith) and strong depth (Drew Coleman, Kellen Clemens).
The next season, they came out firing on all cylinders and returned to the playoffs under a new coach.
I now return to 2012, where the New York Jets are playing very subpar, and with little hope of making the playoffs. With even less chance of advancing past the first round, it begs the question, "Should the Jets pack in the season and rebuild?"
The answer, very simply, is yes. Although Rex Ryan may be playing for his job, this team is not good enough to be successful, and I really do think that if Mike Tannenbaum is replaced with a football mind, Rex Ryan will be given the boot.
So what's the point in him even rallying the troops? Mark Sanchez will without doubt remain the Jets starting quarterback in 2013. No general manager (aside from Shahid Kahn) wants to see Tim Tebow starting, leaving Mark Sanchez to fend off Greg McElroy next training camp. Shonn Greene has incentive to go all out for a new contract, most likely in a different venue.
Dustin Keller knows his value in New York as Mark Sanchez's security blanket and will likely stay as the Jets try to keep their prosperous youth core in tact. But what should happen at the end of this season?
Personally, I think the Jets should fire Mike Tannenbaum (if unable to demote him) and promote Scott Cohen, the team's assistant general manager. Prior to being the assistant general manager, Cohen was the pro personnel director of the Philadelphia Eagles for the past eight years, helping in the formation of transactions such as the Donovan McNabb trade, the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha, the Kevin Kolb trade and the Jason Peters trade.
Luckily for him, he will not be doing much as the general manager, besides keeping the head coach happy. The new head coach would be none other than Jon Gruden.
Gruden plans on returning to coaching and would like to enter a large market. The Jets have a talented roster that is young with studs all over the field such as Shonn Greene, Jeremy Kerley, Dustin Keller, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Muhammad Wilkerson, David Harris, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
If Cohen can remain reasonable to the point where he keeps the Jets' core players, Jon Gruden should have no problem building a playoff team.
What would happen with the rest of the coaching staff, you might ask. Mike Pettine would be gone, and in place, enter Ron Rivera. The former San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator (and hopefully Carolina Panthers head coach) bites at the idea of working under a prolific head coach in Jon Gruden. The offensive coordinator would likely be one of Gruden's cronies, ending the Tony Sparano Experiment.
We've now finished the coaching personnel part of my article. In my next article, I will be looking into what I hope will happen to the Jets' player personnel this offseason. Thanks for reading!
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