After having a night to sleep off my anger, frustration, shame and disgust, I woke up on this Tuesday morning still feeling those emotions, but I also woke up with a sliver of hope.
The performance by the Jets last night on the national stage featured the worst individual performance in Monday Night Football history. Mark Sanchez proved he is everything but the franchise quarterback that the clueless front office and coaching staff thought he was.
But today, I wake up with hope for the future. This may sound like a campaign slogan for President Obama, but I have hope that change is coming. Sure, the Jets are eliminated from playoff contention, but would making the playoffs have been the best thing for the franchise?
The Jets need to clean house, and last night's debacle should have shown Woody Johnson that everyone below him needs to be removed.
The Jets must start at the top. General manager Mike Tannenbaum must go. Before Rex is fired, before Sanchez is benched, the Jets must find a GM who can actually evaluate his team and not just crunch numbers like Tannenbaum, the former accountant. Tannenbaum has assembled arguably the weakest offense in the NFL, and has committed the Jets to Mark Sanchez, who makes over $8 million next season, the first season of his new contract extension.
Next, the Jets must fire Rex Ryan and find a new head coach who stays out of the tabloids and can develop players. This is hard for me to say because I like Rex Ryan and I think he has done great things with the defense, which is the only reason why the team is competitive.
But the way he has handled the Jets' quarterback situation is my biggest reason to fire him. There was no reason for Sanchez to stay in that game last night, and I get the feeling that the only reason he wasn't benched was because of Rex's stubborn pride.
The first two years of Ryan's regime were sparked by good players drafted by former head coach Eric Mangini, but ever since, Tannenbaum and Ryan have driven the Jets into the ground. Other than Muhammad Wilkerson, Shonn Greene and maybe Jeremy Kerley, the Jets have failed to draft any other impact players since Ryan has been in town.
The Jets also destroyed Sanchez, who the team moved up to number five in the draft to take in 2009, by bringing in an awful offensive coordinator in Tony Sparano and the polarizing Tim Tebow. Tebow destroyed Sanchez's confidence and his progression has not only been stunted, but it has turned around into a regression.
Sanchez is not the answer, and should not play another game for the Jets. More than 50 turnovers over the past two seasons is inexcusable, and the answer at quarterback probably is not on the roster. The draft does not have many great quarterback prospects, and I think the Jets should wait to find a quarterback while finding talent for their other glaring weaknesses.
Many mock drafts have the Jets taking Barkevious Mingo or Jarvis Jones, both outside linebackers, but I think the Jets need to find an offensive tackle to replace Austin Howard in the first round, then build depth at receiver and get younger on defense in the later rounds.
There are plenty of good free-agent receivers this year such as Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, Victor Cruz (restricted), Danny Amendola and Greg Jennings. The Jets will have to use both the free-agent market and the draft to build talent on both sides of the ball.
The New York Jets are up in the air right now. The future is unclear, but I believe it is bright. Ryan and Tannenbaum should be gone, and I think fans may have to deal with just one more year of Sanchez while they build talent for the potential savior.
The New York Jets have hit rock bottom and as much as it hurts right now, there is no other way to go but up.