For better or worse, the 2012 season is in the past. It’s time to look forward.
For the New York Jets, there’s probably no better feeling. After a 6-10 campaign that saw all the drama, distraction and poor play fans could handle, it couldn’t get much worse.
But things are starting to look up in New York. The Tim Tebow show hit the road this offseason, Mark Sanchez finally has some competition to push him at the position and Darrelle Revis won’t be holding out for a new contract.
At least not in New York.
In trading Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Jets added another 2013 first-round pick to their arsenal, with which they selected Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. It was New York’s second pick of the round, the first of which they used to add Revis’ replacement in Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.
Losing their best player wasn’t exactly an ideal situation for the Jets, but it was a necessary price to pay in order to quell the drama of his discontent. With Revis no longer in the picture, New York effectively eliminated another big distraction—though it remains to be seen how his departure will affect the team this season.
Hopefully for the Jets, the trade was addition by subtraction.
But general manager John Idzik wasn’t done making additions. With a few solid free-agent acquisitions and a draft class that could prove to be one of the best of 2013 when all is said and done, Idzik did his job to put the Jets in better position to win in 2013.
Along with player personnel changes, the Jets also shuffled around their coaching staff with the firing of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. In their places, New York hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and former Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee.
And of course, both changes were necessary. The Jets finished 30th in the league in total offense last season, due in large part to putrid quarterback play from Sanchez. He may not get too many opportunities for redemption in 2013, however.
With the 39th pick in the draft, Idzik pulled the trigger on West Virginia signal-caller Geno Smith—a quarterback many believed would be in play for the Jets in the top half of the first round. Arguably the best quarterback in the draft class, New York was fortunate to find him available in the second round to potentially replace Sanchez going forward.
Opinions vary greatly on how Smith’s skill set translates to the NFL game, but it’s likely we find out for sure in 2013. If Sanchez doesn’t turn the corner in a hurry, like Tebow, he could find himself looking for a job on the free-agent market in the very near future.
There’s plenty of uncertainty facing the Jets in 2013, but there’s no denying the progress the team made toward righting the ship this offseason. We’ll take a closer look at that progress and break down some position battles to keep an eye on as the season draws near. Read on.