Heading into the 2008-2009 season, the New York Jets knew they weren’t very well-equipped at the QB position. Chad Pennington and Keller Clemens were not the answers to the very hounding questions, and at the 11th hour the Jets made a surprising move by getting their man—Brett Favre.
For the first 11 games of the season the move was working. They were 8-3 and sitting atop their division. Favre was gunning it and fans were talking about an all New York Super Bowl.
However, the last five games of the season can only be described as an epic collapse. Favre threw more interceptions than anyone in the league and the defense usually forgot to show up.
Now here we are, entering into the 2009-2010 season and a lot of the same questions have yet to be answered.
Favre is gone. Clemens hasn’t proved much and once again the Jets aggressively went after who they wanted—Mark Sanchez. Though he hasn’t proven anything yet either, he brings a very Joe Namath-like feel with him. He has the potential to give nemesis Tom Brady a run for his money, and the hope of perhaps a second Jets Super Bowl ring in the future.
Clearly, the most important position that needs to be figured out is in the QB department. The Jets have options, but none that are strong enough to give guarantees.
Sanchez may take a year or two to get into the grove of things, but then again he might be the answer from the get go. Only time will tell how the QB situation will play out, but hopefully it will turn out better than last year's gamble.
The defense has been significantly improved. Rex Ryan, a defensive mastermind who promises to bring hope for a much stronger defense, already moved them up in the rankings. Ryan also lured LB Bart Scott over from the Ravens, and with the addition of CB Lito Sheppard and S Jim Leonhard, the Jets' defense looks to be one of, if not the best in the AFC East.
Another question that needs to be answered is Kris Jenkins. He was phenomenal last season, up until the Titans game where he then slowly faded away. His presence was essential to the defense’s domination, and without it they clearly struggled down the stretch.
His presence needs to be felt on every down in every game. Kerry Rhodes and Darrelle Revis are two of the most exciting Jets players to watch on defense, and if history repeats itself, they will be the two most consistent on the field again this upcoming year.
Offensively the Jets, again, must regain an identity at the QB position, but they also left some wondering who exactly the undecided QB will be throwing to. With Baker gone and Coles left for Cincinnati, two of the biggest go to guys are no longer an option.
However, with Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, David Clowney, and Chansi Stuckey, who showed a lot of promise, the Jets may be just fine. While they’re still looking for that one big guy to fill the void, they could probably survive with the receivers they have, it just may not be easy.
The Jets should have drafted a big time receiver instead of a RB in Shonne Green, and rumor has is they’re interested in Plaxico Burress, but now it is time for the receivers already in green and white to step it up.
The running game should be steady and reliable, but with the unhappy Leon Washington and Thomas Jones, anything can happen. Jones may not be the top priority when it comes to a new contract, but Washington absolutely is. He is the most important offensive player and his contract deserves to be reworked.
Every year there is drama with Jets players unhappy with their contracts, and the organization needs to take care of this player. As long as he and Jones give it their all, and don’t get hurt, the running game—and special teams—should be one of the few things Jets fans can breathe easy about going into September.
The team has a lot of potential, and there will be no excuse for failure. There may be many questions regarding the team, but the fact is nothing will be answered until they step on the field in September.
For now, speculation is all anyone has to go one. One thing is for certain though; Jets fans have a lot to be excited about. There’s a new coach who the players already love, a stronger defense, and a fresh face that may just be the second coming of Joe Namath. Let’s hope so.