New York Jets' fans certainly have had a lot to be excited about in 2010: "It's great to be a Jets fan! We're going to be featured on HBO! Kornweiss is about to hit us with a breakdown of the Jets schedule as they make their way to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas!"
However, in a New York minute, everything can change...
Don Henley, you sure got that right! What was once a promising offseason filled with free-agent signings, an invitation to be the centerpiece of HBO's hit series Hard Knocks, and legitimate Super Bowl aspirations now seems destined to become the latest failure in the long, hard knock lives of New York Jets fans.
The rift between the New York Jets and All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis seems to be reaching the point of no return, at least according to team owner Woody Johnson. During an interview with ESPN's E:60, Johnson was asked directly whether he expected Revis to play for the Jets this season to which he stated eight sobering words: "My gut feeling is, I would say no."
With Darrelle Revis, the Jets present a defensive squad that strikes fear and intimidation in the eyes of other opponents by effectively removing his side of the field from the passing game. Revis consistently lines up against the league's marquee wide receivers (Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, etc.) and completely shuts them down, allowing the rest of the unit to focus on the shortened field and stake claim to the title NFL's No. 1 defense.
Without Darrelle Revis, head coach Rex Ryan can outwardly praise his defense as much as he wants to, but deep within his football soul he knows the truth: without their main man closing half of the field to the competition, the Jets have a great defense but not a Super Bowl-caliber defense.
A defense cannot be super when it has a secondary that consists of untested rookie Kyle Wilson, third-year "vet" Dwight Lowery, and Antonio Cromartie (a veteran who is basically trying to resurrect his once promising career). Do Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum really believe that these guys are enough to fill the vacant land that was formerly known as Revis Island?
The Jets fell just 30 minutes short of their first Super Bowl appearance since Super Bowl III, leading to the series of bold, calculated moves that Tannenbaum made during the offseason. In fact, those were the moves that had been lauded by fans as he demonstrated a serious effort to push the Jets to the top of the NFL world.
However, to underestimate the importance of Darrelle Revis as the central figure in the Jets' Super Bowl plans?
That Mr. Tannenbaum, would be a severe miscalculation.