27 April 2010
Rex Ryan an Mike Tannenbaum like to do things big. They talk big (at least Rex does), look big, and act big. They never hide their thoughts and emotions. They lay it all out on the line, for lack of a better cliche. And after an off-season of big moves, they have the Jets ready to win a Super Bowl.
Take a look at the Jets' off-season...
In: Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson, Brodney Pool, Nick Folk, Rodrique Wright, Lance Laury, Kyle Wilson, Vlad Ducasse, Joe McKnight, John Conner
Out: Thomas Jones, Kerry Rhodes, Alan Faneca, Leon Washington, Jay Feely, Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, Marques Douglas
Do those moves really make the Jets a better team?
I'd say yes, but not significantly. The upgrade in the secondary is significant. It was the area of the team that needed to be improved and it was. The acquisition of Santonio Holmes will also improve the passing game once he gets on the field. But look elsewhere. I would argue the running backs, offensive line, and kicker were downgraded, and the pass rush is roughly the same. (Taylor will help, but he's aging and so is Shaun Ellis---the team's only real defensive end.) And I won't even pretend to know how that whole chemistry thing will play out.
So why the drastic roster overhaul?
For starters, it makes you wonder if Rex Ryan really thought his team was "the team to beat" in the playoffs. Despite all his tough talk, perhaps Rex, like the rest of the football world, saw the Jets as a 7-7 team that was willed into the playoffs by Curtis Painter and the Cincinnati Bengals. In essence, his team's success in the playoffs was a result of his inspirational banter and the maturation of Sanchez. Nothing more, nothing less.
There is also the "you either stay the same or you get better" theory. Take the 2004 Jets. They were two Doug Brien field goals away from the AFC Championship Game. That off-season the Jets did very little to improve the roster. They signed Derrick Blaylock to replace Lamont Jordan (he was that team's Shonn Greene), Doug Jolley, Ty Law, and had the audacity to draft a kicker with their first pick in the draft. Although he was not the GM at the time, Tannenbaum clearly saw how roster complacency led to the team's demise and vowed never to let that happen with himself at the reins. (Also, to support that theory, see the 2000 Mets' failure to replace Mike Hampton and a washed-up Robin Ventura for the '01 campaign.)
The Jets may have jettisoned locker room and fan favorites, but the team's talented young core remains intact. Sanchez is still here. Greene is still here. Brick is still here. Mangold is still here. Harris is still here. Revis is still here. The list goes on and on.
If the Jets enter the 2010 season healthy, their fans, myself included will expect and accept nothing less than a Super Bowl victory. It's a beast they created and a beast they will have to tame if they hope to make this off-season a success.
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