It happens every year right around this time. A large number of young men fighting it out for a spot on an NFL team. The cliche of shedding “blood, sweat and tears” to make a team holds true for this violent game more so than any other professional sport. We are fascinated and amazed by the physical hardships and the mental discipline required to play the game at it’s highest level. It’s a yearly ritual wherein the NFL separates “the men from the boys” by subjecting them to every conceivable athletic limit. Having watched numerous training camp sessions over the years in the broiling heat these guys have gained my respect many times over.
I’ve followed the Jets since 1967…have had season tix since 1978. I’ve seen over 300 games in person and many thousands more on TV. I’ve met and discussed the game with the players, the coaches and especially the fans over the last 45 years or thereabouts, so I consider myself, and rightly so, an authority on the subject. Well enough about me…let’s get to the story at hand…NY JETS 2013.
The last two seasons have been fairly dismal for the Green and White. Not as horrible as some of the storied disasters of the past. Not quite as dramatic as some of the near misses and epic collapses of years gone by, but dismal nonetheless. Rex Ryan’s first two campaigns were like a breath of fresh air with the resulting trips to the AFC Championship games but injuries, free agency and creeping age have robbed the team of some of their talent.
Mark Sanchez sort of looked like the answer at the most critical position on the team. The best defensive player on the planet played for the Jets in the person of Mr. Revis and his own special island. But this year the mood around the team is changed. The absolutes are few and the questions many. Who will start at QB now that Sanchez has shown a regression of amazing proportions?
Can Geno Smith really be the answer? Many the draft experts who have said no way. Too raw..unschooled in the NFL’s complex West Coast Offense being put in by Marty Mornhinweg. Run and gun sort of guy in a controlled environment. And anyway not too many rookie QB’s start in the NFL.
The defensive backfield is also a question mark now that Revis Island has sunk into the sea off Tampa Bay. First round pick Dee Milliner looks to be the real deal in Revis’ place but that certainly a huge amount of pressure to drop on the young man. He says he embraces the challenge and he says he’s ready and recovered from off-season shoulder surgery but hey…he has to do it on the field. Another question mark.
Add to the chaos as long time TE Dustin Keller decided to swim with the fishes..Shonn Greene rumbled to the Titans and key defensive players like Bart Scott, Sione Pouha, Mike Devito, Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry were either released or waived goodbye in Free Agency.
The Jets off season moves have been been pretty underwhelming and there have been some disappointing losses. This isn’t the fault of Jets’ general manager John Idzik. He inherited this mess and he’s trying to make things work with low-cost bargains as he pilots these tricky waters in his first year at the helm. I believe Idzik will have success with the Jets. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy who cares only
about improving the team and winning. He’s seems to be stripping away a lot of the BS that we’ve seen with the Jets the last two disappointing seasons. Can he do it? Only time and the players he brings in will tell the tale. Signings? Not much to speak of though the few the Jets have brought on board should be productive additions. I like Antwan Barnes, a tough QB sacker from San Diego. Willie Colon came over from the Steelers to help man the guard position…another pretty good move if he stays healthy.
I like the signings of Chris Ivory at RB from the Saints and Mike Goodson from the Raiders, that is of course if Ivory still has the fire and Goodson can stay out of jail! Kellen Winslow Jr and Braylon Edwards should make whomever the QB turns out to be a little bit more secure in the pocket.
So that’s all for now, In Part 2 of my 2013 Jets breakdown, we’ll discuss and take a closer look at what’s haapening in CAMP CORTLAND as I break down the team position by position. Please jump on board Jets fans ( and even those who aren’t) and let me know what YOU think is in store for the NY JETS in 2013.
- Mark Sanchez Talking Like Playoffs Are Given for New York Jets This Season (nesn.com)
- Dee Milliner Quickly Winning Starting Job is Good News for New York Jets (rantsports.com)
- 2013 New York Jets: Circus or Legit Contenders? (rantsports.com)
- There’s NO Way the Jets Win More Than 6 Games (laces0ut.com)