What’s up Jets fans? This is Jeff Butler, the new Jets Beat writer for Sports-Debaters.Com and I’m here to cover the good, the bad and the ugly of our favorite dysfunctional rollercoaster ride known as Gang Green. As an introduction, I’ve been a Jets fan since the 1970’s and have the deep down emotional scars to prove it. Still, I like to think I’m somewhere between darksider and homer. I usually begin the summer optimistic, some years even confident in our chances at a postseason and dare say a sniff at the Lombardi, only to become a beaten and humiliated mess come January. But, since this is August, and the 1st preseason game is upon us, it’s time for me to get out the glassware and throw together my annual batch of 2012 NY Jets Kool-Aid. So without further ado…
Five Reasons to Believe (and no, Tebow isn’t one of them)
1 Shotty is in St. Louis – It’s not quite Seattle but its far enough away to give the Jets offense a chance. Shotty of the presnap shenanagins that confused no one except the Jet offense. Shotty of the “I need my head coach who knows nothing about offensive football to step in and give me a green light – red light program for my quarterback” in order to stay competitive. Shotty of the 1st play of the game…the scripted play we’ve had a week to prepare for and…whistled for delay of game??? Shotty whose calls were so predictable David Clowney correctly tweeted them beforehand from his living room in Green Bay. If Shotty was a Special Teams player Westoff would have “Cut him on the field.”
2 Enhanced Super Duper Industrial Strength Defense from Multiple Formations – 4-3, 3-4, 46 we got em all and we call it Multiple as in more than one. The best part is they won’t have to dial-up exotic rushes or continually send the house just to generate pressure. We now have a line that can theoretically torment the Bradys of this world as they search the field for covered receivers thanks to the highest rated Secondary in football. Of course it will take time to develop, but the horses are there and with the new addition of line coach Dunbar whose previous employer the Vikings knew something about getting after QBs (see Jared Allen) the future looks bright.
3 Last Years Humiliation breeds Character and Urgency – Okay, so the shit hit the fan last year. It was ugly in a way that only Jets fans can truly appreciate. A real two-bagger. The highlights: Captain Tone sulking on the bench like no one saved him a piece of the sheet cake. 67 pass plays in the Giants game. 67. Rex admitting he never understood the offense and didn’t know his players were unhappy. A locker-room so messed up and devoid of leadership that 3rd string rookie clipboard carrier Greg McElroy had no fear of putting it on blast. And who can forget the Jets staff covering up the Giants logos during the Jets-Giants debacle at MetLife only to have the Giants offensive line rip that shit down after the game and tell us what we already knew: they were still big brother. That level of humiliation did a lot of good–people got fired, people were rumored to be getting fired, hot seats were stoked. No one was safe and no one is safe. The party was over and it was time to get real. Bart Scott is perhaps the best example. He was mad during last season after they took his 3rd downs away because he couldn’t run anymore. He didn’t like that. Did he play better? No. So they tried to trade him, but alas, no takers. Embarrassing. No love anywhere for the Madbacker. So Bart finally saw that, saw the big picture and got real. He lost weight, strapped a chip on his shoulder and prepared like a warrior for this his contract year. And there we are. I’ll take a hungry and humiliated Bart Scott any day. Extend that to the whole team. I like it.
4 Cortland Cortland Cortland – Simple. Jets go to Cortland = AFC Championship Games. Jets don’t go to Cortland = Rex weeps like a schoolgirl and pleads with his players to “be a team” after losing the last game of the season to powerhouse Miami 19-17.
5 Back to Ground and Pound – Yeah it’s a passing league. Yeah the Jets don’t have a superstar, feature running back. True, the Jets line fell apart like a cheap suit in a monsoon last year. But here’s the good news. Last year Mark Sanchez led the NFL in turnovers (18 interceptions, 8 lost fumbles). Now part of that is tipped passes, part is Wayne “the turnstile” Hunter, but most is poor decision-making. The answer? Yup. G and P. Take the rock and protect it. Run as an identity and get teams to respect it, and pick your spots to pass. 60-40. Our passing game scares no one. So let it surprise them. And as a former Peewee football offensive lineman, I can attest that its easier and more fun to run block, especially in Sparano’s gap scheme, than to pass block out on an island, such as Shotty deemed a nice way to utilize Hunter’s talents.
So there it is. A fresh pitcher of 2012 NY Jets Preseason Kool-Aid. I recommend it shaken, not stirred, although some freaks like it at room temperature. Either way, drink it down, find a good seat, and buckle up for the season. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a helluva ride.