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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Jets Future Success Remains Questionable

Todd Bowles is finally gone. Now the work begins. There are a lot of concerns if you are a Jet fan with the process of finding a coach, signing free agents and drafting correctly. Just as Todd Bowles was a “dead man walking” as coach, General Manager Mike Maccagnan can be the same next year as GM and this scares me. I had mentioned previously how I hate having a coach come in at a different time than the GM who has been at one place for a few years. Remembering back when the late Dick Steinberg was the GM and signed veterans Ronnie Lott and Leonard Marshall. It became obvious to me then that Steinberg was actually trying a different tack and in doing so he was really trying to save his job. This brings up the question: is Maccagnan now in panic mode trying to save his job or will he do what is right long term for the Jets? Should we trust someone trying to save his own skin with the decisions pending: picking a head coach, spending the 100 million + dollars in free agent money and drafting 3 players in the first 100 in the upcoming draft? I’m very nervous about this and would have preferred a clean slate to start. I know how important some kind of continuity is in the NFL, but if you look at some of the moves Mike Maccagnan has made, it can make you scratch your head. You have to excuse me but I’m going to reprint part of an article from a previous Green Rewind issue.

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From the November 18 issue of Green Rewind:
This decision was not as tough as I thought when you look at the facts. Before getting into the personnel decisions cleaning house is the only chance the Jets have. If they fire Bowles (and has since been let go) and keep Maccagnan the Jets are getting into a possible situation that they will keep changing one and not the other further down the road. This is not the way to run an NFL franchise. Maccagnan has made some good personnel decisions but his bad ones stand out like real stinkers. I really think NFL general managers should be judged on how they draft in rounds 2,3,4. Let’s look at how Maccagnan drafted. 

2015 Draft
1. Leonard Willams
2. Devin Smith
3. Lorenzo Mauldin
4. Bryce Petty
5. Jarvis Harrison
6. No pick
7. Deon Simon
Some of The Misses: Todd Gurley RB,David Johnson RB, Marcus Peters CB, Tyler Lockett WR, Trey Flowers DE, Stefon Diggs WR, Jay Ajayi RB, 

1.Darron Lee
2.Christian Hackenberg
3.Jordan Jenkins
4.Justin Burris
5.Brandon Shell
6.No pick
7.Lac Edwards
7.Charone Peake
Some of The Misses: Myles Jack LB, Sterling Shepard WR, Cody Whitehair G-C, Joe Thuney G, Isaac Seumalo G-C, Jacoby Brissett QB, Caleb Benenoch OT,

1.Jamal Adams
2.Marcus Maye
3.ArDarius Stewart
4.Chad Hansen
5.Jordan Leggett
5.Dylan Donahue
6.Elijah McGuire
6.Jeremy Clark
6.Derrick Jones
Some of The Misses: Patrick Mahomes QB, Marshon Lattimore DB, Deshaun Watson QB, T. J. Watt LB,JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, Cooper Kupp WR, Alvin Kamara RB, Kareem Hunt RB, Deatrich Wise Jr. LB, 

1.Sam Darnold
2.No pick
3.Nathan Shepard
4.Christopher Herndon
5.No pick
6.Parry Nickerson
6.Folorunso Fatukasi
6.Trenton Cannon
Some of The Misses: Michael Gallup WR,Arden Key DE, Chukwuma Okorafor OT, Antonio Callaway WR, John Franklin-Myers DE, 

Anyone can miss a draft pick. But with Mike Maccagnan’s there are too many of them like Devin Smith, Christian Hackenberg, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and not enough like Christopher Herndon or Lac Edwards.  Also I wanted the Jets to sign Snacks Harrison and let go of Muhammud Wilkerson at the time. This is not entirely Mac’s fault. No one knew that Mo would pack it in right after signing his contract. Picking up Henry Anderson from the Colts was a good pick up. And trading up and getting Sam Darnold is looking like a brilliant move. But the general manager’s job is to secure talent and depth and the Jets lack talent in too many places. Why he did not address the offensive line in the earlier rounds since becoming GM is a question I will never understand. His big free agent signing of Trumaine Johnson is looking like one of the worst free agent signings ever. Why in the world would Christopher Johnson give Mac the keys to the vault to spend the 100+ million that will be available with the Trumaine Johnson signing? And human nature being what it is Mac may look for the quick fix to save his job. There is no way I want Le'Veon Bell to wear a Jets uniform. If Mac remains and he signs Bell, this is a panic move that doesn’t have to be done. I just turned 65 years old and have been a Jet fan since 1964. I’d like to see a change and build a foundation. We have our franchise quarterback and now it is time to move on.
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Since I wrote the above article some things have come out in the press that are interesting but not confirmed. It has been said that the Jets signed free agent Trumaine Johnson because the coaching staff was pressuring Maccagnan to do so. Whether true or not we might not ever find out but it was done. The signing of WR ArDarius Stewart was on the recommendation of former offensive coordinator John Morton. Again we will never know for sure about this but Stewart was a bust. With both examples do we want a GM who constantly gets talked into these decisions? Why have a scouting department? On the other side, it came out that when Maccagnan picked up DB Rashard Robinson, he never let Todd Bowles know and Bowles found out about it in the newspapers. If this is true, it is inexcusable. Then it came out that Bowles wouldn’t play Parry Nickerson for a few games as a protest about the type of talent he was given. In all fairness to Todd Bowles (I’m not a fan of his at all) there is some truth about the talent level he was provided with.  Sam Darnold fell into Mike Maccagnan’s lap and he does deserve credit for trading up from 6 to 3 to have a chance to get him. Others will say that if the Giants took Darnold, the Jets would have taken Josh Allen or Josh Rosen with the 3rd pick when they could have stayed at 6 and got either on of them as Josh Allen went 7th and Josh Rosen went 10th. You know what they say about hindsight. But in all fairness to Maccagnan, if we are going to get on him for the lousy moves he made, you have got to give him credit for getting Sam no matter how it happened.

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Jets Head Coach Competition Heats Up Fast
With 8 NFL teams now looking for head coaches, the Jets are trying to move fast. ESPN's Rich Cimini reported today that the Jets will be interviewing: Mike McCarthy, Jim Caldwell, Eric Bienemy (Chiefs), Todd Monken (Bucs) and Kris Richard (Cowboys). Not a bad list but I would love to find out what is going on in Cleveland. The reason because it has been said that the Browns will not retain Gregg Williams as coach. He only went 5-3 as the interim head coach and came a hair of making the playoffs. If the Browns let him go, I would hire this former Buffalo Bills head (17-31). He brings toughness, leadership and I truly believe he is one of those coaches who will succeed his second time around. I know Jet fans and the jocks on local sports radio keep saying the Jets have got to hire an offensive minded coach to develop Sam Darnold. Overrated! As Jet fans would you rather have an offensive coach who is a question mark or a defensive coach who will change the culture and bring discipline to the team? I would hire Gregg Williams in a second and surround with quality offensive minded assistants. How about Todd Monken as offensive coordinator and John DeFilippo as quarterback coach? This is a good coaching staff. At issue is that Gregg Williams was suspended after the New Orleans Saints “Bounty Gate” scandal and has been trying to reinvent himself since. I see a kind of “blackball” (for a head coach job) by NFL teams if he doesn’t get the Browns job. Unfair! A lot of coaches have done things just as bad or worse. And I like the fact that Williams had an edge about him. He would be good as the Jets head coach.

Dan Campbell, Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach. This is the other coach I wish was on the list. He is a former NFL tight end and was the interim coach for the Miami Dolphins. He is thought of very highly and is also somewhat go an old school disciplinarian type  of coach. Hey Jets, speak to this guy.

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Jets Need To Target The Right Free Agents!
Depending on who you listen to, the Jets will have 100 million + dollars to spend on free agents. Looking at the the salaries and the cap situation, I’m predicting the Jets will have between 110-120 million to play with. I don’t expect Josh McCown back ($5 million savings), Buster Skrine ($6 million savings), Jermaine Kearse ($5,550,000 savings) and some other players that are really dead weight the Jets should rid themselves of. Unfortunately we are stuck with Trumaine Johnson but the Jets don’t have to start him and shouldn’t if they have any guts. The Jets paid Quincy Enunwa which I think is a good move. He has just got to stay on the field. The Jets have another year to decide if they want Leonard Williams back-I want him back. We all know that free agency is not the best quick fix and that picking right in the draft is the best way to build a solid foundation for an NFL team. With that said here are some the free agents the Jets should target this off-season. Of course even with that large cache of money the Jets have they cannot sign them all but they must prioritize a list and throw multiple irons in the pot. And please do not sign Le’Veon Bell.

Trey Flowers, DE Patriots
Flowers will be 27 at the start of the 2019 season. It will be interesting to see if coach BB franchises this 2015 4th round pick from Arkansas who seems to be getting better every year. In 40 games in his pro career he has 16 sacks. But it is his knack for being in the right place and stopping key 3rd down plays. He was the player in Super Bowl LII who sacked Matt Ryan with 3:55 to go in the 4th quarter that helped push the Falcons out of field goal range. All he does is make clutch plays. I’d be surprised if BB let’s him go but he is on the top of my list as a free agent player to pursue. It is always good when you make a move and it strengthens your team and weakens your biggest rival. Besides, just driving up his price would be a good move.

Jadeveon Clowney, OLB,Texans
He has had some injuries but this two time Pro Bowler should be pursued by the Jets. When you look at Clowney’s lifetime stats with sacks, quarterback hits etc. it is quite stunning. In 56 NFL games played, he has 26 1/2 sacks. In only his 5th season, this #1, 2014 overall pick from South Carolina is one of those players that will make the other 10 on defense better. He will keep offensive coordinators awake at night trying to devise a game plan to slow him down. Because of his history of injuries, an incentive laden contract is a must.

Dee Ford, OLB Chiefs
Ford is 28 years old. It would be a miracle if Andy Reid let’s him hit the open market. But if he does, give him a parade up Broadway and open up the vault. This 23rd pick of the 2014 draft from Auburn just keeps getting better and better. This past October (2018) Ford recorded 13 tackles, four sacks, and three forced fumbles, earning himself AFC Defensive Player of the Month. Ford missed some games in 2017 but had 10 sacks in 2015 and has 13  this year. He is as good as they come.

Matt Paradis, C, Broncos
Paradis is 29 years old. He was a 6th round pick from Boise State and his 2018 season ended after fracturing a fibula after the 9th game of the season. Normally with his age and ending up injured, this would raise a flag not to pursue him. But this player is solid. Pro Football Focus has ranked as the 3rd best center in the league. He should be 100% ready to go next year and the Jets should go heavy to sign him.

Daryl Williams, OT, Panthers
Williams is 27 years old. Just when he was beginning to establish himself as one of the premier tackles in the NFL, this 4th round draft pick from the University of Oklahoma injured his knee in training camp. He started the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys but re-injured the knee and ended up being placed on the injured reserve list. If I was the Jets, I still pursue him with a Teddy Bridgewater type of one year “show me” contract with a lot of incentives. Ideally if the Jets can squeeze a second year option, the better. 

Grady Jarrett, DL, Falcons
Jarrett is 27 years old. He was drafted in the fifth round (137th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2015 NFL Draft from Clemson. During Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, Jarrett sacked Tom Brady three times, which tied a record for most sacks in a single Super Bowl game. In 2017, Jarrett started all 16 games, recording a career-high 55 tackles and four sacks. In 2018 he had six sacks. This guy just keeps getting better. Sign him and watch how Leonard Williams improves.

NFL News & Rumors
…..Adam Scheffer is reporting the Browns and Packers requested permission to interview Pats DC Brian Flores for head coach. Packers also requested permission to interview Pats OC Josh McDaniels for HC…..Miami has also requested permission to talk to the Pats Brian Flores for head coach…..Steelers Antonio Brown has requested to be traded…..Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor will interview for the Broncos' and Cardinals' head coaching positions…..The Dolphins have requested a head coach interview with Steelers' offensive line coach Mike Munchak…..Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford returned to practice Tuesday, nine days after an injury scare that sent him to the hospital…..North Carolina State receiver Jakobi Meyers will forgo his final season to enter the NFL draft……Texas A&M junior tight end Jace Sternberger declared for the NFL draft Tuesday, a day after the Aggies beat North Carolina State in the Gator Bowl…..At a time when 49ers tight end George Kittle is openly flirting with Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, there’s another receiver who could be a more likely trade target for San Francisco. If the Giants decide to move on from receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the 49ers could pursue him. The 49ers considered it during that window last year when Beckham seemed to be available, and there’s already buzz this year that, if he’s available, the 49ers would be interested…..Raiders Signed QB Nathan Peterman To Future Deal…..According to Spotrac, Tom Brady will receive $0 out of a possible $5 million in performance bonuses during the regular season. Brady would have received a bonus had he finished in the top 5 in the NFL in passing yards, yards per attempt, touchdowns, completion percentage or passer rating, but he fell short in every single category…..Even though he was fired on Monday morning by the Dolphins, Adam Gase is going to be a hot coaching candidate in a year where there are lots of openings and not a ton of really high-profile, viable candidates for those jobs. To wit: he's already getting buzz in both Denver and Cleveland as the next head coach in those spots….. 

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