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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Jets Need A Quick Fix With A Long Term Foundation!

The difference between Christopher Johnson and me is that I am giving Adam Gase and Mike Maccagnan a mandate. The Jets must win at least 9 games in 2019. I will accept 8-8 if by some chance this gets them into the playoffs. The Jets have missed the playoffs 8 straight years. Enough already! A quick turn around is needed and the Jets have the quarterback and the cap space to do it. This draft is the most important draft in Mike Maccagnan’s career. Can the Jets turn it around? A 100% yes! In 2017 the Chicago Bears went 5-11. The Bears changed coaches and hired Mike Nagy. In 2018 they went 12-4 and won their division and got a home playoff game. They did it with a second year quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky. In 2016 the LA Rams went 4-12 with Jeff Fischer as coach and rookie quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams changed coaches going with Sean McVay and the next year the Rams went 11-4. What these situations have in common with the Jets going into the 2019 season is a new coach and a second year quarterback. If you compare Trubisky, Goff and Sam Dranold’s rookie season, Darnold’s numbers are a little better but if you look close, you’ll see Darnold was ahead of the other 2 in their rookie years and is only 21 years old.

                      Games Started    Passing %     TD    INT   QB Rating
Jared Goff                   7                    54.6             5     7         63.6
Mitch Trubisky           12                    59.4             7     7         77.5 
Sam Darnold             13                    57.7          17    15         77.6

Sam Darnold started off great in the first game of the season after his initial throw was a pick six. As the season went on and opponents had game film on him, he still showed flashes of greatness but the interceptions started to come. And we all remember the talk that Darnold does not have the offensive weapons. When he came back from his foot injury, in his last 4 games he was a different quarterback throwing 6 TD passes and only 1 INT. His QB rating the last 4 games was: 83.7 (Bills), 100.0 (Texans), 128.4 (Packers), 74.6 (Patriots). Interestingly when he came back and started to develop a chemistry with Robby Anderson over those 4 games (23 rec. 336yds. 3 TDs) and Chris Herndon (11 rec. 180 yds. 1TD) there was less talk about the receiving corp and more about the offensive line opening up holes for the running game. It is said that the biggest jump for a quarterback is from his first year to his second year. The Jets quarterback is in place, one pillar. 

Other Turn Around Seasons
SF 49ers 2010   6-10 coach Singletary
SF           2011  13-3  coach Harbaugh lost NFC championship game

Stl Rams 1998  4-12
Stl           1999  13-3  SB champ both coached by Vermiel

Jets         1996 1-15 Kotite
Jets         1997  9-7 Parcells

NE Pats  2000   5-11
NE          2001  11-5  Champs both Belichick

Arizona    2012 5-11  Whisenhunt
Ari            2013 10-6  Arians

Miami      2015 6-10  Philbin
Miami      2016 10-6  Gase

*Thanks to Green Rewind contributor Ralph Sharaga for his input.

                                                        T-Ball Skills & Drills

Blue Print For The Jets Turn Around
I’ll say it again, all Jet fans should not accept anything less than 9-7 and/or a playoff birth. The quarterback is in place. The next step is signing the right free agents then drafting the right players. Last issue I printed important NFL dates. For the Jets the two most important are:
March 11-13 Free agency begins.
April   25-27 2019 NFL Draft.
The Jets scouts will be developing their own list of rankings of all the players in the draft. After free agency and depending on who the Jets sign, they will tweak their list depending on the needs not filled from free agency and any possible trades moving down or up in the draft.

Here I’ve listed 10 things the Jets should do or in some cases not to do to turn this around. 
1. Build up the offensive line with free agency. I had previously mentioned two of the free agent linemen I like, center Matt Paradis (29) from the Broncos and tackle Daryl Williams (27) from Carolina. I’d like to add one more player. Trenton Brown the left tackle for the Patriots is developing into one of the better young tackles in the league and will be a free agent. The Jets will not be able to get all three but any two would be great.
2. Get pass rushers through free agency. I previously mentioned Trey Flowers of the Patriots and Dee Ford of the Chiefs. Flowers will be a reach and may be headed to Miami. Ford will get top money and the Jets should over pay if they have to. One other player I had said I would pass on previously but I’ve changed with certain conditions. Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions will be a free agent after being franchised this past year. I think Matt Patricia will want to move on. Ansah misses a ton of games but when he is on the field, he is special. He will be 30 in May but he has 48 sacks in 80 games in his career. The Jets should sign him to a 2 year contract with incentives. And play him only on 3rd down or sure passing situations.
3. Don’t be tempted to sign big name free agents who play the skill positions. Namely do not try to sign Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell. It will not be worth the money or the potential headaches. Both are super talents but Bell will be 27 next month so how many good years would the Jets get from him? And Brown is a an incredible talent but will be 31 in July. The Jets should pass on both. 
4. Give Sam Weapons. Just as I would pass on Bell and Brown I would look at two free agent receivers. Donte Moncrief and Tavon Austin. Moncrief showed a lot of potential with Indianapolis but has had a wasted year in Jacksonville. This guy can play. Tavon Austin is something of an enigma. Coming out of West Virginia, I thought this 5’8” speedster would be a super star. He has underachieved. I still think he has a lot left in the tank and he would be a great slot receiver for the Jets. With both Moncrief and Austin you would be getting them on off years. And by the way Austin also runs the ball and has 1,238 career yards with 9 rushing touchdowns.
5. Right now the Jets have 6 draft picks. Their 3rd pick is a very valuable pick. But I would leverage that pick and try to trade back, but not too far, and accumulate more picks. Last year the Jets gave up their two second round picks and moved up 3 picks to draft Sam Darnold. If the Jets can do what the Colts did, this will give them more draft capital. If they can acquire a couple of two’s, and stay at 6 they can still get a quality player. The name spoken mentioned is the pass rusher from Kentucky, Josh Allen. All he does is put tons of pressure on the quarterback.
6. Get a solid back-up for Sam. Josh McCown’s days are up! Great guy and I would love to see him on the coaching staff. He has a great rapport with Sam but cannot play QB anymore. If Davis Webb is the back-up let’s see him play with the first unit in some pre-season games. I never understood why backup quarterbacks never have reps with the 1st team and when the starter goes down, there is a learning curve for him to get comfortable. If Webb isn’t the guy, get someone with credentials. I want another back-up like Nick Foles!
7. Play some of the young players more. Deontay Burnett from USC started the season on the practice squad. Because of injuries he was brought up and to me looked very good in the two games he was getting substantial playing time. Against the Bears he had 4 catches for 61 yards and made one of the nicest catches you’ll ever see. Against the Patriots he had 5 catches for 73 yards. I’m not saying he should start but let’s get him on the field more. The same goes with linebacker Frankie Luvu. Whenever he is on the field he is creating havoc. Why he wasn’t giving more playing time is beyond me. All during the pre-season we heard about a defensive back named Derrick Jones. After the pre-season he disappears. He ends up starting the last game of the season and has one of the best ratings for a cornerback according to Pro Football Focus. Get him on the field more. 
8. Adam Gase has to surround himself with quality assistant coaches. Todd Bowles had one of the worst staffs ever assembled this past year. It was so bad that Christopher Johnson could not fire him during the season because there was no one who was qualified to be an interim coach. Gase has stated off on the right foot by retaining special teams coach Brent Boyer and signing defensive coordinator Gregg Robinson. 
9. Adam Gase has got to be involved with the defense. One of the biggest mistakes Rex Ryan made when he coached the Jets was not being more involved with the offense. He admits to this. If Adam Gase is bringing Gregg Williams in so he doesn’t have to pay any attention to the defensive schemes and personnel, he is making a huge mistake. An NFL coach has to be in charge on both sides of the ball.
10. Sign RB Kareem Hunt. I’m saving the most controversial item for last. What Kareem Hunt did on that video is inexcusable. With that said I truly believe that people who make a mistake should get a second chance. If your family has been affected by domestic violence, I know this is hard to take. Domestic violence is a huge issue in society and no different in the NFL. Kareem Hunt will probably get at least an 8 game suspension and maybe more which he deserves. But is he being punished more because his violence was caught on video? Don’t forget that Hunt’s teammate Tyreek Hill pleaded guilty to punching and choking his pregnant girlfriend. Closer to home Quincy Enunwa was involved in his own domestic violent incident. According to documents, Enunwa was accused of "grabbing the victim (his girlfriend) by her ankle and pulling her off a bed causing her to strike and injure both her head and finger." If you add up Kareem Hunt’s games missed this year and the games he will miss next year, it will almost be a full season. That plus no team will sign him for a lot of money or long term. That in itself is punishment even if it is partial. As a human being, he has a long way to go. The Jet locker room will be a good one next year. Sign Kareem Hunt and if there is another incident, life time suspension.

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What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
The New York Jets did their homework. Before embarking on their head-coaching search, they studied the history of second-chance coaches. It made sense, considering two candidates -- Adam Gase and Mike McCarthy -- had just been fired from their first jobs. This is what they discovered: Eight coaches have won a Super Bowl in their second job after failing to win a championship in their first gig, a list that includes a New York coaching icon (Tom Coughlin) and a football savant who almost became the head coach of the Jets (Bill Belichick).The Jets are betting Gase will be closer to Belichick and Coughlin than Eric Mangini, who flopped in his second job after getting bounced by the Jets with a 23-25 record -- identical to Gase's mark in Miami. "If you go back to the history of successful NFL head coaches, there are a lot of guys the first time through that may not have had a lot of success and they learn from it, and they actually get better the second time around,” Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “I will say this: It’s a hard time to learn on the fly. Just like being an NFL GM.” Gase, in his introductory news conference on Monday at the team's facility, actually demonstrated some Belichickian traits -- not the good ones, though. The new leader of the Jets appeared nervous and spoke in a monotone voice, failing to capitalize on his first chance to win over a skeptical fan base. By the time he was finished, his big, wandering eyes had inspired memes on social media…..Maccagnan said he and Gase are spending a lot of time together, getting to know each other. It's like speed dating, except they're already married. Johnson is convinced Gase will be better the second time around. He wouldn't issue a playoff mandate, but he acknowledged his expectations are very high. "I'm pretty sure he's going to be a great hire," Johnson said. Judge the man on his record, not his news conferences.

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Brian Costello, NY Post
He carries his despicable crimes against NFL humanity with him now to Florham Park, and even seven years after Bountygate, you find yourself asking: Is Gregg Williams worth the trouble? Adam Gase and the Jets believe he is, because Williams will be their new defensive coordinator. But do we need to hide the women and children? Well no, the guy isn’t a serial killer.There will be some, of course, who will cling to the notion that Williams is a pariah and a Neanderthal who doesn’t belong anywhere near an NFL sideline. There will be some who cannot and will not forgive him for his unsaintly orders to decapitate and maim opponents while he toiled under Sean Payton, and who probably think Roger Goodell never should have let him back in the league following his indefinite suspension.
Except the commissioner did. Think about that: In a landscape where avoiding more concussion lawsuits and enhancing player safety is now a league mission statement, Williams was invited back to this kinder, gentler NFL. First the Titans hired him. Then the Rams hired him. Then the Browns hired him. No Mutiny on any of those Bounties…..Statistically, Williams’ recent defenses have had more bark than bite. But no one doubts his acumen. Jay Gruden’s Redskins wanted him, too. Former Jets coach Herm Edwards wanted to hire him once. “He always puts players in position to fit their skill set,” Edwards told the New York Times in 2012. “He runs a wide-open defense, and players like attacking. That’s what you like about the guy. He’ll gamble at times, but players like that and he had a good rapport with them.” A leopard can’t change his spots. And Williams probably can’t. But he knows full well that Goodell’s zero-tolerance policy for him remains in place.

                                              44 Baseball Mistakes & Corrections

44 Baseball Mistakes & Corrections

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Strip away the predictable talking points and general fluff in Jets Land and here’s what’s left: The heat is on general manager Mike Maccagnan to prove that CEO Christopher Johnson made the right decision to keep him around. It’s a bottom-line, big-boy business, so there’s no need sugarcoat it: Neither Todd Bowles nor Maccagnan performed well enough in the past four years, but only one of them was whacked. Maccagnan has shown promise in the past year or so with smart, aggressive moves that provide hope that he can improve. I agree with that powers that be that he has the capacity to evolve in the big chair.Ownership made the wise choice after the 2015 season to strip it down to the studs to build a proper foundation (and land a franchise quarterback). Maccagnan followed orders, but didn’t make enough good decisions to get the Jets anywhere close to the playoffs since that inaugural 10-win campaign. He finally landed a signal caller thanks to circumstance (losing out on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes) and daring (quickly pivoting by trading with the Colts to ultimately draft Sam Darnold).Now, it’s Go Time for a guy who should have all the pressure on his shoulders to get it right this offseason. He must be aggressive without being reckless…..Losing has been the soundtrack for the past three seasons. Although it’s smart to keep the larger picture in mind, the sheer volume of defeats since 2016 – 34, if you lost count – must stop. Chris Johnson wisely didn’t put a playoff mandate on 2019, but there must be significant, tangible progress this upcoming season. In short, the Jets need to win a lot more. Four or five victories isn’t going to cut it given the wealth of resources at Maccagnan’s fingertips in the coming months.

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Around The NFL
…..Former NFL agent and CBS analyst Joel Corry thinks the Eagles and Nick Foles will inevitably part ways without a trade. Corry believes the Eagles will pick up Foles' option in order to control his rights. He also predicts that Foles will pay $2 million to get out of the mutual option and become a free agent…..The Panthers have hired Bills/Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell as their new defensive backs coach, the club announced……Former Steelers wideout Antwaan Randle El will join the Buccaneers‘ coaching staff as an offensive assistant, the club announced today. New Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians coached Randle El — who is now embarking on his first NFL coaching gig — for one season (2010) with the Steelers…..Kacy Rodgers, whose role with Tampa was up in the air, is officially the team’s defensive line coach, while former Browns special teams coordinator Amos Jones is in tow as assistant ST coach…..John DeFilippo will be the Jaguars new offensive coordinator…..One day after Colts coach Frank Reich fired offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, two of DeGuglielmo’s offensive linemen came to his defense Wednesday. “I’m seeing a lot of speculation/talk from outsiders talking bad about Coach Guge,” guard Quenton Nelson wrote on his Twitter account. “He is a great fundamental coach and a great person. He unified us as an offensive line and pushed us to be the best. Anything else said about him is false.”…..

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