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Anatomy of a collapse : How Jets turned into the NFL's worst team ~ ~ ~

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-- The New York Jets used to be good. Oh yes, they were hot stuff in 2010, when they reached the AFC Championship Game for the second year in a row. They had a larger-than-life coach in Rex Ryan, who approached every game as a schoolyard brawl -- and he had the roster to back him up.

The Jets haven't left that schoolyard, though now they're being taunted and shunned, not good enough to get into any of the games.

The bully has been geekified.

After six straight years out of the playoffs, three seasons with double-digit losses, two regime changes and one year of Tim Tebow, the Jets are regarded by some experts as the worst team in the NFL. Expectations are at an all-time low. So low that members of the 1996 Jets, who finished a franchise-worst 1-15, are getting asked by friends if the current team could pull a '96. It's not far-fetched, considering they're not favored in a single game this season, according to ESPN's FPI.

Team officials say they have a long-term plan to become contenders again. Clearly, the focus is beyond this season. In a 20-minute interview this week with WFAN radio, general manager Mike Maccagnan used the phrase "going forward" a total of 28 times. Coach Todd Bowles has told players to stop talking about last season, a 5-11 disaster that left a fractured locker room.Since the almost-Super Bowl run in 2010, the Jets are 41-55, the worst record in the AFC East and 24th in the league. As they look to the future, we'll take a moment to analyze how a once-prospering team has slipped into one of the longest postseason slumps in its star-crossed history.

It starts at the top

In 17 years under Woody Johnson's ownership, the Jets are eight games under .500. As Bill Parcells used to say, "You are what your record says you are." In Johnson's case, it's mediocrity.

His lack of conviction on football matters has thrust the franchise into an ever-changing approach to hirings and talent procurement. The most successful franchises adhere to a consistent philosophy, creating an identity and a culture. The Jets? They zig and zag more than an elite open-field runner.Johnson has gone through periods of big spending and bold acquisitions (Brett Favre and Tebow), but he also has preached a methodical, draft-based approach to constructing the roster. He went from an aggressive, deal-making general manager (Mike Tannenbaum) to a passive, slow builder (John Idzik) to Maccagnan, who has demonstrated both traits.

As for his head coaches, Johnson has created a pendulum. He started with a players’ coach (Herm Edwards), turned to a disciplinarian (Eric Mangini), went back to a players’ coach (Ryan) and back to a disciplinarian (Bowles). One thing they have in common is their defensive-minded coaches, but that's curious, because of the team's perennial struggles on offense and inability to develop a franchise quarterback.

Mangini, for one, felt he had the franchise moving in the right direction, saying, "I know when I left there, that team was really good and they were disciplined and they had high character and they knew how to work." But he got fired when the team collapsed down the stretch of a 9-7 season in 2008, in large part because Favre's arm was injured.Johnson has hired nine head coaches and general managers, none of whom had previous experience in his job. His biggest blunder was pairing Ryan and Idzik, a bad marriage that created a toxic environment at One Jets Drive. They had only one thing in common: Their fathers were former Jets assistant coaches. The two-year union set the franchise back years.

After six years on Ryan's loose ship, which produced many choppy moments, Johnson bought into the understated Bowles-Maccagnan tandem and went all-in with a win-now approach. The combined cash payroll in 2015 and 2016 was $331 million, third-highest in the league, according to Spotrac. With an old team, they missed the playoffs again and again, prompting an unprecedented roster overhaul. Rival executives were surprised by the radical change, saying they expected it to occur in Year 1, not Year 3.Perhaps this time Johnson will stay committed to the youth movement. He made a strong statement in June, when he pulled rank and instructed his football people to release David Harris and Eric Decker, sources said. The moves sent shock waves through the building and were seen as salary dumps, a transparent attempt to save money ($13 million) while positioning the Jets for a high pick in 2018.

"If you want to go to the promised land, you have to go in a certain direction," Johnson said during the offseason. "I think this is a direction we've never tried in the 17 years I've been associated with the Jets. We've never gone this way."

Translation: We haven't succeeded with anything else, so why not take a shot?

By the way, Johnson will be living in the United Kingdom for the next three years as the U.S. ambassador, which means he can avoid a first-hand view of a painful rebuild.

Looking for the next Broadway Joe

The Jets haven't sent a quarterback to the Pro Bowl since Favre in 2008, and the only reason he made it was because ... well, he's Brett Favre. The single greatest reason for the team's decline is the abominable play at quarterback. From 2011-16, they ranked 29th in Total QBR (45.3), as they've gone from Mark Sanchez to Geno Smith to Ryan Fitzpatrick to (probably) Josh McCown, spanning three regimes.

Sanchez fizzled after a promising start, Smith got punched out by one of his teammates and Fitzpatrick, after a career year in 2015, imploded after the most bizarre contract dispute in recent NFL history.The Jets have drafted six quarterbacks since 2009, one more than the Cleveland Browns, for crying out loud.Hoping to find The One, they’ve tapped into different profiles -- the charismatic leader (Sanchez), the big arm (Smith) and two projects (Christian Hackenbergand Bryce Petty). They also went outside the box -- way, way outside -- when they traded for Tebow in 2012.

The results? Uh, let’s just say the Jets know how to pick future ESPN college football analysts (see: Tebow and Greg McElroy, a 2011 draft pick).“I’m jealous, I never had a quarterback like you,” as Rex Ryan, now an ESPN analyst, tells Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Jameis Winston in this week’s episode of “Hard Knocks.”One of the Jets’ problems is they don’t know how to develop quarterbacks. They rush them into the lineup (Sanchez and Smith) and never give them a chance to get comfortable in the same system. They’re on their fifth offensive coordinator in the past six years, stunting the players’ growth with constant upheaval. In contrast, Tom Brady has been in the same system for 18 years.

The new hope is Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016. Unlike past regimes, the current administration is exercising patience, bringing him along at a glacial pace. Opposing scouts suspect it’s out of necessity, not by choice.

“He’s never really been able to put it together since his special year in college [2013],” said an AFC scout, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Chances are the Jets will be in the quarterback market again next offseason. League insiders say Johnson, always enamored of star power at the position, has his eye on next year’s draft crop, which includes Sam Darnold, Josh Allenand Josh Rosen.

Hence, the “Suck for Sam” campaign among Jets fans.

Feeling a cool draft

The Jets have only eight of their own first- and second-round picks on the roster, and there’s a reason for that: lousy drafting.

In many ways, the team’s current swoon can be traced to the fruitless drafts from 2012-14. Of the 27 picks over the three-year span, only six remain on the roster -- three starters among them. First-round picks Quinton Coples and Dee Milliner are out of the league, and Calvin Pryor was shipped out. Intriguingly, the New England Patriots' top picks from those years -- Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins (second round) and Dominique Easley -- no longer are on the roster, but they traded Jones and Collins, receiving drafts picks in return.Instead of having those players form the heart of the roster, the Jets have a huge void of middle-aged talent. It would be crippling for any organization, let alone one without an elite quarterback that can elevate those around him.

There’s no depth and no star power. Only one pick in the past 10 drafts has been selected to multiple Pro Bowls -- Darrelle Revis, a first-round choice in 2007. Leonard Williams (first round, 2015) is on his way to a stellar career, but you can’t win a championship by drafting a star defender every decade.They’ve used nine consecutive first-round picks on defensive players, dating to 2010 -- an utterly mind-boggling trend when you consider their offensive struggles. Their second-round history is enough to make Jets fans nauseous. The last one to make the Pro Bowl (not counting special teams) was Mark Gastineau, drafted in 1979.In recent years, the Jets have employed different draft philosophies. They’ve drafted for need and best available. They’ve stockpiled picks and traded them away. They’ve tried it all, with minimal success.

“If you can’t draft, you can’t win,” a former general manager said. “That explains why the Jets are where they are.”

A Patriots obsession

It goes back to 1997 and 1998, when the Jets swiped future Hall of Famers Parcells and Curtis Martin, respectively, from the Patriots. The fascination was renewed by Ryan, who famously pledged that he had never kiss Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl rings. (P.S.: He pretty much did.)The obsession surfaced again in 2015, when the Jets reacquired Revis (and got busted for tampering) and based their offseason plan on trying to neutralize the Patriots’ high-powered passing attack.

Maccagnan, in his first year as GM, bought an entire secondary, bringing in Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist. Maccagnan’s boss, Johnson, was giddy, thinking the Jets had weakened the Patriots by luring Revis back to their side.“Some teams acquire players to compete with a particular team, like Golden State signing Kevin Durantto take down Cleveland,” the AFC scout said. “I think the Jets, with Mike and Todd coming in, were trying to get guys to help them beat New England.”

The Jets learned a hard and expensive lesson. They burned $39 million on Revis, whose skills had eroded appreciably. Cromartie lasted a year, Gilchrist two. Only Skrine remains from that wild spending spree. Instead of creating their own identity, the Jets have wasted time trying to copycat the Patriots."They don't have [an identity] anymore," a former Jets player said. "They lost it when they kicked Rex out the door."

Maccagnan & Co. tried to storm the Evil Empire, but they were thwarted at the gate. Now, two years later, the gap between the teams is larger than ever.

>      http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/70589/anatomy-of-a-collapse-how-jets-landed-on-brink-of-disaster

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This team really has been a mess since 2010 and the lack of being able to find any stability at QB really tells the story but thats all stuff we knew.  The part of this that really stuck out to me is point #1 "It Starts the the Top"  We can continue to blame Manginini, Favre, Rex, Tanny, Sanchez, Idzik, Bowles, Fitzpatrick, Macc, and on and on but there's really been one constant through all of this, Woody.  I know he's tried to do the right thing but what he really needs to understand is he's just not a football guy and hiring these inexperienced GM's and coaches to report into him is a disaster.  I think if Macc doesn't work out it's time to bring in some experience, let them run the show from hiring the coach to picking the players etc.. and Woody can spend his time looking at financial statements.  I'm not trying to bash Woody but it seems like he's become this wannabe Jerry Jones but TBH at least Jerry has some football experience and knowledge  Woody's for intents and purposes and "Trust Fund" baby 

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2011 we had a chance but we collapsed as a team down the stretch, since that point we had a decent 2013 and 2015 but have been mostly bad.  we went for it from 2008-2011, had 2 great chances to reach Super Bowls and came up short.  For some crazy reason we decided to fire the GM after one bad season in 2012.  That's really the starting point, it led to Idzik who had a nice plan but couldn't execute which led to rex getting fired which led to Bowles.  

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18 minutes ago, drsamuel84 said:

This team really has been a mess since 2010 and the lack of being able to find any stability at QB really tells the story but thats all stuff we knew.  The part of this that really stuck out to me is point #1 "It Starts the the Top"  We can continue to blame Manginini, Favre, Rex, Tanny, Sanchez, Idzik, Bowles, Fitzpatrick, Macc, and on and on but there's really been one constant through all of this, Woody.  I know he's tried to do the right thing but what he really needs to understand is he's just not a football guy and hiring these inexperienced GM's and coaches to report into him is a disaster.  I think if Macc doesn't work out it's time to bring in some experience, let them run the show from hiring the coach to picking the players etc.. and Woody can spend his time looking at financial statements.  I'm not trying to bash Woody but it seems like he's become this wannabe Jerry Jones but TBH at least Jerry has some football experience and knowledge  Woody's for intents and purposes and "Trust Fund" baby 

I think this is why you will continue to see the "progress" story.  Woody for money and control reasons does not want to fire himself.  Running the Jets is his only real job.  I think the jig is up for him-either he makes it work with MaccBowles, or he hands the keys off to someone else.

If he is smart Woody brings in a Dorsey as another mind/voice in the room, and maintains some nominal authority over the operation.

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If Mac is not trying to start over and make this a red shirt year then the entire staff should be fired immediately. 

If I were to be looking to rebuild the team in 2018 and beyond then I would have made most of the moves that Mac has just made, and they do not make sense in any other context.

If McKnown is the day one starter then I don't know where to start trying to explain the motivation behind any of these off season moves. If he is a player coach, and maybe next years QBs coach then I can see some semblance of a cohesive plan. 

I'm hoping this is not a collapse but a controlled demolition on which foundation we will rebuild anew starting next year. 

This is the year we need to discover who will be a part of the rise from the ashes, and who needs to move on.

We need just enough talent to keep guys from getting shell shocked, and we need to be aggressive and unpredictable. 

We do have a chance to catch lightning in a bottle if Hack, or Petty emerge but we need to be ultra aggressive, uptempo, and fearless, for we have nothing to lose. That is liberating in and of itself. 

It should be a fun team to watch if Bowles realizes this and buys into it. If he sticks to his best chance to win mantra things will get ugly fast. 

This should be a trial by fire year so that next year we need to know what we have and what we need moving forward. that and we need to be picking top 3 in every round. 

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32 minutes ago, Joe Jets fan said:

Biggest reason?  We keep hiring defensive coaches when the NFL has changed all the rules to favor the offense.  Plain and simple.  

Belichick is a defensive coach

Parcells was a defensive coach

Carroll is a defensive coach

the Falcons coach is a defensive coach

The panthers coach is a defensive coach

 

the offensive vs. defensive HC is pretty meaningless.

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19 minutes ago, nyjunc said:

Belichick is a defensive coach

Parcells was a defensive coach

Carroll is a defensive coach

the Falcons coach is a defensive coach

The panthers coach is a defensive coach

 

the offensive vs. defensive HC is pretty meaningless.

Yep, it is.  It's about finding a good CEO, who can hire good staffs.  They haven't done that very well, but it has nothing to do with which side of the ball they come from.

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16 minutes ago, Sarge4Tide said:

Anybody that declares a team is the worst in the NFL 1/2 way through preseason is, by definition, an idiot 

14 ppg usually gets you the worst record in the NFL. Not sure what kind of magical offense you think the Jets are going to show up with Week 1. 

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1 hour ago, nyjunc said:

2011 we had a chance but we collapsed as a team down the stretch, since that point we had a decent 2013 and 2015 but have been mostly bad.  we went for it from 2008-2011, had 2 great chances to reach Super Bowls and came up short.  For some crazy reason we decided to fire the GM after one bad season in 2012.  That's really the starting point, it led to Idzik who had a nice plan but couldn't execute which led to rex getting fired which led to Bowles.  

 

File Tannanbaum under: Can't Draft. He nearly bought a Super Bowl team, but his drafts were weak, not helped by his tendency to trade all his picks away. 

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9 minutes ago, slats said:

File Tannanbaum under: Can't Draft. He nearly bought a Super Bowl team, but his drafts were weak, not helped by his tendency to trade all his picks away. 

Tanenbaum was fine until 2009.

2006 & 2007 were all time drafts

that also netted established players  Thomas Jones & Kris Jenkins. 

2008 was bad and Tannenbaum was exposed as a shill once Eric the Great Talent evaluator was canned. 

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31 minutes ago, slats said:

File Tannanbaum under: Can't Draft. He nearly bought a Super Bowl team, but his drafts were weak, not helped by his tendency to trade all his picks away. 

he drafted a lock HOFer and possibly more, he could draft.  he was just too willing to move up and trade away picks.  

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19 minutes ago, Gas2No99 said:

Tanenbaum was fine until 2009.

2006 & 2007 were all time drafts

that also netted established players  Thomas Jones & Kris Jenkins. 

2008 was bad and Tannenbaum was exposed as a shill once Eric the Great Talent evaluator was canned. 

why hasn't "Eric the great talent evaluator" been hired by a team to work in the FO?  w/o Tannenbaum Mangini was 10-22 as a HC, w/o Mangini Tannenbaum built title game teams for us and built a playoff team for the dolphins.

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50 minutes ago, nyjunc said:

Belichick is a defensive coach

Parcells was a defensive coach

Carroll is a defensive coach

the Falcons coach is a defensive coach

The panthers coach is a defensive coach

 

the offensive vs. defensive HC is pretty meaningless.

The issue is we have either weak (mac) or toady (Tanny) gms that use ALL resources on the defense.

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3 minutes ago, nyjunc said:

why hasn't "Eric the great talent evaluator" been hired by a team to work in the FO?  w/o Tannenbaum Mangini was 10-22 as a HC, w/o Mangini Tannenbaum built title game teams for us and built a playoff team for the dolphins.

Keep puffing that peyote :lol:

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1 minute ago, T0mShane said:

Alt headline: Why Did The Last Two Teams to Employ Rex Ryan In a Leadership Role Become Irretrievably Awful: an investigation

 

actually both became better.  

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39 minutes ago, Gas2No99 said:

So Woody DID intervene in mandating the releases of Harris & Decker? He really seems be the common denominator throughout the whole fracas 

Bash Woody for Farve, and firing Mangenius, then for Rex and two championship games. then Idzik and conservatism. Getting involved, then keeping out of the way. Hiring his own GM, and HC, then hiring a firm, them former GMs to find a staff for him.

Then Mac and veteran Free Agency signings produced a 10 win season.

Now bash him for realizing that there are no quick fixes in the NFL and playing the long game rebuild. 

There is no common thread here except that Woody seems willing to try anything to find the secret to success. It seems like Woody has tried every which way to build a winner and is just now trying to build from the ground up. 

Certainly there is no way you can fault him for a lack of trying, and or of being close minded and stubborn. 

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6 minutes ago, Gas2No99 said:

Keep puffing that peyote :lol:

in other words you don't have an answer. it's so funny to me how people credit Mangini for every good pick yet why isn't Eric working in a FO? and why did Tannenbaum have success w/o him?

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4 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Spiritually, or

well we went from no playoff wins 2005-2008 to back to back title games

Buffalo became a playoff contender year 1 which is a huge accomplishment for that franchise.

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On 8/24/2017 at 3:17 PM, nyjunc said:

well we went from no playoff wins 2005-2008 to back to back title games

Buffalo became a playoff contender year 1 which is a huge accomplishment for that franchise.

Huh?

The 2015 Bills (Rex' first season) went 8-8 & finished 3rd in the divison and were 2 games from the 6th seed.

The 2014 Bills (Marrone's last season) went 9-7 & finished 2nd in the division and was a game from the 6th seed.

(I won't even dare go into year 2 under Rex. That's an unnecessary torpedo.)

They regressed under Rex in record, standings, and playoff placement. How did they become a "playoff contender" under Rex?

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4 minutes ago, glenn31 said:

Huh?

The 2015 Bills (Rex' first season) went 8-8 & finished 3rd in the divison and were a game from the 6th seed.

The 2014 Bills (Marrone's last season) went 9-7 & finished 2nd in the division and were 2 games from the 6th seed.

(I won't even dare go into year 2 under Rex. That's an unnecessary torpedo.)

They regressed under Rex in record, standings, and playoff placement. How did they become a "playoff contender" under Rex?

they were never really in the race in 2014, in 2015 if their key guys don't miss a ton of a game they make the playoffs.  

last year rex rallied that team, they overachieved both years just like his jets teams overachieved all but 2 years.

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8 minutes ago, nyjunc said:

they were never really in the race in 2014, in 2015 if their key guys don't miss a ton of a game they make the playoffs.  

last year rex rallied that team, they overachieved both years just like his jets teams overachieved all but 2 years.

LOL... And if the Bible was written on the Iberian Peninsula Christians would be praying to "Hey-Soos"

But reality gave us "Jesus" & and reality also gave us the abomination that was the <32 game tenure of Rex Ryan the Bills HC. Also love how he rallied the team last season only to be fired before Black Monday.

And let me not even get into how the D was firing on hopeful cylinders under Schwartz and took a nose dive into the rubble under Rex. ANY Bills fan will tell you that.

And of course him allowing his idiot brother to run amuck up there.

Man please... Run that game on someone with a brain deficiency, or a Hackenberg believer lol

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