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Bobby April Fired as Special Teams Coach


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Bobby April is out as the Jets' special teams coach, team announced. Also out: Special teams asst Steve Hagen, asst OL coach Ron Heller.

Though I wouldnt disagree with the firing based on the performance of specials, the truth is the man didnt have special team players. What we should be doing here is this: I a player isnt a starter then if they dont play or arent good on specials then it should be very hard to make this team. We need guys who play specials. 

Edited by Villain The Foe
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Step one in the recovery, Fire April, check, no disrespect to the man but this needed to be done, Lai should have been fired after year 1 and he still works for the Bills, so this is a great sign that the Jets are professionally managed.

Step 2 could be to find a reason to watch the playoffs, start posting on the board again, drinking helps too :cheers:

Step 3 will be contract clean up (Cro, Mangold, Brick) maybe sign Mo long term? Team friendly deal for Fitz? that last game should save cap space next year (has to be something positive)

Step 4 Free Agency

Step 5 Draft 

Off season championship and on to the snoopy bowl :)

Edited by Ohio State NY Jets fan
Cheers
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Though I wouldnt disagree with the firing based on the performance of specials, the truth is the man didnt have special team players. What we should be doing here is this: I a player isnt a starter then if they dont play or arent good on specials then it should be very hard to make this team. We need guys who play specials. 

I agree that the talent wasn't there but it just seems as if he made no adjustments and throughout the year our Special Teams really never got better and April never made any adjustments to mask the lack of talent.  When you're basically last in the league in specials and it cost you (possibly) a couple of wins changes had to be made.  At the same time, I agree Macc needs to start addressing the talent.

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Word. If anyone watched that Seahawks-Cardinals game, that Tyler Lockett dude almost single-handedly killed the Cardinals with his returns. It's such a low-cost way to dramatically win and lose games that there's really no excuse to have bad special teams play. 

I don't know about anybody else's feeling on this, but if Nick Folk comes back and is our FG kicker then I'd like to see the Jets do what a lot of other teams have been doing over the years which is to have a kickoff specialist on the team like a Randy Bullock who can consistently kick the ball out of the end zone and put the opponents starting at the 20 yard line. I know that Bullock wasn't as good as Folk and all as a FG kicker but I also saw the special teams actually get better after he got hurt-even Ryan Squggley's punting seemed to improve without a tired out ST's unit chasing people all over the field after every punt and kickoff. I mean would anybody have noticed if a Jets tight end was left off the gameday roster last season?

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I agree that the talent wasn't there but it just seems as if he made no adjustments and throughout the year our Special Teams really never got better and April never made any adjustments to mask the lack of talent.  When you're basically last in the league in specials and it cost you (possibly) a couple of wins changes had to be made.  At the same time, I agree Macc needs to start addressing the talent.

This is why I even made my statement. There were no special teams players. And as for the adjustments. We've seen Kerley, Decker and a couple other return punts. We've seen Devin Smith, Cro, and a couple RB's return kicks. We've seen changes at gunner etc. 

April made changes, we just didnt have good special teamers and because of that couldnt mask the obvious. The only way to mask it was to finally get a kicker who can kick touchbacks and actually score points during offensive drives. 

 

Outside of that specials were exposed the entire year. Why I agree with the firing is because Its aprils job to make sure he had Specials talent on the roster given he is the ST coach. He failed in that regard. 

Edited by Villain The Foe
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I don't know about anybody else's feeling on this, but if Nick Folk comes back and is our FG kicker then I'd like to see the Jets do what a lot of other teams have been doing over the years which is to have a kickoff specialist on the team like a Randy Bullock who can consistently kick the ball out of the end zone and put the opponents starting at the 20 yard line. I know that Bullock wasn't as good as Folk and all as a FG kicker but I also saw the special teams actually get better after he got hurt-even Ryan Squggley's punting seemed to improve without a tired out ST's unit chasing people all over the field after every punt and kickoff. I mean would anybody have noticed if a Jets tight end was left off the gameday roster last season?

We're not using up an extra roster spot on an f-ing kicker.  If our new punter has a leg, let him be the KOS, if not keep Folk in the role.  If our coverage unit can't avoid giving up field position when we're kicking off from the 35, its on them, not Folk.  That's part of the reason April just lost his job in the first place.

That extra roster spot might not have been noticeable to you, but its most certainly noticeable to the coaching staff and front office.  That will be particularly true this season as Macc continues to make improvements to the roster.

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It's nice to have a front office that actually realize where the team is weak in and actually do something about it. Special Teams has been horrible this year. I feel like old regimes would hang on to these coaches because they were friends or what not. 

I don't think he would have survived any regime on any team - Jets or anyone else's - after this season. In fact some may have fired him mid-season, which is arguably what should have happened. It was that bad. 

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We're not using up an extra roster spot on an f-ing kicker.  If our new punter has a leg, let him be the KOS, if not keep Folk in the role.  If our coverage unit can't avoid giving up field position when we're kicking off from the 35, its on them, not Folk.  That's part of the reason April just lost his job in the first place.

That extra roster spot might not have been noticeable to you, but its most certainly noticeable to the coaching staff and front office.  That will be particularly true this season as Macc continues to make improvements to the roster.

Quigley actually wasn't terrible at kickoffs when pressed into action the one game. LOL

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I don't think he would have survived any regime on any team - Jets or anyone else's - after this season. In fact some may have fired him mid-season, which is arguably what should have happened. It was that bad. 

Not a big fan of mid-season firings. It is like the whole Rex didn't bench Sanchez. The problem is you can bench him, but are you really going to play Brunell.

Same here. So you fire April mid-season. Who do you replace him with? Unless Westy is coming off the bench, there isn't much around. Normally, when you fire a coach the next man up takes over. Since the Jets not only fired April, but fired his assistant, who would take over STs. April had a good reputation and limited talent; it wasn't likely some guy off the street would have done better.

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Sure the ST's didn't perform well. And the Jets regularly had poor field position. This was a big factor including last Sunday. How many times this past year were they deep inside their own 20. But one reason was inadequate personnel esp in the return game. To me it's well worth a roster spot to get a specialist to return punts and kickoffs. And a guy who has a chance to break one for big yardage. I would put resources into that and not worry about getting double value out of a specialist. 

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Sure the ST's didn't perform well. And the Jets regularly had poor field position. This was a big factor including last Sunday. How many times this past year were they deep inside their own 20. But one reason was inadequate personnel esp in the return game. To me it's well worth a roster spot to get a specialist to return punts and kickoffs. And a guy who has a chance to break one for big yardage. I would put resources into that and not worry about getting double value out of a specialist. 

I think you want versatility; you want a WR that is quick and fast with good hands; Pats used Edleman etc. Not your #1 or #2 receiver, but a quick fast shifty guy you want in the open field.  Use on punts, use on offense. We def. need one of those guys. He doesn't have to be a starter, but a guy you use in offense (or can) once and a while.

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That and losing to the Buffoon twice..:)

But we lost both games by 5 points & had special teams gaffes that both resulted in TDs (can't give points away in this league). Devin Smith fumble (he obviously wasn't coached well, as he ran 20 yards SIDEWAYS to field the kickoff & then proceeded to BRING THE BALL OUT? Seriously? You should know for every step you take sideways the gunners are that much closer to you. Idiotic play that cost us the 1st game.

The Buffalo shank can be blamed on a number of factors, horrible slow start for the Jets 1st two possessions, it started with drops, a batted pass, penalties, Decker stepping out of bounds on a 3rd down conversion, holding on a punt return, you name it, it happened in that 1st quarter leading up to not so shocking shank (we all knew it was coming!) 

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Same here. So you fire April mid-season. Who do you replace him with? Unless Westy is coming off the bench, there isn't much around. Normally, when you fire a coach the next man up takes over. Since the Jets not only fired April, but fired his assistant, who would take over STs. April had a good reputation and limited talent; it wasn't likely some guy off the street would have done better.

It can be argued both ways.  The special teams was costing us games, so it would have been interesting to see if the assistant could do any better, so that he could perhaps be added to the pool of candidates for the ST job in the offseason.  There were points this season where it quite literally could not get any worse than it was under April.

It's kind of irrelevant I suppose; this position was always going to be hired outside of the organization in the offseason.  Keith Armstrong is by far the top candidate. 

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lol.  How does a guy who can't consistently punt it 40+ yards do well on kickoffs?  Makes no sense. 

Averaged 39 yards on 9 punts that day. Was 4/4 on PATs at 33 yards out. Had one touchback on five KOs, all of which made the endzone.. four were returned, but coerage wasn't great that day. Good lord.

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lol.  How does a guy who can't consistently punt it 40+ yards do well on kickoffs?  Makes no sense. 

Kicking the ball from a fixed position means only the kicker and his leg are moving. In a drop kick both the ball and the leg are moving which means there is more opportunity for erroneous contact with the ball. All it takes to shank a punt is drop the ball wrong by an inch or two. Ball goes a little to one side or the other and it's going off the side of the foot. An inch or two too short and it's hitting the upper foot or ankle just enough to roll the ball to the side. A little twist on the leg coming up to make the kick can have the same effect. Put the two together and it's shank city.

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Not a big fan of mid-season firings. It is like the whole Rex didn't bench Sanchez. The problem is you can bench him, but are you really going to play Brunell.

Same here. So you fire April mid-season. Who do you replace him with? Unless Westy is coming off the bench, there isn't much around. Normally, when you fire a coach the next man up takes over. Since the Jets not only fired April, but fired his assistant, who would take over STs. April had a good reputation and limited talent; it wasn't likely some guy off the street would have done better.

With the former, you simply don't have Mark Brunell as the #2 QB to begin with, particular when the starter bears no resemblance to a sure thing when healthy. It's one thing to have him backing up Drew Brees. Another to back up a kid who may need to be pulled here or there for performance reasons (and did).

Clearly you don't fire someone mid-season without a replacement. But offensive and defensive coordinators have been fired mid-season before, and they carry more weight than the ST coach. April was a pretty experienced guy and it seems (I didn't know) he was twice voted ST coach of the year ('04, '08); so it's not like he didn't know anything about coaching special teams. 

Will be interesting to see who they replace him with, and what players that new coach throws off his unit (to the extent that it's his call to make).

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With the former, you simply don't have Mark Brunell as the #2 QB to begin with, particular when the starter bears no resemblance to a sure thing when healthy. It's one thing to have him backing up Drew Brees. Another to back up a kid who may need to be pulled here or there for performance reasons (and did).

Clearly you don't fire someone mid-season without a replacement. But offensive and defensive coordinators have been fired mid-season before, and they carry more weight than the ST coach. April was a pretty experienced guy and it seems (I didn't know) he was twice voted ST coach of the year ('04, '08); so it's not like he didn't know anything about coaching special teams. 

Will be interesting to see who they replace him with, and what players that new coach throws off his unit (to the extent that it's his call to make).

My point is that the ST backup sucked worse than the ST coach. Yeah, you fire DC/OC in middle of season, but at that point, unless you are thrilled with the back up it is a hail mary attempt to save the season. Hoping for better ST coach and better talent next year.

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This "April had no talent at the back-end of the roster" is pure crap.  The back ends of NFL rosters are all about the same. Xs and Os separate return and coverage units.

No. It's all about the players. Good coaching improves what good players can do, but good coaching can't do all that much for bad players - and that's what the Jets have on special teams; bad players. 

People reminiscing about Mike Westoff must forget how much input he had on the roster. He had input on the draft, and always had a couple roster spots exclusively for his special teams. Also forgotten is the decline of those specials at the end of his career as his input on the roster was reduced - something he spoke about publicly. 

Jets have to draft better and do a better job of identifying UDFAs, but they also have to pay attention to specials when they're whittling down their roster in training camp. 

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Cro didnt even try on kick returns this year. Him and Kerley both knew they were gone after the year and didnt want to risk getting hurt on returns. They totally half-assed every return they had. Neither ran hard.

I doubt he "didn't try" because he knew he was out.  No NFL player wants "lazy" film.  I honestly think Cro will be back.. at a reduced cost, but that's a different argument.

In today's NFL, if you don't have someone like Prime, Hester or maybe Patterson returning your kicks, down the ball in the end zone.  The benefit is far outweighed by the risk.

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They were the worst special teams unit I've ever seen.  This didnt take some incredible foresight by the FO.

 

Dead on, all season it was terrible, from kick coverage, to the return game. The least dynamic I've seen.

Quigley is very average and Folk even fit can't kick over 40 yards with any consistency. How many times do you see other teams boom 55 yarders against us.

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Cro didnt even try on kick returns this year. Him and Kerley both knew they were gone after the year and didnt want to risk getting hurt on returns. They totally half-assed every return they had. Neither ran hard.

I agree , drove me mad to see Cro not even try to go all out on returns, looked like he was jogging most of the time.

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You guys crack me up. Cromartie did really well on returns.  Kerley too.  Can you guess who had the 2nd most yards on punt returns in 2015?  Jeremy Kerley, only 35 yards behind Sproles who wouldn't have had so many if the Jets didn't give up the 90 yarder.  Kerley was mid-pack in average at 14th among qualified players ahead of Patrick Peterson, Tavon Austin, De'Anthony Thomas, and young return specialists we'd like to have like Jamison Crowder,  I know, I know he is the fair catch king, only that was years ago.  This year he had 8 more returns than anybody in the NFL and his 19 fair catches were 5th.  Behind, Lockett, Ginn, and Sanders and only one more than Sproles who had 10 less attempts.  Kerley is not good enough to keep around solely to return punts, but he is far from a disaster the way you all portray him

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