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Nice post but I need evidence before I am optimistic after 40 years of this #^<€.

Just gonna enjoy the ride without expectation for now.

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33 minutes ago, derp said:

I am cautiously optimistic. 

This isn't unusual, I tend to be a glass half full guy. But the optimism is largely different this time. I haven't convinced myself a prospect I don't like is going to be great like the Jets have made me do most years. After this draft, and frankly the free agency period, I feel like the Jets' organizational philosophies are set up to potentially lead to sustainable success. There are several reasons why.

For starters, the Saleh hire has been a lot of fun. Every time I've heard him speak - interviews, press conferences, calls to the draft picks - he comes across as intelligent and remarkably positive without losing any authenticity whatsoever. It's pretty cool. Definitely see why guys want to play for him, and I think it can absolutely lead to a quality culture for the Jets. To an extent I wonder how much he has gratitude for being able to do something that he loves after initially working away from football after college.

I think that plays into something else I like - his philosophy about the kinds of players he wants. Guys who love ball.  Seems to align with what Joe Douglas wants out of the guys he brings into the organization, too. Both guys have no problem focusing on bringing in high character dudes who are good athletes. That synergy between the front office and the coaches...when was the last time that we saw that from the Jets? Best I can think of was the entire Tannenbaum era and that was just because he let the coaches run things because he didn't have an opinion of his own. Here we have two different dudes who value similar things and can dialogue but they're going to be on the same page. At least for now, it's cool.

And not only is that alignment in regard to the kinds of people they want to bring in - but I think the systems that Saleh is bringing over mesh with how Joe Douglas wants to build a football team. The defense is built off of the pass rush, offense keys off of the run game but doesn't focus on the running back. Common thread? Need to be strong up front. Douglas has talked about building an offensive line and has taken legitimate steps towards doing that. The front four has gotten serious attention and is potentially one player from being reasonably terrifying. This way of building a team makes sense to me, too. We've seen the benefits of a strong offensive line in that stretch from the late 2000's to early 2010's, and years of defensive masterminds building their defense outside in and scheming a pass rush was fine but never seemed sustainable.

Building off of that - love the use of draft picks. I don't think five first round picks need to be used up front, but I do think during a time that the team needs to be building, positions with a high success rate early in the draft are good to bring in. The use of second day draft picks on wide receivers is something I am a huge, huge fan of. Day two tends to be where the pass catchers who are good at football but have *something* wrong with them go. There are a few guys who are absolutely elite and very much deserving to go in the first round...but most of the other guys just have warts the NFL deems to be more passable when they really shouldn't. Mims and Moore both broke out at a young age and produced seriously in college. No more bringing in guys who you hope can produce, those guys have done it. 

Going off on a tangent here, I think that explosive slot receivers are a discount way to get an offensive centerpiece right now. A lot of teams are looking for something like that - Tyreek Hill. I think often when you chase something specifically, like Hill's speed, it's kind of a lost cause. There are fast guys, that alone isn't why he's good. But the role itself, a guy who can get open underneath with quickness but also has the speed to get behind guys down the field...that's a dangerous weapon who can really produce on offense. I think Moore has a chance to be that guy. Plenty fast enough, elite quickness, good route runner, catches the ball really well away from his body, massively productive in college. He's got a real chance. All of the metrics adore him. I think it's possible he's the #1 passing game option on this team. And if he is, boy Mims has the potential to be an absolutely perfect complement. Super excited about Moore. Hitting on him would be huge.

Back to the draft picks - even the fourth round running back is cool. Great time to draft those guys. This was also a neat area Douglas grew, I thought. For years fans have said that you don't need to draft a running back in the first or second round to get production, the Jets have taken fourth round running backs, but those guys have been relatively boring "who?" players without standout athletic profiles or production. Good dudes, to be sure. Powell is awesome, will always be a fan of his, and Perine seems really great too. But nothing exciting about them. Michael Carter is exciting. Highly productive in college, great in the passing game - including pass protection, tremendous quickness, lots of chunk plays. He's a perfect modern day committee back. Loved it.

Then the rest of day three this year - guys who love ball. And athletic dudes in the back seven for the staff to coach up. It's kind of funny, day two I thought Owusu-Koramoah was the clear-cut best value and could fill a valuable role. Then Douglas and Saleh went out and found two dudes on day five who are similar size, just played safety in college, and can likely play the same role. And I really like Sherwood, seems like an ideal linebacker, but man I think Nasirildeen is going to be a really nice piece going forward too. Plus if both hit I do think they can play on the field together. In a passing heavy NFL where the offensive players are protected those enforcer safeties don't work quite as well - but if you need linebackers can cover why not go get a run and hit safety to do it and just not put him in a position to clothesline wide receivers? Really interesting move. Very important role, only they spent way less draft capital to do it - which honestly is what it should be for off ball linebacker. 

How many years have we seen defensive coaches who needed obscure roles filled on their defense and pushed GM's to spend premium draft picks on them? Years of hard hitting safeties, linebackers with safety skill sets, and interior defensive linemen in round one...no premium positions. All those interior defensive linemen too - three in the top six, another two in the top half of the first round, and another in the bottom half of the first round from 2004-2019 - with all of those but one of the top six picks in the last decade. And not one of them had a more impressive athletic profile than the team captain who played a bit out of position last year the Jets drafted in the sixth round. Is he old? Sure. Could have produced a little better? Of course. Got drafted in the sixth round for a reason. But that's where you draft an interior defensive lineman and the kind of skill set you draft for. Plus all of those corners can run and it seems like they have very specific roles in mind for all of them - but got them late. Awesome.

Heading into next year I think the Jets have a great opportunity to play talented young guys, learn a little more about long-term needs, and become a pretty complete team after the following offseason and draft. Need some stuff to break right for sure, but I think they can get there. And then remain solid in a pretty sustainable way. It's clear Joe Douglas values having multiple bites at the apple in the draft - very important, and something that Baltimore finds to be key to their success. He's done an awesome job acquiring selections and I think it's pretty evident he's going to work towards acquiring compensatory picks in the future.

And that about acquiring picks said - how about a cool change - going and getting a player? Not a one move guy, Joe Douglas. We've seen GM's repeatedly struggle to pull the trigger on trades or consistently move in one direction. Tannenbaum always up, Maccagnan never got trades done. Douglas talked about having something in place to go get a tackle last draft but didn't actually have to do it and then executed a bunch of moves down so we didn't have the major evidence he would've gotten it done. This year he sees a guy he wants to go get, also supports his quarterback, and he makes it happen. Awesome. Brief side note, expectations are going to be high for Vera-Tucker. Mid first round guards are usually elite. Would be a big one. Also props to them for sticking to the board and grabbing Moore when the really obvious move was to recoup the lost draft picks after trading up. 

Regarding compensatory picks too, there's a pretty clear free-agency component to that obviously. In a completely different context (college basketball recruiting) somebody once told me something that's stuck with me. Not the players who you don't get that hurt you. It's the ones who you get but don't work out. Free agency...very much the same thing. And we've seen it. The Jets don't have the best roster this year. About 1/9 of their cap is dead money. That...hurts. Lots can be done with that big chunk of cap. Add in the wasted draft picks who should be productive on rookie deals, and it really puts the franchise in a bind. As annoying as not landing guys can be, sticking to three year deals for guys who are 26 are younger or one to two year deals elsewhere is good business. Sign guys who are going to want to produce so that they can sign another contract. The guys on three year deals are going to be under 30 when they hit free agency again. They want to be good. Same with players on one year deals. And those shorter deals mean more guys are hitting free agency and potential compensatory picks. Maccagnans been gone for two years and the Jets are still saddled with his free agency mistakes and will be for a little more time. Not missing in free agency is big. Will be really cool if it gets to the point that the Jets can afford to let guys walk and have replacements in house - which is clearly the plan.

Best thing a franchise can have is stability. To do that, you need guys who are aligned, do things the right way, and are good at their jobs. Here's hoping. I actually think there's a real shot with these guys instead of just hoping.

/rambling. Go Jets.

Glad you took the time to share your optimism and the reasons you feel we are on the right track. Great read. Thanks.

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23 minutes ago, jgb said:

Nice post but I need evidence before I am optimistic after 40 years of this #^<€.

Just gonna enjoy the ride without expectation for now.

Ergo, cautiously. It’s entirely possible that the last several years have been such a complete ****show that anything resembling borderline competent, logical building of a football team has me feeling positive.

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6 hours ago, derp said:

Ergo, cautiously. It’s entirely possible that the last several years have been such a complete ****show that anything resembling borderline competent, logical building of a football team has me feeling positive.

Yep however I don’t pretend to be able to evaluate a draft class before they play NFL football. But enjoy your positive vibes. Wish I could get there but not gonna get burned by this team again. They get what they give, from me.

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with douglas in charge it's a lot better. granted all of these guys need to get into an actual game to evaluate but the direction is clear and if saleh has the same steadiness and direction then they can become a good team.  last season was just so weird.  i don't think there was any aspect of the team that played smoothly.  it was all choppy.  the offense hardly ever put two drives together and the defense would frequently get a team into a third and long but then give up a big play or penalty.  and it wasn't always about lacking talent.  it was always about not having a good training camp and injuries. here's to hoping saleh can get the job done.

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10 hours ago, derp said:

I am cautiously optimistic. 

This isn't unusual, I tend to be a glass half full guy. But the optimism is largely different this time. I haven't convinced myself a prospect I don't like is going to be great like the Jets have made me do most years. After this draft, and frankly the free agency period, I feel like the Jets' organizational philosophies are set up to potentially lead to sustainable success. There are several reasons why.

This. This is the big thing, to me. The Jets are finally attacking the offseason in a considered manner consistent with an overall plan, and carrying it across years. They looked at FA and the draft as a whole, allocated money primarily to the D in FA because they realized that the draft was deeper on O than D and they had the assets to attack the OL, WR, RB in the draft. And they have the entire staff - FO to coaches - on the same page and timeline. That's huge.

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12 hours ago, derp said:

Ergo, cautiously. It’s entirely possible that the last several years have been such a complete ****show that anything resembling borderline competent, logical building of a football team has me feeling positive.

I could be guilty of that too.   Kind of nowhere to go but up.

JD hiring Saleh.  Looks like they share a vision on how to build this team.  Starts with the LOS.  They reset the QB with their guy.  Acquiring protective pieces and weapons to give the rookie ZW a chance to succeed.  Building a predominately 4-2-5 defense that puts extra emphasis on the front four pass rush...to counterattack the growing trend of heavy passing offenses. 

They didn't draft classic corners or backers that fit traditional 4-3 D.  Instead...drafting hybrid DB/LB type players...to fit that 4-2-5 scheme.  Tweeners in that back seven who can be effective both against the run.  And most importantly...possess good athletic traits and quickness to be effective in coverage within that cover three scheme.  

IMO JD-Saleh-LaFleur-Ulbrich-Etc...knew who they wanted to draft.  And for the most part...accomplished it.  It was cohesive and understandable on why those specific players were drafted.  You can say the same about FA too.

I feel good about what they've done.  Now...yea...it has to work.  Reasonable results have to be seen this season...to make you feel that your optimism is being rewarded.     

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18 hours ago, derp said:

 

What a great post.  Lots to unpack here.  Here we go.

I am cautiously optimistic. 

Me too. 

This isn't unusual, I tend to be a glass half full guy. But the optimism is largely different this time. I haven't convinced myself a prospect I don't like is going to be great like the Jets have made me do most years. After this draft, and frankly the free agency period, I feel like the Jets' organizational philosophies are set up to potentially lead to sustainable success. There are several reasons why.

I too see some progress on the horizon.

For starters, the Saleh hire has been a lot of fun. Every time I've heard him speak - interviews, press conferences, calls to the draft picks - he comes across as intelligent and remarkably positive without losing any authenticity whatsoever. It's pretty cool. Definitely see why guys want to play for him, and I think it can absolutely lead to a quality culture for the Jets. To an extent I wonder how much he has gratitude for being able to do something that he loves after initially working away from football after college.

I agree.  He has been a breath of fresh air.  He is as authentic as Herman Edwards and the most articulate coach we have hired.   He stays positive without making his press conferences into an ego stroking session (Rex) or leaving the distinct impression that he is trying to get it over with as soon as possible (Gase).  I also see some of Parcell's honesty in him.  I hope that last part continues.  I say this as someone who wanted us to hire Aaron Glenn and openly like coaches from the Parcells' tree. 

I think that plays into something else I like - his philosophy about the kinds of players he wants. Guys who love ball.  Seems to align with what Joe Douglas wants out of the guys he brings into the organization, too. Both guys have no problem focusing on bringing in high character dudes who are good athletes. That synergy between the front office and the coaches...when was the last time that we saw that from the Jets? Best I can think of was the entire Tannenbaum era and that was just because he let the coaches run things because he didn't have an opinion of his own. Here we have two different dudes who value similar things and can dialogue but they're going to be on the same page. At least for now, it's cool.

He wants a positive attitude on his team.  He has also made it clear that he believes in a physical approach.  Like Parcells used to say "you have got to be willing to stick your face in the fan".  As for your other point here, that the GM and coach are on the same page.  Amen.  I remember Herman Edwards and Terry Bradway.  Edwards - like him or hate him - wanted to run the ball up the middle and play cover two prevent defense.  He was trying to shorten the game and control the clock.  Bradway focused on athletic skill players and ignored the offense line.  It was the worst match between the front office and coach in the history of our franchise.  It ended predictably.  Douglas and Saleh clearly worked together on this year's draft and in free agency.   It was not only clear in who we signed but in who we let go.  In the draft, Douglas wanted to address the offense early and focus on getting the best players with our early choices.  Saleh wanted to draft defensive players who fit his matchup zone.   Smaller linebackers who can cover and big defensive backs who can tackle BOTH of whom can play zone.  Douglas and Saleh know who they are.    

And not only is that alignment in regard to the kinds of people they want to bring in - but I think the systems that Saleh is bringing over mesh with how Joe Douglas wants to build a football team. The defense is built off of the pass rush, offense keys off of the run game but doesn't focus on the running back. Common thread? Need to be strong up front. Douglas has talked about building an offensive line and has taken legitimate steps towards doing that. The front four has gotten serious attention and is potentially one player from being reasonably terrifying. This way of building a team makes sense to me, too. We've seen the benefits of a strong offensive line in that stretch from the late 2000's to early 2010's, and years of defensive masterminds building their defense outside in and scheming a pass rush was fine but never seemed sustainable.

Douglas is building inside out.   That means the offensive and defensive lines.  That leads to a team that is in every game it plays.  If you have read my posts, you know that I believe in a patient inside out approach. 

Building off of that - love the use of draft picks. I don't think five first round picks need to be used up front, but I do think during a time that the team needs to be building, positions with a high success rate early in the draft are good to bring in. The use of second day draft picks on wide receivers is something I am a huge, huge fan of. Day two tends to be where the pass catchers who are good at football but have *something* wrong with them go. There are a few guys who are absolutely elite and very much deserving to go in the first round...but most of the other guys just have warts the NFL deems to be more passable when they really shouldn't. Mims and Moore both broke out at a young age and produced seriously in college. No more bringing in guys who you hope can produce, those guys have done it. 

My first round picks need to fit the prototype for the position and I lean towards big guys on both sides of the ball.  I am pleased with the approach shown by Douglas on that score.  I say that as somebody who would not have moved up to get AVT.  I would have taken the zone system guards later.  But Douglas and I agree on the inside out approach so I am fine it it.  As for Wide Receivers, I firmly believe that you need to draft them in rounds 2 & 3 and try to do it every year.  It is one of those areas that needs to be kept well-stocked.  Our cupboard was so bare that I was pleased to see us dole out cash to rebuild it swiftly while adding draft picks two years in a row.   

Going off on a tangent here, I think that explosive slot receivers are a discount way to get an offensive centerpiece right now. A lot of teams are looking for something like that - Tyreek Hill. I think often when you chase something specifically, like Hill's speed, it's kind of a lost cause. There are fast guys, that alone isn't why he's good. But the role itself, a guy who can get open underneath with quickness but also has the speed to get behind guys down the field...that's a dangerous weapon who can really produce on offense. I think Moore has a chance to be that guy. Plenty fast enough, elite quickness, good route runner, catches the ball really well away from his body, massively productive in college. He's got a real chance. All of the metrics adore him. I think it's possible he's the #1 passing game option on this team. And if he is, boy Mims has the potential to be an absolutely perfect complement. Super excited about Moore. Hitting on him would be huge.

If Elijah Moore ends up being a pure slot guy for us, I will be disappointed.  Not only do I think he has the agility to play outside - there are two ways to beat the jam, you can rhino your way through it or you can elude it.  I think Moore as the ability to elude and can punish DBs who try it and fail with his deep speed.   It is what makes him different from Crowder who lacks those extra two gears (4.5 versus 4.3).  Moore is also physical.  He can run gadget plays like the end around or line up in the backfield like our Michael Carter or the 49ers Deebo Samuel.  He is much more that a slot receiver.  At least I hope so.  I too think it is unrealistic to hope he is Tyreek Hill.  That is like trying to draft Jerry Rice.  A waste of time and picks as both players are sui generis.   

Back to the draft picks - even the fourth round running back is cool. Great time to draft those guys. This was also a neat area Douglas grew, I thought. For years fans have said that you don't need to draft a running back in the first or second round to get production, the Jets have taken fourth round running backs, but those guys have been relatively boring "who?" players without standout athletic profiles or production. Good dudes, to be sure. Powell is awesome, will always be a fan of his, and Perine seems really great too. But nothing exciting about them. Michael Carter is exciting. Highly productive in college, great in the passing game - including pass protection, tremendous quickness, lots of chunk plays. He's a perfect modern day committee back. Loved it.

I see our backs as complementary and different.  Yes, Carter is explosive.  So is Ty Johnson.  Perine and Coleman are not but they can run between the tackles and pass protect against linebackers.   Something neither Carter nor Johnson can do.  An ideal committee.  

Then the rest of day three this year - guys who love ball. And athletic dudes in the back seven for the staff to coach up. It's kind of funny, day two I thought Owusu-Koramoah was the clear-cut best value and could fill a valuable role. Then Douglas and Saleh went out and found two dudes on day five who are similar size, just played safety in college, and can likely play the same role. And I really like Sherwood, seems like an ideal linebacker, but man I think Nasirildeen is going to be a really nice piece going forward too. Plus if both hit I do think they can play on the field together. In a passing heavy NFL where the offensive players are protected those enforcer safeties don't work quite as well - but if you need linebackers can cover why not go get a run and hit safety to do it and just not put him in a position to clothesline wide receivers? Really interesting move. Very important role, only they spent way less draft capital to do it - which honestly is what it should be for off ball linebacker.

I identified Nasirildeen as an ideal fit for us and wanted him pre-draft.  I confess, I would have taken him instead of Carter.  Not that i did not like Carter.  As for Sherwood, his 40 time (4.75) is a bit slow.  But he is more rugged than Nasirildeen, they are not clones.  I love their cannot teach traits like long arms and sideline to sideline run defense along with their experience in zone.   That we got them cheap is sauce for the goose. 

How many years have we seen defensive coaches who needed obscure roles filled on their defense and pushed GM's to spend premium draft picks on them? Years of hard hitting safeties, linebackers with safety skill sets, and interior defensive linemen in round one...no premium positions. All those interior defensive linemen too - three in the top six, another two in the top half of the first round, and another in the bottom half of the first round from 2004-2019 - with all of those but one of the top six picks in the last decade. And not one of them had a more impressive athletic profile than the team captain who played a bit out of position last year the Jets drafted in the sixth round. Is he old? Sure. Could have produced a little better? Of course. Got drafted in the sixth round for a reason. But that's where you draft an interior defensive lineman and the kind of skill set you draft for. Plus all of those corners can run and it seems like they have very specific roles in mind for all of them - but got them late. Awesome.

One of the things that is nice about the 4-3 is colleges run the scheme.  You can find MIKES and WILLS that can do the job.  With late round picks and undrafted free agents, you can throw numbers at the problem.  On the defensive line, the pass rushers are more costly but are always available if you are willing to fork over the draft picks.  Unlike the 3-4 rush linebacker.  An essential component for the 3-4 that the Jets spent more than a decade searching for like Ponce De Leon.

Heading into next year I think the Jets have a great opportunity to play talented young guys, learn a little more about long-term needs, and become a pretty complete team after the following offseason and draft. Need some stuff to break right for sure, but I think they can get there. And then remain solid in a pretty sustainable way. It's clear Joe Douglas values having multiple bites at the apple in the draft - very important, and something that Baltimore finds to be key to their success. He's done an awesome job acquiring selections and I think it's pretty evident he's going to work towards acquiring compensatory picks in the future.

This is the try out year.  Our defense is going to go through growing pains with all the young players.  We will have to sort out what we have acquired.  After a season of work, we will be able to evaluate where we did well and where we need to try again.  But at least we are experimenting with replaceable players that can be found in the back end of the draft. 

And that about acquiring picks said - how about a cool change - going and getting a player? Not a one move guy, Joe Douglas. We've seen GM's repeatedly struggle to pull the trigger on trades or consistently move in one direction. Tannenbaum always up, Maccagnan never got trades done. Douglas talked about having something in place to go get a tackle last draft but didn't actually have to do it and then executed a bunch of moves down so we didn't have the major evidence he would've gotten it done. This year he sees a guy he wants to go get, also supports his quarterback, and he makes it happen. Awesome. Brief side note, expectations are going to be high for Vera-Tucker. Mid first round guards are usually elite. Would be a big one. Also props to them for sticking to the board and grabbing Moore when the really obvious move was to recoup the lost draft picks after trading up.

While I am not a fan of the trade up this season, I cannot argue with Douglas going up to get his man.  AVT is an expensive guard.  He HAS to work out due to the cost.  But when you rate somebody highly, it does make sense.  This year's draft was a crapshoot beyond the 12th pick.  There is something to be said for taking the sure thing even if it was expensive.  I am not sure AVT is better than Meinerz (Broncos) or Green (Steelers) for a zone scheme like ours.  But when we took AVT it was a bird in the hand.  For all Douglas knew at the time, Meinerz and Green were going to be off the board by the time the third round began.  It is not fair to judge Douglas with 20/20 hindsight.  So I have come to terms with the trade.

Regarding compensatory picks too, there's a pretty clear free-agency component to that obviously. In a completely different context (college basketball recruiting) somebody once told me something that's stuck with me. Not the players who you don't get that hurt you. It's the ones who you get but don't work out. Free agency...very much the same thing. And we've seen it. The Jets don't have the best roster this year. About 1/9 of their cap is dead money. That...hurts. Lots can be done with that big chunk of cap. Add in the wasted draft picks who should be productive on rookie deals, and it really puts the franchise in a bind. As annoying as not landing guys can be, sticking to three year deals for guys who are 26 are younger or one to two year deals elsewhere is good business. Sign guys who are going to want to produce so that they can sign another contract. The guys on three year deals are going to be under 30 when they hit free agency again. They want to be good. Same with players on one year deals. And those shorter deals mean more guys are hitting free agency and potential compensatory picks. Maccagnans been gone for two years and the Jets are still saddled with his free agency mistakes and will be for a little more time. Not missing in free agency is big. Will be really cool if it gets to the point that the Jets can afford to let guys walk and have replacements in house - which is clearly the plan.

I too like the front loaded contracts in free agency since they avoid dead money when it does not work out.  While I am generous with Woody's money, I hate dead money and see it as stupid.  It is hard to believe that we have so much dead money on our cap.  Outrageous really.

Best thing a franchise can have is stability. To do that, you need guys who are aligned, do things the right way, and are good at their jobs. Here's hoping. I actually think there's a real shot with these guys instead of just hoping.

/rambling. Go Jets.

It was a very good ramble.  And I enjoyed it.  Thanks.

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