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State Of The Jets

image.php?u=322&dateline=1155689966Posted at 5:04 pm in Featured Editorials by Administrator

By Sperm Edwards

Well the bloom is finally off the rose for the “Mangenius.” The situation with Kendall seemed (and seems) to be a microcosm of this individual’s enormous arrogance.

I had no objection with not renegotiating a contract after only one year, letting him go, or seeking a different player for the position. But to take this line-in-the-sand stance, and not accounting for it with at least a lateral move in advance, weighed way too much to one side on the balls vs. brains see-saw.

Well now they are 1-3 after losing to a bottom-five team (particularly considering the plethora of injuries they had) in Buffalo. There are at least rumors that some players are losing patience with Mangini’s killer off-season program and not a lot to show for it in terms of wins. It’s too early to totally panic on that front, because it’s likely that if they had won in Buffalo then there wouldn’t be so much player sentiment this way at 2-2.

What if they lose against the cross-town rival Giants on Sunday? Even a dolt like Herm would know enough to start the kid at QB to give himself a mulligan. Of course if Pennington has what everyone considers strong outing Sunday and they still lose, then Mangini’s up a certain proverbial creek without a paddle. It would stink to high hell of throwing a player - the team captain, no less - under the bus to try to mask his own shortsightedness (if not outright incompetence). But to appease Pennington’s biggest supporters, I will certainly concede that if Chad was clearly the weakest starter on the team (which he certainly is not), then there wouldn’t be so much discontent with the team or the staff right now because they would have more than one win in four.

Mangini may be waiting for one more loss (or certainly one more loss with a weak passing game) so no one will question the move rather than making the switch now. 1-3 is not a season-ending record (on paper). 1-4 probably is with this roster. This isn’t like 2002 when they actually had a good team but had a bunch of nagging injuries during the first month that then healed. Everyone who hasn’t been put on IR, except maybe Dyson, has been healthy and a CB is not going to help the OL or defensive front seven in the remaining dozen games.

On the bright side, there is a possibility that Mangini and Tannenbaum have turned a corner in drafting strategy. Instead of stockpiling guys who few (if any) thought were truly the best value at those spots (Schlegel, E.Smith, B.Smith, Pociask), he at least made an effort to get premiere type talents (Revis & Harris) that were excellent value at those draft positions. But then, they still gave away another day one pick for Thomas Jones and then gave him a hefty contract on top of that. It would be one thing if Jones, now 29, had proven he was an excellent RB despite being on an otherwise mediocre or lousy team (like Dillon in his first 5 seasons or so with the Bungles), but that wasn’t the case. And that’s what the 2007 Jets are/were talent-wise in too many areas.

I wish I could say the same for their Free Agent acquisitions, or should I say lack thereof. It is possible that they wanted to build as much as they could through the draft, leave plenty of available cap space, and then leave the last couple of pieces to a little spending. I’m probably giving them too much credit, but I hope this is/was the long-term plan.

- LT - D’Brick still needs about 10 more lbs. It remains to be seen if he’s going to lose more weight as the season goes on like in ’06, but we sure hope not. He hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations of a #4 overall pick (though admittedly, that’s hard to do anyway unless he looks like a HOF’er in the making). But he could be worse – a LOT worse (see Winston Justice) - and still has a lot of promise/upside.

- They BADLY need a starting-caliber LG and RT. At RG Moore doesn’t wow me, but if he was the single weakest link on the line like in ‘04 then such a line would be plenty good enough. It’s possible that Bender develops into a solid enough RT by the start of next season, reducing the absolute need to just LG. No one outside Hofstra really has any idea as to his development though. He looks the part size-wise, but that won’t matter if he just flat-out sucks talent-wise (look no further than our own Adrian Clarke).

- NT is an absolute must. 4-3. 3-4. Doesn’t matter. You still need one and they don’t have one. But in the 3-4, the type you need is much, much harder to find. Don’t know where this is going to suddenly materialize from. Even to draft one, you’re talking about throwing a rookie in as the anchor in a 3-4 defense right away. I really don’t know how this is going to be addressed. Maybe “Tangini” thought the 3-4 NT fairy was going to leave one under the pillow one night. If Mangini banks on Pouha filling that role and Tannenbaum doesn’t override him and bring in anyone to seriously “challenge” him (read: beat him out), they should both be fired on the spot for gross negligence. Two years in the 3-4 without a NT is bad; a third year would be unforgivable.

- DE - I don’t know whether or not a true NT would make a huge difference in Ellis’ play. It certainly wouldn’t hurt and a NT that truly draws double-teams might free him up a little bit; DRob is not that player & his cap # in 2008 (just under $9M) suggests he won’t be here. But Ellis, who received in excess of $15M in bonus money from his mid-2004 contract extension and ’06 renegotiation, clearly is not justifying his cap figure in this scheme. It’s an upgrade they could use, but the accelerated cap hit may prevent this from becoming feasible. Plus starting two new players on a 3-man line at the same time could even be uglier than the mess we’re currently witnessing and who knows if his replacement would even be an instant upgrade anyway, since Ellis is a talented player. Coleman is fine, if unspectacular.

- Pass rushing OLB. Hobson isn’t a liability, but I wouldn’t exactly call him a consistent, playmaking asset. I see him as more of an outstanding backup but he’ll be too expensive to re-sign in that role since he’s a UFA after this season. Thomas got a bunch of sacks (8.5) last year but it’s not like he was terrorizing QB’s all season long. He’s good enough to be on one side, but a true playmaker opposite him is needed.

- ILB - Vilma is okay but not great in a 4-3. In the 3-4 he’s been an outright liability no matter what he’s got going for him upstairs and I don’t think he’d be anything more than average even with a true NT. He’s had ball carriers dead to rights a couple of times this year and they’ve made him looked foolish when he did. If someone was willing to part with a 2nd-rounder, ask yourself this: would you trade away a 2nd-rounder for Jonathan Vilma, with 1 year left on his contract, to use in a 3-4 defense? I suppose some would. Conventional wisdom and his play in the 3-4 suggests the pick might have more value. We have Harris, and I suppose if he’s starting then we could do with one more year of Barton (or a combination of Barton/Vilma) next to him, but EB’s hardly an ideal solution. But like Moore on the OL, if Barton was the weakest link in the LB corps, they would be in very good shape here.

- Secondary is plenty good enough if the front seven wasn’t giving the QB a year and a day to throw the ball. Rhodes will need a new contract in the off-season to prevent him from becoming a UFA after 2008.

So I count 4 that are MUST upgrades (on both sides of the ball): LG, RT, NT, and OLB. Three if Bender can be a non-liability starter at RT by next year.

It’s not like we have 10 holes to fill, so that is optimistic. But when two of the simultaneous-upgrades are on the OL (tough to get them to gel) and one is the most difficult position to find in the entire league (NT suitable for a 3-4), it tones down the optimism a bit. Even more so when two of the upgrades needed are from current team captains (Chad, Vilma). It looks like more than it is because those needed upgrades are in the trenches, where I’d hoped they would shore up before going after skill position players like Thomas Jones.

The question that remains is if Mangini is too arrogant to believe, for a 3rd straight season, that he can plug any misfitting player in there and his “genius” will take care of the rest. Also, we don’t even know if Clemens is the solution at QB; we’re not going to find out while he’s holding a clipboard. Same goes with Bender at RT.

But most of these are off-season issues to address (for a 3rd consecutive season). Doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot for 2007 where there are still 12 games remaining. The season’s not over, but the light at the end of the tunnel is fading fast.

Hope for the best. Hope there is a plan.

Go Jets!

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Very good post sperm but i have to wonder if clemens won that baltimore game. And it was kind of obvious in the 4q the recievers and the jets as a whole had a fire under their azz. Anyhow if clemens won that game do you think he would of had the ballz to start clemens?In week 3

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Great post. I agree with pretty much everything. I don't think they have to actually fill all those holes, but those are the ones they should be looking at. A few quick points. You said Revis would need a new contract so as not to become a FA after '08, I assume that you meant Rhodes. Revis' rookie deal going for six years was Tannenbaum's other silly fight this off-season. Might want to clean that up before Max puts it on the front page.

I think there is a fair chance that they stick with Vilma and Harris in the middle for better or worse. I agree about the OLBs. The issue to me is this: Hobson is okay, but IIRC, generally plays strong side. Thomas is NOT a powerhouse pass rusher/playmaker, but I don't see him doing much quality work on the TE. Hobson may be "worse", but I would rather upgrade the Thomas pass rusher spot. That's where we should have a defensive player that is really cracking coconuts. Going to be interesting, especially with them extending Thomas who is underwhelming this season.

Their draft strategy is interesting. It seems like they target specific guys and take them whether they have the pick or not. At least they'll sink or swim with "their guys" but they sure open themselves up for second guessing by trading all those picks and reaching like the did. I don't see this year as a big change from the Pociask, Schlegel and E. Smith picks. They liked those guys and picked them no matter if they were a reach and this year they moved up to get their guys. To date, Schlegel is the only outright mistake. It'll be interesting to see how Eric Smith pans out. Hopefully he'll show some life this week since he'll probably start.

Very good post sperm but i have to wonder if clemens won that baltimore game. And it was kind of obvious in the 4q the recievers and the jets as a whole had a fire under their azz. Anyhow if clemens won that game do you think he would of had the ballz to start clemens?In week 3

What balls would that have taken? Would he have the balls not to start him is the question.

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LOL... that didn't take too long before the usual suspects are now unhappy with this regime in year TWO although year three is heavily emphasized in the theatrics contained in that article.

" There are at least rumors that some players are losing patience with Mangini

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great job Sperm..it will be interesting to see how this team reacts if they happen to lose a couple more in a row. I think there is something to the rumblings of the tough camp and the grind on the players especially when they are not winning.

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"- DE - I don’t know whether or not a true NT would make a huge difference in Ellis’ play. It certainly wouldn’t hurt and a NT that truly draws double-teams might free him up a little bit; DRob is not that player & his cap # in 2008 (just under $9M) suggests he won’t be here. But Ellis, who received in excess of $15M in bonus money from his mid-2004 contract extension and ’06 renegotiation, clearly is not justifying his cap figure in this scheme. It’s an upgrade they could use, but the accelerated cap hit may prevent this from becoming feasible. Plus starting two new players on a 3-man line at the same time could even be uglier than the mess we’re currently witnessing and who knows if his replacement would even be an instant upgrade anyway, since Ellis is a talented player. Coleman is fine, if unspectacular."

Jared Allen. A dope, but a great DE. No way the Chiefs have the cap room to resign him. Goes outside the Mangini "smart player" ideal. But the talent, no matter whether it's the 3-4 or 4-3 makes him too good not to make a priority.

I'm not sure Vilma is even worth a 2nd rounder.

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Great post. I agree with pretty much everything. I don't think they have to actually fill all those holes, but those are the ones they should be looking at. A few quick points. You said Revis would need a new contract so as not to become a FA after '08, I assume that you meant Rhodes. Revis' rookie deal going for six years was Tannenbaum's other silly fight this off-season. Might want to clean that up before Max puts it on the front page.

I think there is a fair chance that they stick with Vilma and Harris in the middle for better or worse. I agree about the OLBs. The issue to me is this: Hobson is okay, but IIRC, generally plays strong side. Thomas is NOT a powerhouse pass rusher/playmaker, but I don't see him doing much quality work on the TE. Hobson may be "worse", but I would rather upgrade the Thomas pass rusher spot. That's where we should have a defensive player that is really cracking coconuts. Going to be interesting, especially with them extending Thomas who is underwhelming this season.

Their draft strategy is interesting. It seems like they target specific guys and take them whether they have the pick or not. At least they'll sink or swim with "their guys" but they sure open themselves up for second guessing by trading all those picks and reaching like the did. I don't see this year as a big change from the Pociask, Schlegel and E. Smith picks. They liked those guys and picked them no matter if they were a reach and this year they moved up to get their guys. To date, Schlegel is the only outright mistake. It'll be interesting to see how Eric Smith pans out. Hopefully he'll show some life this week since he'll probably start.

What balls would that have taken? Would he have the balls not to start him is the question.

Yes, of course I meant Rhodes. Max is an awful editor.

Fixed.

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Yes, of course I meant Rhodes. Max is an awful editor.

Fixed.

I see you've inherited your namesake's ability to pass the buck and throw others under the bus. I wonder if Max will trade you to JI for an e-mail account now.

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I enjoyed the read as I do most of Sperm's posts but I think it is a little too critical of Mangini. A bump in the road after 4 games of season two doesn't take the bloom off the rose for me. I think the incredible job he did last year, turning a team in shambles into a playoff team, albeit with a weak schedule, may have caused expectations to be too high this year. I still have faith that he is smart, motivated, and has an organized plan that will eventually succeed for the Jets. His arrogance is undeniable but most great coaches are. I am glad he believes in his plan and is sticking to it. The short term gain from backing down to Kendall would have been a long term mistake, IMO.

He eventually will switch to Clemens, after all, he drafted him as the future of the franchise, not to just ride out his contract warming the bench for Penny for the next few years. It has to be handled delicately at this point and I have faith he will change when the time is right. I am also encouraged by Kellen's growth since his rookie year, his preseason work this year, and the glimpse of what could be with that 4th qtr performance at Baltimore.

I think they will get the right people for the 3-4 system in time and I bet the defense shows improvement over this season. I also think long term this is the best system based on the fact that most of the top ranked defenses in the league are 3-4 at this time. I think he has shown to be a good judge of defensive talent with a young nucleus starting to form with Revis, Harris, Coleman, and Rhodes. Nose tackles don't grow on trees and there were no sure fire free agent ones this year anyway. You can bet they will spend if a great one is available, or get one in the draft.

Overall, I think the Jets were not going to win the super bowl in Mangini's first 2 seasons no matter what, but that he will build a team that will compete in the future year in and year out for many years to come. I for one still am very hopeful, despite the poor start, and still see a hard working, well coached team that will eventually get the pieces they need, with a young strong armed QB leading the way, and we will begin to see it as the year goes on.

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I think they will get the right people for the 3-4 system in time and I bet the defense shows improvement over this season. I also think long term this is the best system based on the fact that most of the top ranked defenses in the league are 3-4 at this time.

I'm not sure about that. I think Dallas, the Pats, the Jets, the Niners, the Chargers sort of, and the Browns use it. I don't think the Steelers use it, and I'm pretty sure the Bears don't use it. Sure the Pats are a top defense (we think anyway) but aside from that I don't know about that. I don't think it is the end-all in defenses.

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Clemens has to be the real deal, or Mangini is gonna be in major hot water in a couple years. There's just no way he can afford to have Clemens be anything less than a good QB. I still have faith in Mangini find the pieces for the rest of the team, QB aside. QB is the key. No QB and you got nothing.

I think the 2008 offseason will be a HUGE offseason, maybe even make-or-break for Mangini. If he can find a NT everything else will be gravy. Logically, I am gonna assume we draft a pass rusher in the 1st rd as well.

I enjoyed the piece, Spermy.

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Good stuff, Sperm! Thanks for taking the time to do that.

LOL... that didn't take too long before the usual suspects are now unhappy with this regime in year TWO although year three is heavily emphasized in the theatrics contained in that article.

" There are at least rumors that some players are losing patience with Mangini’s killer off-season program and not a lot to show for it in terms of wins".

That's a weak statement to try and validate your stance especially when the "not a lot to show in terms of wins" included a 10 win season playoff appearance when they had no biz doing so.

The player evaluations are accurate for the most part but we all know them and realized that they would not be resolved 20 games into Mangini's HC career. Would we like to see the issues list a little smaller? Yes but that still doesn't call for killing the HC this shortly into his forming of his mold of a team.

Some more Mangini discriptions:

shortsightedness (if not outright incompetence).

The question that remains is if Mangini is too arrogant to believe, for a 3rd straight season, that he can plug any misfitting player in there and his “genius” will take care of the rest.

Sounds like someone is looking for their next Herm like bashing subject.

I think the biggest issue with the writer is the QB has not been yanked yet but I am sure Mangini has a point where he makes that move. It just wasn't at 1-3 so the Jets fans that love to be miserable are now where they are happiest and fully ready to state so in a negative light even if it calls for over dramatizing certain situations.

Good read as always though Sperm.

That is a good rebuttal. Well played, GS.

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Max didn't even read it. He's gone Hollywood.

Yeah, I heard he's going to be main love interest in the sequel of Shallow Hal, called Shallow Bridget.

I wasn't around much this week and had to get like 4 articles up there when I got back. I assumed that an expert like Mr. Edwards didn't need fact checking. Oh well.

There goes my new idea for the ask the experts section.

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I wasn't around much this week and had to get like 4 articles up there when I got back. I assumed that an expert like Mr. Edwards didn't need fact checking. Oh well.

There goes my new idea for the ask the experts section.

That's great Max, Throw SE under the bus:Nuts:.

Hey, Spermy, let me know if you need help removing those tire marks from your shirt. :)

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That's great Max, Throw SE under the bus:Nuts:.

Hey, Spermy, let me know if you need help removing those tire marks from your shirt. :)

Cmon SE should have known better. Like I even know who Kerry Rhodes is. Please.

I think he played in the Eric McMillan days. \:D/

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Thanks Sperm good read.

However, I disagree with your assessment of Vilma. He actually led the team in takles last year. If Vilma is a liability in the 3-4 what does that say for the rest of the D.

I also think Mangini's sticking with the 3-4 with the current personnel does not make much sense either.

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Thanks Sperm good read.

However, I disagree with your assessment of Vilma. He actually led the team in takles last year. If Vilma is a liability in the 3-4 what does that say for the rest of the D.

I also think Mangini's sticking with the 3-4 with the current personnel does not make much sense either.

Anyone can be making tackles 10 yards down the field. Why do you think Erik Coleman is leading the team this year? Vilma is either tied with him or a close second I believe. Vilma can have all the tackles he wants, but he makes no big plays like he did in the 43 and he is nothing more than average at best in the 34.

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Anyone can be making tackles 10 yards down the field. Why do you think Erik Coleman is leading the team this year? Vilma is either tied with him or a close second I believe. Vilma can have all the tackles he wants, but he makes no big plays like he did in the 43 and he is nothing more than average at best in the 34.

Which goes to my point about the 3-4 defense. Our personnel is not suited for it so why the allegiance to it. Mangini needs to be flexible enough to work with what he has. He is essentially trying to slam the square peg in the round hole.

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Cmon SE should have known better. Like I even know who Kerry Rhodes is. Please.

I think he played in the Eric McMillan days. \:D/

Eric McMillan? Man, have times been so bad that we actually remeber Eric McMillan's interception of Joe Montana that he returned for a touchdown in a game that we (Of course) lost any way. I tell ya Max, we better start writing some good history....

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Thanks Sperm good read.

However, I disagree with your assessment of Vilma. He actually led the team in takles last year. If Vilma is a liability in the 3-4 what does that say for the rest of the D.

I also think Mangini's sticking with the 3-4 with the current personnel does not make much sense either.

Not always an indicator.

Bruschi led the Patriots last year and most people would agree he was not as good as he had been in the past. IF he is a liability he just might be ran at and naturally stock pile tackles.

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Not always an indicator.

Bruschi led the Patriots last year and most people would agree he was not as good as he had been in the past. IF he is a liability he just might be ran at and naturally stock pile tackles.

Vilma is a player!! Butm he is in the wrong system. "Mangenious" comes to town and implements a system that affects the D's most dynamic player. I don't get it.

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Vilma is a player!! Butm he is in the wrong system. "Mangenious" comes to town and implements a system that affects the D's most dynamic player. I don't get it.

If he was that dynamic, he could play both systems.

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For all his shortcomings, the most dynamic player prior to Mangini's arrival was John Abraham. I'd still rather have Mangold at $2M/yr for 16 games than Abraham at $7M/yr for an unknown # of games.

Based on what (other than # of tackles) is/was Vilma our most dynamic player on defense in your opinion? Or was it his being selected as a pro bowl alternate after being a high-profile first-round rookie (that always will get you more attention than someone who had to climb his way up the name-recognition ladder like Rhodes)?

I think he's a fine player in the 4-3 but is not special. He has special talent without the size or power to ever be a true "elite" player in any system.

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If he was that dynamic, he could play both systems.
Tha Pats fan speaks the truth. Vilma doens't break up plays. Where he lines up matters little. He simply isn't big or fast enough to be great in either alignment.
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