So, I’ve been a little lax on my posts about the Mets. And granted they did have a nice week, going 5-2. I will get to that (hopefully tonight)…but I want to give my off-season/draft thoughts on the Jets…who were more active than I thought they would be.
First off, it looks like this team is being built to stop the Patriots and Colts. And I like that for 3 reasons.
1. It means that last year was not a fluke. This is a team that is going places and transforming as an organization into a perennial contender.
2. Those are the teams that have given/will give them trouble and they are trying to take the next step…not just sitting by and “hoping it goes better next time.”
3. The Jets are also addressing the weak points on the team. That is what you love to see from an organization. Always trying to improve and raise its potential.
Making the 2 huge trades in the past couple months were both steals. They gave up a 3rd-rounder for Antonio Cromartie and a 5th rounder for Holmes. You want to try to convince me that you could get guys like that to step in and play with those particular picks? Ha! Maybe over time. Maybe. But not in the next 2 years. Granted, both players come with a lot of baggage, but I think that coming to the big stage and bright lights will help with that. I think both players felt too comfortable in there places and were not challenged anymore. They got too big, too fast. That won’t happen in NY and it won’t happen with Rex Ryan/Mike Tannenbaum. And…if they both don’t work out, the Jets are out a 3rd and 5th rounder. But…if they do pan out, the Jets could have the best set of CBs in the NFL AND one of the most dynamic WR corps. Those are both areas that needed to be upgraded and I’m not sure the Jets could have gotten better players/deals.
Next, the Jason Taylor signing. Love it. I hated him for so long, but he’s one of those guys that you hate if you’re against him, but love it you’re with him. They didn’t over-pay for him. He’s a class act and got enough left in the tank.
Now, the actual Draft. I was hoping for Everson Griffen or Taylor Mays, but the more I think about it, the more I like Kyle Wilson. I went to Bowling Green last September and got to see him play. He’s arguably the best corner in the Draft (Joe Haden) and is an island guy. I also like the pick b/c the Colts and Pats have a ton of WRs. They spread the ball out and use a lot of players. A lot of the reason we couldn’t keep up in the 2nd half of the AFC Championship game was 3 corners got hurt. Now, we have potentially 3 man-up corners with Dwight Lowery being a 4th. Also, I think they chose him b/c if it doesn’t work out with Cromartie OR he wants too much money after this season…fine. See ya! We don’t need you. Tannenbaum is definitely thinking ahead.
I was a little disappointed with the Vladimir Ducasse pick b/c -again- I wanted Griffen, but linemen are never bad choices. And…now that they have cut Alan Faneca…it makes sense. Faneca was great. I was very happy to have him, but he is approaching that wall…and making a lot of money. He did everything right. He lead the team. He created cohesion on the line. But…this is the NFL and the new Jets. We are here to win, win now (and later), not to be your best friend. Nothing personal, Alan. I rooted for you every game. This is about money. Period.
The same thing goes for the Joe McKnight selection. He seems to fit the Leon Washington roll, well. Leon, another of my favorite Jets, was tremendous. He was a game-breaker, great guy, did everything he was asked. But…a lot of guys are up for FA next summer and this was money we could save. And…we have 3 solid backs (with the addition of McKnight). We also have returners, now. I love Leon, but he was now expendable.
The extra pick the Jets got with the Leon trade was used on potentially the best FB in the Draft, John Conner from Kentucky. He was largely used as a blocking back and well-known for crushing folks. You have to think that this was pick was made to replaced Tony Richardson, at the end of the 2010. Richardson is a great FB and can tutor the young Conner for a year.
We some of these moves nice? No. Were the cold-blooded? Yes. Can there be potential chemistry issues? Maybe. But this is what a contending team does. They make smart business decisions and they get players to fill needs. This is the new NFL. It is a business and a cold one, at that. And finally, the Jets are legit players.
I love the way the team shored up areas of concern and addressed needs. They also planned ahead and looked at what could happen next Summer. This team is young and has a great core of players who are hungry. Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum want to win. I trust Ryan will work out issues with players. People have a lot to prove and I think this season will be a great one for Gang Green.