Welp. Let's face it brother, this season has been a bust.
Maybe it is just me, but it seems like the Faustian bargain made by Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets on the eve of training camp signaled the end. Since then the trajectory of this team has been steadily downward: horrifying play at QB, the season-ending injury to Eric Decker, the immolation of Darrelle Revis as "player who gives a damn" … it has been rough. Hell, even Muhammad Wilkerson's reputation looks to be streaking down the Alpine Slide at Action Park!
But since we're Jets fans, we are notorious gluttons for punishment. So rather than dwell on all the bad stuff … what causes for hope do you have from what you've seen this season, Bent?
Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
This should go down well. In my experience, there's nothing Jets fans resent more than positivity emanating from the embers of a lost season. Still, I'm a glutton for punishment so I'll dust off the old pom poms and see what I can come up with.
Ummm ... it's pretty much Robby Anderson and that's that, isn't it? You have to dig pretty deep to find anything else to get really encouraged about. I mean, we've had a few guys coming from nowhere to make modest contributions -- and I like a few of the practice squad or bottom-end-of-the-roster guys to do the same -- but none of them really look like difference-makers.
I guess you could expand it to the whole receiver group. Quincy Enunwa has been a revelation, although arguably that transformation was already underway at the end of last season and he has had a few games recently where he's been invisible. Charone Peake and Jalin Marshall have also surpassed expectations but their contributions alone wouldn't be enough to get us really excited about the potential of the group without Anderson and I can already see the endgame being that they're just good enough to force us to dump Devin Smith, rendering that pick a total waste. Even Anderson isn't exactly lighting it up yet, as promising as he looks.
Can you give me something positive that isn't a wide receiver?
Er … umm …. hmmm … give me a minute! Oh! Darrelle Revis has lost the will to live, thereby meaning we can be free of his albatross of a contract next year? Can that count as a positive? I like your assessment of the receiving group and I too dread the decision the Jets will be forced to make with Devin Smith … oh well, another completely stupid and utterly pointless second round pick by the Jets …
I don't know about you but I thought I saw a spark from CB Darryl Roberts in his game last weekend against the Patriots. That coupled with the decent play of Marcus Williams and some of what we saw in the preseason from Juston Burris has me hopeful that maybe this group isn't as bad off as we imagine? I won't say that the top-three corners for the Jets are going to be incredible players on bargain basement contracts, but I will say that I think there is enough there to build around. I also thought that that this offensive line would be a total mess. It certainly hasn't been great and they have sorely missed Nick Mangold in recent weeks … but on the whole the group isn't anywhere near as bad as I thought.
What can we say about the front seven? They positively cannot rush the passer?
Not to pour cold water over your suggestions but I'm not all that high on Roberts or Burris and I feel like Williams' weaknesses (durability and tackling) are magnified as his role increases. As for the front seven, while it was good to see guys like Ben Ijalana and Wesley Johnson seeing extended time and the line not completely capitulating with them in there, both are out of contract at the end of the season, as is Brian Winters, who is probably the only other offensive player to exceed expectations. That makes for more of a decision-making headache than something positive to take into next season.
I still feel like the inability to sack the quarterback is more to do with the fact offenses can still have success getting the ball out quickly. Therefore, the issue is primarily with coverage and how the team has to drop extra players into coverage otherwise they become susceptible to quick passes before pressure can get home. Still, I feel like that's tightened up of late which is why the team has had more lower scoring games. Maybe we'll see some more sacks down the stretch as opposing teams adjust. If someone like Lorenzo Mauldin can generate some production as a result, then that might be something positive to carry into 2017.
Blargh … so … not a lot of positives. I'm sorry but I haven't taken a lot of positives from the coaching or front office either. Am I mistaken? It feels like Mike Maccagnan was born on third base with the cap status he inherited from John Idzik but outside a few moves that yielded some temporary gains … I'm not much of a fan.
I'm not ready to say Maccagnan and Bowles and their staffs need to go yet … I think they deserve at least one more chance to prove that there's some redeeming things happening at the core of their roster .. but maybe this bleak season has soured me … what about the things that are happening off the field … any hope there?
Well, maybe we will start to see the benefits of an improved scouting infrastructure over the next year or so because you wouldn't expect that to pay dividends immediately. That's more of a blind hope than something positive to take from the season, though, and it could yet prove to be no better than the old set-up.
I guess we can say that Brant Boyer is an upgrade over Bobby April as the special teams coach. However, that hasn't translated to on-field results and probably has more to do with how bad April was than how well Boyer has fared. It's obvious more changes need to be made all over the organization. I guess that's the one thing we do have to look forward to...
Why do I feel like I might just begin uncontrollably sobbing at any point?! Ugh, things do not feel as awesome as they did a year ago but I also have to remind myself that it isn't as bad as it might look right now.
Change passing as hope. I don't think I've ever used the word "hope" as much in my life since I started blogging about the Jets over ten years ago. Hope and looking forward to better things seems like it is the only constant … isn't it?
Well ... that and the prevailing sense of impending doom.