First a few updates:
1. Check out that new graphic —–>, I’m not bragging, I’m just sayin….
2. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…everybody is doing it…well now, 181 people are.
3. I will be writing my thoughts on the Super Bowl tomorrow. I have somewhat ignored most of the media coverage the past two weeks because I am bitter and immature about the Jets losing in the AFC Championship Game.
4. The Jets have hired former Ravens defensive backs coach, Mark Carrier, to coach the defensive line.
5. Leon Washington spoke to PFT today and sounded confident about remaining with the Jets for a long time, which is obviously good news. Also, he is apparently ahead in his rehab…even better. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/02/04/leon-washington-expects-to-be-a-jet-for-a-long-time/).
6. Jay Glazer appeared on WFAN today and gave another side of the story of Rex Ryan’s encounter with Miami fans. Glazer was with Ryan that night and said the “I’ve never seen a fan go so far over the line, he said to Rex, ‘I hope you die, ‘you fat piece of crap,’ He spit at him.” He spit at him? Maybe Ryan should have pulled an Artest and went in the crowd. Stay classy, Dolphins fans.
Taking Some Time To Give Mike T Credit
Now that we are out of the season, I feel the need to write a complimentary article about our GM Mike Tannenbaum. With the Jets and the rest of the NFL heading into an off-season with altered rules because of an upcoming uncapped year, it is a good thing we have such a savvy and overall quality GM. Tannenbaum has made his share of mistakes and faced some criticism (mostly from Mike Florio at PFT, who is a Patriots fan anyway) but the guy has been aggressive and made the moves necessary to have the Jets in position to be a serious contender in the AFC for years to come.
Let’s start with the 2006 draft, when Tannenbaum did the right thing by taking D’Brickashaw Ferguson as a building block for an offensive line that needed to be completely rebuilt. He then turned around and used the Jets second first round pick (29 overall) to take another lineman, center Nick Mangold. As a first year GM in New York, it could have been very tempting to take a quarterback with the number 4 overall pick (Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler) and then take a skill position player to go with him later in the first round. They weren’t sexy picks, but considering I just watched Mangold and Ferguson start on the offensive line in the pro-bowl, they were the right picks.
Unfortunately, Tannenbaum decided that since he got two picks right, he needed to balance it out by getting two picks wrong. I am talking about taking Kellen Clemens in the 2nd round and Anthony Schlegel in the 3rd round. Fortunately, the pendelum swung back and he found three valuable players with Eric Smith(3rd round), Brad Smith (4th round), and of course Leon Washington (4th round). I am not going to get at him for late round picks like Jason Posciak and Titus Adams. However, he did draft Drew Coleman in the 6th round with Cortland Finnegan on the board.
Tannenbaum made two of the smartest trade-ups in Jets history in 2007. He traded up in the first round to grab the best corner in football, Darrelle Revis. In the second round, he traded up to grab one of the inside linebackers in football, David Harris. Nice. To top it off, he grabbed Chansi Stuckey in the 7th round, who turned into a valuable chip in acquiring Braylon Edwards.
Apparently, Tannenbaum decided he did so well in 2007 that he needed to bomb out in 2008. Even though people try to shift the blame to Eric Mangini, Mike T still pulled the trigger on Vernon Gholston. In retrospect, he should have traded back and targeted either Mike Jenkins or Aqib Talib to pair up with Darrelle Revis at corner. Tannenbaum found some redemption late in the first round by trading up for Dustin Keller. In the later rounds, he grabbed Dwight Lowery (back-up), Erik Ainge (back-up), Marcus Henry (complete miss), and Nate Garner (complete miss).
In 2008, he got back to doing what he does best…trading up. He moved up in the first round to grab Mark Sanchez and then moved up in the third round to get Shonn Greene.
So even though I want to suggest the Jets trading back to gain more picks, Tannenbaum seems to be on absolute fire when he trades up. Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene were all acquired by moving up in the draft.
Beyond the draft, Tannenbaum learned from a passive off-season before the 2007 season to become arguably the most aggressive GM in football. Many people criticized spending so much money on Alan Faneca and Damien Woody but both have started every game the past two years and played at a high level. Calvin Pace has been the Jets pass rusher the past two seasons. Tony Richardson has played at a high level. Kris Jenkins was a beast in 2008 but did have a season-ending injury this past year. Depending on how strong he comes back the next couple of years, will determine whether it was a smart trade or not.
He took a shot with Brett Favre. It is a shame the Jets didn’t get a motivated “I want to get Green Bay back” Favre for all 16 games but at the time the Jets made the move, everyone (or at least mostly everyone) agreed they needed a quarterback. Fortunately, the Jets haven’t been set back by the Favre signing since they have found their quarterback of the future. Tannenbaum also did a good job of getting the proper pieces for Rex Ryan’s defense (Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas). He did miss on Lito Sheppard, but 3 out 4 isn’t terrible on defense. He also got his young quarterback, a big target at wide receiver by trading for Braylon Edwards. Regardless of how you feel about Edwards, he adds a needed dimension to the Jets offense (big-play threat, size).
I do know that with the Jets limited by the new rules and a defense that slowly needs to be re-built for the future (as we will get to in a later article) I feel confident with Tannenbaum at the GM position. I feel confident with Rex Ryan at the head coach position (another good move by Tannenbaum) and I feel confident with Mark Sanchez at the quarterback position.
If Tannenbaum Could Do One Thing Over