TOJ Wild-Card Weekend Picks

TOJ with his wild-card weekend picks. Who do you like?

After a very average season of regular season picks against the spread, I am ready to impart my wisdom on the wild-card round of the playoffs. If you have said before the season that I’d be settling in this weekend to watch T.J. Yates, Andy Dalton, and Tim Tebow play, I would have said you were as crazy as Rex Ryan when he decided to name Santonio Holmes captain. Oh well.

Final Regular Season Record: 124-120-5

Houston (-3) vs. Cincinnati – This should be an evenly matched, fairly low-scoring game. I do think the Houston running game will control the clock and Arian Foster or Ben Tate will break a big run at some point that will prove to be difference. Cincinnati made it into the playoffs without ever posting a truly impressive win, I do think this will be tight into the fourth quarter but they won’t be able to make the big play late to win this game.

Detroit (+10.5) vs. New Orleans – I do think New Orleans will ultimately win this game but it will be closer than most people anticipate. Detroit has the firepower to run up points in the dome and I think they will remain in striking distance until the fourth quarter, when Drew Brees will make a few plays that Matthew Stafford won’t.

New York Giants (-3) vs. Atlanta – A very evenly matched game, in which both teams should run up a good amount of points. The key to this game will be how well Atlanta can run the football in order to set up the play action passing game where they can hurt the Giants secondary with their big play weapons. Ultimately, in a game this tight I am going with the better quarterback, who is Eli Manning.

Pittsburgh (-8.5) vs. Denver – This game has 20-3 written all over it. Tim Tebow isn’t ready to beat this Pittsburgh defense.

New York Jets: The Good Guys

TOJ on the New York Jets who actually lived up to or exceeded expectations this season

Despite many players falling well short of expectations for the New York Jets this past season, not every player had a disappointing year. Here is a look at the guys who carried their weight in 2011 –

Darrelle Revis – The best corner in football played like the best corner football. Beyond being his usual lockdown self, Revis also made a number of big plays that led to victories. The only thing more you’d like to see from him at this point is a more assertive leadership role taken.

David Harris – This was one of the most productive years of his career. Harris is solid in both run and pass defense and remains a key part of the Jets 3-4 scheme.

Kyle Wilson – After a rough rookie season, Wilson took a step towards shedding the “bust” label by having a solid year as the Jets nickel back. I am not sure if he is ready to be a full time starter yet but he is moving in that direction.

Muhammad Wilkerson – The rookie had a good, not great year from start to finish. He started every game, was good against the run, and provided an occasional push against the pass. Look for a big jump from him in year two.

Sione Pouha – Pouha has established himself as one of the best run stopping defensive lineman in the league and took leadership over a position group that overachieved all season.

Marcus Dixon – He has turned into a quality rotational player that did an admirable job filling in for Mike DeVito when he was injured.

Aaron Maybin – The only player this year who provided some kind of a pass rush.

Brandon Moore – A Pro-Bowl caliber guard and a leader in the locker room who did the right thing by standing up to Santonio Holmes criticism of the offensive line earlier in the year.

Nick Mangold – The best center in football, who showed his true value by missing a few games this year.

Dustin Keller – His most productive season and one of the few Jets pass catchers who didn’t mope around at all this year.

Jeremy Kerley – One of the only explosive players on the Jets offense. He showed a ton of potential this year and should be a big part of the offense next season.

Joe McKnight – A Pro-Bowl caliber special teams player, who showed glimpses on offense. Is he ready to be a full time third down back?

Time For New Jets Media Strategy

It is time for the Jets to reconsider their media strategy

Jets rookie QB Greg McElroy, who was put on IR prior to the regular season, echoed yesterday on the radio, what many have sensed was true regarding the 2011 Jets. That there was something not right inside the Jets locker room. Few would have gathered though, that this team was a selfish stat hungry group. This insight thanks to the 7th round pick out of Alabama’s use of the team’s open door media policy, once again gives the fans totals access to their beloved team. The system may not be great for the team itself though, over the course of an emotionally grueling NFL season. Where mutual trust amongst the soldiers in the trenches is the only way to make it out alive.

We are not suggesting that the Jets go to to the other extreme by igniting their own Belichick-ian Foxborough tactic of non speak across the board. Or demanding the feared silence that helped Kim Jong il’s nuclear North Korea stiff arm the world over the past three decades.

We ARE saying that some sensibility from the players has to be a must.

If the players CAN’T utilize the privilege of voicing their thoughts in a team oriented way, then maybe the Jets need to reconsider how they allow members of the squad deal with the media going forward.

Wasn’t Rex Ryan just crying in the locker room, pleading for unity amidst the turmoil?

Too many people are beginning to tell too many family secrets. Too many names have been named already since week one. For a team that has now shown fatal togetherness issues in 2011, it’s time to review the club’s media policy. Making it priority number one heading into 2012. Before any talk of roster changes take place.

The Jets can keep the open Door Policy “open” or could go Martial law. Those are the two most extreme paths to take. What the Jets need to avoid though, is failure to clean up how the team and the media deal with each other at all. The same way won’t work anymore.

A new edited law of the land must be put in place. One that rules calling teammates out illegal, and stays away from offering the story hungry modern day blogosphere, some extra red meat to chew on.

Winning games in the NFL is hard enough as it is. The Jets need to batten down the hatches now. Tone the access down. Say goodbye to HBO and “Hard Knocks” approach. Make the Rex addicts in the media who love to live through his antics but are the first to bury him after losses, go find another team to get involved with .

It’s time for the Florham Park boys to shut up and play ball and not let anyone with a pen and paper, or a laptop run with the ball and dictate the tempo anymore. The Jets have invited and enjoyed all that has come with the recent attention from the chatter, but they have to take control of their message again, by pulling the plug on the 24 hour light that shines at the team’s complex.

As for McElroy, here’s what he had to say today to WZNN-FM:

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been around extremely selfish individuals. I think that’s maybe the nature of the NFL. But there were people within our locker room that didn’t care whether we won or lost as long as they got their … they really had a good game individually. And that’s the disappointing thing.”

“It’s going to take a lot to kind of come together next year. I think the fact that we struggled at times this year really led to a really corrupt mind-set within the locker room. But I think we’re going to regroup and I know that we’ll be a better team because of the trials and tribulations this year.”

The New York Jets: A Failure From The Top Down

The New York Jets failed from the top down this year

The New York Jets failed from the top down this year.

It started in the off-season with a handful of perplexing and ultimately season killing decisions.

First off, Mike Tannenabum evaluated Wayne Hunter capable of starting at right tackle and cut ties with Damien Woody. Tannenbaum failed to learn from a previous mistake of undervaluing a veteran lineman, when he did the same thing with Pete Kendall prior to the 2007 season and nearly got both Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens killed. Nevermind in that same year, Tannenbaum underestimated the value of a right tackle by starting Anthony Clement all season, who combined with Kendall’s replacement, Adrien Clarke, to add to the quarterback’s pain.

Second, the Jets got caught up in “names” instead of “needs” in free agency. They didn’t need Nnamdi Asomugha but they chased him to the last second anyway because it sounded exciting to pair him with Darrelle Revis. This failed chase cost the Jets valuable time and assets in the free agency period. They settled to stand pat at safety by bringing Eric Smith back, despite him coming off an average at best season. Then, even after his market value had made him affordable, they replaced Braylon Edwards with Plaxico Burress.

Burress provided a better story. Edwards provided better production. I don’t give a damn what anybody says about Edwards after his disappointing year in San Francisco, he had chemistry with Mark Sanchez and produced in the Jets offense as a downfield threat. You build continuity with your young quarterback, you don’t switch his starting receivers every single year.

Later the Jets exacerbated this mistake by replacing Jerricho Cotchery with Derrick Mason. Cotchery should have been handed the starting job opposite Santonio Holmes, while Burress should have came in as a role player who needed to earn more time. Yet, the Jets went the opposite route and isolated themselves from one of their most respected players in the locker room and instead brought in a known trouble maker in Mason.

The New York Jets then got cheap on defense and shuttled off one of the last respected veterans in the locker room, Shaun Ellis. No Woody. A retired Tony Richardson. No Cotchery and now no Ellis, there went four of your key leaders from the year before.

Finally, Rex Ryan clumsily threw around captaincies instead of letting members of the team vote on it. He made Santonio Holmes his pet project and Holmes failed him and the team miserably. It is easy to be a good locker room guy when you are winning, not so much when the team is struggling and needs you to set an example.

Putting Holmes as a captain started out a disappointing and mismanaged year by Ryan, who admittedly never had the pulse of his team and remained too entrenched on one side of the ball. Can you imagine Bill Belichick expressing confusion over why his team threw 59 times when they are supposed to run first, or not knowing why his number one receiver was pulled off the field?

The days of being a defensive coordinator are over Rex. It is time to coach your entire team and know every detail of what is going on with every unit. I don’t buy the caricature people want to paint of Rex as a bumbling clown because those two AFC Championship appearances in his first two years mean something, but he played into the stereotype this year and needs to earn some credibility now in 2012.

The failures of Tannenabum and Ryan were matched by the players they assembled on this year’s roster, starting with quarterback Mark Sanchez. I spent a good chunk of this season, even up to the previous few weeks defending the Jets often unfairly criticized quarterback. Yes, Sanchez progressed in a number of statistical categories, despite playing behind a weak offensive line, wit underachieving wide receivers, and an awful offensive coordinator but if you want to sweep Sanchez’s statistical shortcomings from previous years under the rug because of his ability to win the big game and play big in clutch spots, you better be ready to rip him for failing in all those spots this year. The quarterback turned in three of his worst performances in the three must win games to end the season. He also clearly hasn’t asserted enough leadership in the offensive huddle yet. Do you think Saints or Packers players would be bickering on the field in their huddle?

Sanchez isn’t the only one who underachieved on offense. Holmes couldn’t handle the double teams and pressures that come with being a true number one receiver. Burress couldn’t get any separation between the 20s. Mason was a disaster on and off the field. Shonn Greene looked very ordinary in the lead back role and never broke any big plays. D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a down year. Wayne Hunter was awful at right tackle. Matthew Mulligan caused more problems than any number two tight end should be able to.

The defense wasn’t without their letdowns. Bart Scott fell from being a very good run stopping inside linebacker, to a below average situational player. Calvin Pace was paid to sack the quarterback and he never did that. All of the safeties, namely Eric Smith, had abysmal seasons. Special teams chipped in too by muffing an uncountably high number of kicks and having Nick Folk always come up with untimely misses.

This was a team wide failure that started at the top and has no carried into the off-season. Santonio Holmes quitting performance at the end of the Miami game led to a chain reaction of criticism of both him and a cancerous locker room that was likely spearheaded by his actions. When your third string rookie quarterback is talking about how selfish and disastrous your locker room is, the problems likely go past one guy.

The Jets failed all the way from the top, Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum, down to the bottom, Greg McElroy, who has no business throwing his teammates under the bus to the press. They failed and so did just about everybody in-between.

So what now?

That is what the off-season is for and is an article for another day. It will start with a long look at the organizational culture around this team and it will end with some much needed releases and an infusion of not just youth, speed, and talent but also character. Some of that character will have to come from players on the team growing up and asserting their presence over the locker room to prevent a situation like this from ever happening again, I am looking at you Mark Sanchez and Darrelle Revis, and some of it will have to come from new individuals being brought on the roster.

The grace period is over Rex, Mike T and Mark. This is New York and the seat is hot in 2012.

The Slow March: First Casualties Of Black Monday

Justin looks at the teams in the NFL who fired their coaches and where they go from here

The Rams have excuses. Sam Bradford got too buff, cornerbacks came down with the Greg Oden syndrome (6 cornerbacks on injured reserve), the return of the manchild Josh McDaniels (who may or may not be the future Jets offensive coordinator). Things are tough in St. Louis. Pujols skipped out. Although, looking back on it, it was one of the shrewdest and most cost effective moves in the last decade in the MLB. The Angels will wish they didn’t pull a Steinbrenner in 5 years. Trust me, I’ve been watching the Yankees like a third work anthropologist. Things fail in New York. Fail big.
Bumping Bradford will be like trying to find a date for a cousin whose name shows up on the local ex-con web site. It’s hard to avoid the fact that there were more than one game this year in which he performed like a one legged pirate with osteoporosis.

It’s very real, this uncertainty. It’s going to be snowing in St Louis soon, and to those with the NFL network, the TIVO replays of the Rams season is going to be like Chinese water torture. There will be no bright spots. It’s a Rorschach test without answers.

In being fair to the good people of San Lewie. I will look for something that doesn’t cause you to stare out the window one last time, call up that old dope dealer from your factory job, and tell him you’d like to meet him somewhere off I-95, in the deep woods.

There’s essentially two ways of looking at the Rams offseason. Both will cause Rams fans to scramble to put Bradford jerseys on Ebay, and hold off on the Brandon Lloyd for Pro Bowl resuscitation campaign. Keep Bradford, let Pettis and Salas show off what they’ve got in a full training camp, let Brandon Lloyd acclimate to ,another year of McDaniels? And at least have faith in Matt Kalil, who will be the only Rams player to make the Pro Bowl next year, as opposed to the 0 that made it this year. The upside is that if Bradford is protected, and has a full year of Pettis, Salas, Mark Clayton and Lloyd, and he fails miserably, there is finally a legitimate excuse to part with him and let him attempt to revive his career in some miserable place like Minnesota or Miami.

The other? Vegas. Get Blackmon with the second pick, have a starting duo of Lloyd and Blackmon, while the rest scramble to nail a slot receiver job, and pray to god they reincorporate the spread offense, looking for 4,000 yards passing and giving Steven Jackson and Cadillac Williams a break from the bone crunching they’ve had to take all year. Take a cornerback in the second round (Al Harris is 37), and do some more work on the defensive line with the third round pick. They’ll have a tough time selling this team to anyone through free agency.

Turning from the worst division in the NFC to a team with the most and least potential at once in the NFC South. Has everyone learned their lesson about young head coaches in the NFL? Have a “run” that doesn’t even get you into the playoffs and you become a pariah. Articles about Raheem Morris coming up in the streets, toughness, Dre Beats, Zip Em Up. How many fights you think Belichick got into growing up? Everyone understands there’s some sort of youth movement going on in the NFL, but there’s a point when players have to be accountable for their actions, and from heads on the inside, the whole Aqib Talib not getting cut for attempting to kill someone may have been the first of many wrong decisions throughout the season.

In his most recent interview, Ronde Barber admitted “the uptic is that we’re a young team”. Of course. Young. Full of talent on the defensive line. but what else? Kellen Winslow? Davin Joseph? Is this what the people in Tampa Bay are paying to see?

Everyone sees Ronde Barber leaving in the next year or two anyway, so a 1st round corner would at least give some help to a secondary most likely planning to start this years rookies (Black & Gaitor).

Many aren’t happy with the time Freeman is getting in the pocket so a center in the second round is the backhanded approach at eventually dumping Freeman if he falls apart at the seams in his fourth year. “We got him offensive line help! Even drafted a 4th and 6th round receiver! Looks like we were wrong about Josh. Good thing we drafted Brandon Wheeden in the 3rd round.”

Let us, for a second, be completely truthful about the Buccaneers. Barring some sort of miraculous free agent receiver pickup, the Buccaneers aren’t making the playoffs next year. Their best bet is to ultimately build up that defensive line, try to pressure with 4 and grab a linebacker and another defensive back in free agency, and see it from there. Hope Freeman turns it around and airs it out big time.

As if this wasn’t turning into an out and out pity party, it’s time for the Colts, sadly, without the Polians going forward. The twitter world is already morning the insane exchanges between fans, Polian, and Irsay. It was like a bunch of teenage Friends going off to college and exchanging mushroom trip stories. Brilliant stuff. One real quote: “The New Year will have 7 lives and many faces” You’ll never understand.

Let’s say Irsay gets real loaded one night and Tweets this out. “Housecleaning Special In Indy….18 Reasons To Move Forward…Peyton will not play in 2012…Start Packin It Up Mathis!”

It could happen. The only people the Colts really need to keep, by position, are the following. Delone Carter and Donald Brown at running back. Reggie Wayne at wide receiver. Dallas Clark at tight end. Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana on the offensive line. Jamaal Anderson, Jerry Hughes and Drake Nevis on the defensive line. Antoine Bethea, Jermaile Hines, and Chris Rucker in the secondary. If you haven’t heard of half those names it’s because they were last years draft picks and it’s usually in bad taste to dump draft picks one year into their career.

Mathis? Expendable. Especially if it lands an offensive weapon, which is what Andrew Luck is going to need if they’re going to attempt to run the already installed offense. The Wayne and Clark duo can do a good enough job of keeping the continuum and Andrew Luck makes his own line calls anyway, so keeping old Jeff Saturday there grumbling about Peyton is pretty much pushing it at 36 years old.

There’s plenty more to come, and I’m still weighing writing something about the Jets, because after watching what happened in the last 48 hours concerning that team, I can think of few things as laughably absurd about the situation as a whole. Maybe a Kim Kardashian announcement to pursue a PhD in experimental mathematics, but there would be some shred of admiration in the attempt. WIth the former, there’s nothing.

Initial Thoughts On Wild-Card Weekend

Initial thoughts on the match-ups for wild-card weekend. Who are you rooting for?

Contrary to the beliefs of some New York Jets fans out there, the world and the NFL season did not end this past Sunday. The playoffs kick off this weekend, with a particularly weak AFC field that does make the Jets missing the playoffs sting a little more. Here is a quick look at the four games –

Cincinnati at Houston – Pretty bizarre to think that the Bengals are in the playoffs when most people ranked them as the 32nd best team in the league heading into the season. Remember how they looked in the pre-season against the Jets? Who would have thought? Regardless, they have a tough defense, a young quarterback who isn’t afraid to put the ball down the field, and a monster at receiver in A.J. Green. Houston is down to their third quarterback in rookie T.J. Yates and has struggled down the stretch. This game is a complete toss-up, yet Jets fans should be rooting for the Texans. Why? You want Pittsburgh (after they dismantle Denver) going to New England in round two to end our beloved Patriots season. If the Bengals win, they are heading to a blow out loss in New England, which nobody wants to watch.

Detroit at New Orleans – Even though we all remember picking the Saints to easily win wild-card weekend last year and watch them lose a shocker to Seattle, it is hard to imagine the same thing happening two years in a row. The Saints are nearly unbeatable in their dome and the Lions are one of the teams they smacked around in it during the regular season. Detroit’s only chance is to beat New Orleans at their own game in a shootout and I just can’t see Drew Brees coming up short here.

Atlanta at Giants – The best match-up of the weekend. Atlanta has the weapons to take advantage of a suspect Giants secondary with Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez but can they protect Matt Ryan, who has never won a playoff game, long enough so he can get the ball out? Eli Manning and Victor Cruz have turned into arguably the best big play combo in the league and will put up points on an inconsistent Falcons defense. This should be a high scoring, close game that comes down to the final possession.

Pittsburgh at Denver – Whether you want to embrace it or not, Tim Tebow is not a good NFL quarterback and the Broncos offense is a joke. The only way this game is close is if Denver’s defense puts together an epically good performance.

New York Jets: A History Of Failed Expectations

Unfortunately, the New York Jets have a long history of not living up to expectations

It only takes a quick peak into the New York Jets history books for some perspective on the “failure” of this 2011 season. While it is true that the Jets were built up by Rex Ryan and many others, as a Super Bowl contender and tricked into believing that Mark Sanchez was primed to take the next step, like many other Jets teams of the past, preseason hopes simply didn’t match up with the season that followed. This recent disaster is not the first time that such a tragedy has taken place for the Gotham Football Club.

Publications as early as 1966 had the Joe Namath Jets ready to take the AFL title. In Namath’s second year, “Pro Football” magazine had already pictured Weeb Ewbank’s crew gelling on both sides of the ball. Led by the bonus baby face of the league, “Broadway Joe.”

Instead, the Jets went a disappointing 6-6-2, falling three games short of the Eastern Division title. There were no wildcard berths in the American Football League so that meant that the Jets were done for the year. Namath? He threw 19 TD’s and 27 int’s that year with a lousy 49.1 completion percentage. It wasn’t until the magical season of ‘68 that he and the Jets made any postseason appearance.

Richard Todd’s Jets were just a game away in 1982, after losing the famed AFC Championship “Mud Bowl” in Miami 14-0. 1983 saw Todd on the Sports Illustrated cover to reinforce the belief by many analysts that the Jets were Super Bowl favorites.

Then they went 7-9.

Todd threw 18 TD’s that year with 26 picks, in playing his way off of magazine covers and OUT of New York. Todd ended up in New Orleans with the Saints in 1984.

Vinny Testaverde came off the bench to replace Glenn Foley in 1998, leading the Jets, like Todd, to an AFC championship. This time a heartbreaking 23-10 loss to Denver. Testaverde threw 29 TD’s and just 7 picks that year, with an impressive 61 pct completion rating and 101 QB rating. The Jets were surely set to fly in 1999.

This of course, until Testaverde went out for the season in week one, by tripping over a yard line and tearing his achilles tendon. The Jets had no proper backups in place early enough that year, to weather the storm. Season over.

Another sky high expectation crashing on the runway for the Jets.

This leads us to 2011. A year first affected by the NFL lockout and Wild West free agency period. A training camp where for the Jets, saw many new faces replaced reliable old ones on offense.

By the time the season started, the Jets who were initially set to open up the air waves, lacked cohesiveness and chemistry right from the start. The confidence of their young franchise QB soon waned, as losing streaks piled up throughout the course of the year.

The 8-8 ending of this year’s Mark Sanchez Jets has shocked many diehards, but if they consider the team’s history, it shouldn’t.

There are two lessons to be learned from all of this as well.

Namath’s career provides Jets fans with the hope that sometimes expectations arrive prematurely. Todd and Testaverde on the other hand, remind us that opportunities can’t be squandered because there are no guarantees that they will reappear again.

For Sanchez and his teammates, those are the two paths they can travel. Clearly Rex’s Jets currently reside at the fork of these roads as we head into the 2012 season, One that will start with the changes soon to take place in Florham Park.

Even if, none of these alterations, came alongside that silly good for nothing Monday Press conference that many loyalists waited an extra half hour for.

2011 is gone. An opportunity wasted in what has at times been a recurring theme for those who have bleed Green and White. Despite the latest severe disappointment, the saga that is the New York Jets will again continue on. Never dull, never boring, and rarely ending up the way it is drawn up on paper.

That’s why we love them Jets Nation. Don’t forget that.

What To Do About Santonio Holmes?

What should the New York Jets do about team cancer Santonio Holmes this off-season?

From ‘Tone Time to Quit Time.

Santonio Holmes made quite the impression on his teammates this season. In the past few days, he has been referred to as a cancer, a ten year old, a joke, lazy, and destructive to the locker room. One veteran commented they “didn’t see how he could be brought back.”

Unfortunately, the New York Jets and Rex Ryan have made their bed and it is likely they are going to have to sleep in it. The reality is that unless the Jets want to take a major cap hit, they are probably going to have to bite the bullet and bring Holmes back.

Considering the amount of needs this team has on both sides of the football, how could they sacrifice such a large chunk of money to a player who won’t be on the team? Nevermind, that you will once again be sticking two new starting receivers with quarterback Mark Sanchez for the fourth year in a row, because Plaxico Burress is as good as gone.

The anger directed at Holmes right now is justified and maybe he has reached a point in the locker room of no return. That is a decision that Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan need to reach, in consultation with the few leaders that remain in the locker room, namely Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Sione Pouha, David Harris, and Brandon Moore. Ryan can’t be foolish enough to trust his own judgement in this situation since he failed so miserably in judging and handling Holmes this past year.

If the Jets aren’t going to get anything back from moving Holmes except dead cap space when they already need another receiver besides him, another running back, a right tackle, and a backup quarterback just on their offense, do you still want him moved?

Nobody except the people in the locker room know if his situation is salvageable or not but the decision on how to handle it could go a long way to shaping the Jets 2012 season.

New York Jets: The Ugliest Day After

The New York Jets bombed out on the field and off the field in the past two days

The New York Jets bombed out on the field yesterday and they followed today by bombing in a similar fashion off the field. In case you haven’t been following the news around the team —

  • Multiple teammates have referred to Santonio Holmes as a “cancer” around the locker room and stated he “acts like a 10 year old.” There was disgust in the huddle about how he was moping around the field and the general consensus is that he quit on the team the past few weeks.
  • There was a disagreement between Holmes and Mark Sanchez over the past week
  • Bart Scott didn’t talk to the media today and flipped off a photographer, amid reports that he will be cut this off-season.
  • Rex Ryan had a teary eyed address to the team this morning, pleading for better unity.
  • Brian Schottenheimer is going to interview with Jacksonville for a head coaching job. The company line is that he will be back if he doesn’t get a head coaching job. I don’t buy it. He isn’t coming back next year.

So what now? Express all of your frustration and call for everybody’s heads. This team deserves it right now. It is one thing to have a disappointing 8-8 season. It is another thing to be a fractured, immature team that completely lacks leadership and character. This team has a long way to go in many aspects, which should make for a fascinating off-season. For now they have embarrassed themselves and lost much of the goodwill they earned from back to back AFC Championship Game appearances.

In retrospect a series of events this previous off-season is what laid the foundation for such a disastrous 2011 season. The failed pursuit for Nnamdi Asomugha. The decision to name Santonio Holmes a captain. Parting ways with Damien Woody and relying on Wayne Hunter as the starting right tackle. Replacing Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery with Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason. Not addressing the safety position. The list goes on…The pressure is on Mike Tannenbaum this year.

Offense: Both Wayne Hunter and Matthew Mulligan are gone. I think we can all agree nobody wants to ever see those two guys in a Jets jersey again. How to handle Santonio Holmes is also a major issue. I don’t think the Jets are going to move him unless they find a surprisingly good trade offer and if they do move him how do you replace him? The Jets need more speed at receiver regardless of what happens with Holmes. Plaxico Burress is probably gone and the Jets need a split end who can stretch the field, similar to what Braylon Edwards did in 2009 and 2010. LaDainian Tomlinson is gone. The Jets need more speed at running back and need to come to realization that Shonn Greene may not be a feature back.

Defense: Safety. You are in a division with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, it is time to get athletic safeties who aren’t completely incompetent in pass coverage. Speed at linebacker is also a major need. It sounds like Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas are gone, so they will need two new starters at linebacker.

Outside of this team needing 3-5 new starters on offense and defense. A conscious effort needs to be made to improve the locker room chemistry. An emphasis on character must be placed on new people who are brought into the building. The Holmes situation has to be resolved one way or another.

In summary, a ton of work needs to be done to this team which finished 5 games behind New England in the AFC East standings. Unfortunately, there is plenty of time to write about all of it. We will break down the Jets many issues in the coming months, along with tracking the NFL playoffs.

RIP Season: Sanchez, Holmes Awful in 19-17 Loss

The New York Jets had a fitting end to their season today

I have spent plenty of time defending Mark Sanchez this season and the previous two ones he has been the Jets quarterback. Yet, his three consecutive awful performances, culminating with one of the worst of his career today has me fully off the bandwagon. He gets next season with a new offensive coordinator and a new system but next year is a complete make or break season for him. And you honestly can’t even be sure at this point that he will get that chance. Crazier things have happened.

Brian Schottenheimer and his playcalls were particularly bad again. Yet, today the blame is on the Jets quarterback who threw three horrid interceptions thanks to his incessant obsession with throwing check down after check down. It was scared, pathetic, incompetent quarterbacking at its finest. He has brought all the off-season speculation about Peyton Manning and every other quarterback on himself.

We have a long off-season to go through what a failure this season has been on just about every level and we will get after it starting tomorrow. But for now, know that this offense needs to be completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. You want a good summary of how messed up this team was by the end of the year? Captain Santonio Holmes spent the last 2 minutes of the game while the Jets attempted a comeback sitting on the bench without a helmet and not watching the game, sulking.