I hope enough Jets fans out there managed to avoid jumping off the ledge after they again failed to score a touchdown on Sunday night, and are still around to read this column. It’s easy to be down on the offense after their preseason performances, but I saw enough silver linings this week that lead me to believe hings are going to come together soon. By soon, I mean I pray it will be week 1 against Buffalo and their crappy defense led by the hilariously bad Dave Wannstedt. Let’s get on with it…
BUY: The Jason Smith Trade – GOOD-BYE WAYNE HUNTER! I seriously can’t see any downside to this trade at all. What’s the worst that can happen, Jason Smith comes in and is awful? That’s STILL an upgrade over Wayne Hunter. Jason Smith is a former #2 overall pick, so he clearly has talent and at one time had a ton of potential. Sometimes guys like that just need a change of scenery before they start to realize some of that potential, and I hope that is the case here. But again, even if he sucks, what did we lose? Oh that’s right, we lost the $1.5 million that Smith makes more than Hunter this year. But again, so what? Everyone complained for weeks now that Tannenbaum hasn’t spent money on upgrades, and now he spent a mere $1.5 million of the approximately $6 million they were under the cap to get a player with the potential to be much better than Hunter. Any pickups Mr. T could make between now and the start of the season are going to be low-cost pick-ups, not star players, so dropping $1.5 of the nest egg on Smith is not a big deal at all. Maybe Tannenbaum did read my letter to him after all and realized he needed to do something. Ok, probably not, but still, at least he did something.
SELL: The Rams and Brian Schottenheimer- When I heard about that Wayne Hunter was traded, I broke out into a big smile. When I found out it was to the Rams, I started laughing out loud. How hilarious is the idea of whoever-the-hell the Rams GM is asking Schottenheimer about Hunter, and Schotty getting all excited and saying “WE GOTTA GET HUNTER!”, then running down the hall to find Matt Mulligan and tell him he’s getting the old band back together with a big fist pump? Even better, how great is the next Rams practice going to be with Wayne Hunter as a 3rd-string tackle and Matt Mulligan as the 3rd-string tight end combining forces to block 5th-string defensive end Vernon Gholston as Brian Schottenheimer looks on proudly? Needless to say, I’m going to enjoy the 2012 St. Louis Rams.
BUY: Mark Sanchez – I tweeted this during the game on Sunday and it was retweeted something like 18 times (a new record for me!), so I guess at least a few people agree with me, but if you watched that game and came away thinking Mark Sanchez is the problem on this offense then you aren’t paying attention. In fact, if that’s what you think, then that’s all I need to know about you as a fan: You just hate Mark Sanchez and will blame him for anything. Considering he’s working with a makeshift line, zero blocking tight ends, no receivers, I think he played really well. When Holmes, Kerley, and Keller get fully healthy and Stephen Hill learns to catch, things will only get better.
SELL: The Tight End Position – When Dustin Keller got injured in the first quarter the other night, we really saw how pathetically weak the tight end position is. Jeff Cumberland, who is useless, was already out with yet another injury, so we were down to some guy named Epps, who failed miserably on several blocking attempts which got runs stuffed in the backfield. Mike Tannenbaum, for the love of God, please get a tight end!
BUY: Shonn Greene – Greene’s stock is at an all-time low with Jets fans, but I implore you all to have some faith. No, he’ll never be the big time superstar running back, nor will he be a game-breaking threat. But for the clock-control offense the Jets are going to run, he’s going to have a very good year. The offense was extremely vanilla, the offensive line always seems to start the year slowly, and we’ve yet to see the wildcat packages. When the season gets rolling, Greene is going to get a ton of carries, and he’s going to play very well. I’ve said it plenty of times now, but don’t forget: Shonn is playing for a contract this year. Expect big things.
BUY: The defense - We’re going to see a special defense this season. Mo Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis have both taken major steps forward in their second seasons, and Quinton Coples looks like a big-time player (I wonder if Peter Schwartz of WFAN still thinks if you look up his name in the weird dictionary he uses, you’ll see a picture of Vernon Gholston?). When you throw in Revis, Harris, Cromartie, the new safeties, Aaron Maybin, and Bart Scott looking rejuvenated, this defense alone could win them 10 games this year. That being said, though…
SELL: Kyle Wilson - I was a staunch supporter of Kyle Wilson the past two seasons despite his struggles, but now it’s year 3 and he should really look better than he has. I’m getting awfully concerned that maybe Kyle Wilson just isn’t all that good and we’re going to have a problem against slot receivers this year. I guess training and hanging out with Darrelle Revis doesn’t make you Darrelle Revis after all. Darn.