We already went over five short term solutions for the New York Jets this week, let’s widen the lens a little bit and look at five long term solutions to prevent this team from wallowing in mediocrity -
1 – Improve the scouting and player personnel decision making process - Ideally, this would require firing GM Mike Tannenabaum who has worn out his stay and is a better fit as a salary cap/numbers guy not a primary decision maker on football players. However, our sources insist that Tannenbaum isn’t going anywhere this off-season. We can only then hope Tannenbaum upgrades his scouting department, gets Terry Bradway out of the organization and brings in a strong minded personnel guy who is given some authority. Given the amount of needs the Jets have this off-season, they can’t afford to miss on any draft picks or make any more ill advised decisions in free agency.
2 – Make a decision at quarterback and go all in - Mark Sanchez is likely going to be the quarterback in 2013 because of how his contract is structured. Jets fans need to accept that reality. There isn’t any savior in free agency and they likely aren’t spending a first round pick on a quarterback because of where their pick will be and because of how many other needs they have. Regardless of if Sanchez is the quarterback in 2014 and beyond it is time to build a strong foundation for him to succeed with next year and for whoever the quarterback is in 2014 to succeed with as well. Get Tim Tebow out of town. Find a legitimate quarterback coach. Improve the offensive line and rebuild your group of running backs. The long term situation at receiver has potential with Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill, along with Jordan White maybe eventually developing into a capable slot receiver.
3 – Stop ignoring the pass rush - Enough of the gimmicks and ignoring the outside linebacker situation. You need to be able to rush the quarterback in today’s NFL. The Jets top four outside linebackers: Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Aaron Maybin and Garrett McIntyre should all be gone next year. Their void needs to be filled aggressively through both the draft and free agency. Start saturating this team with pass rushers to compliment the young pieces you have up front in Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and Kenrick Ellis.
4 – Learn when to say good-bye and hello - Too frequently the Jets have brought back the wrong players for another year (Anthony Clement and Adrien Clarke in 2007, Eric Smith in 2011, Wayne Hunter, Bart Scott, and Calvin Pace this year) and let the wrong players walk (Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Damien Woody). They can’t afford to continue making those mistakes. Don’t pay Shonn Greene a cent. Let him walk. Say good-bye to Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace, Matt Slauson and Austin Howard this off-season. If Dustin Keller can finish the season strong and healthy bring him back, as he is a valuable weapon for a quarterback. However, find a strong blocking tight end to pair with him. Bring LaRon Landry back on a long term deal, as long as he stays healthy over the second half of the season.
5 – Speed - The team motto was supposed to be “one step faster” this year but we haven’t seen it. On both sides of the ball the Jets are in desperate need of speed that is properly utilized. This needs to be a major focal point when rebuilding the outside linebacker and running back position.