Well, it turns out I was wrong about this Jets team. I thought they were going to win their remaining 3 games and somehow steal a playoff spot, but alas it was not meant to be. Rather than Buy (Wilkerson, Cromartie, Coples) and Sell (Sanchez, Wilson, Lankster) the same old things like I’ve done with the same old players week after week, I’m going to take a look forward toward the 2013 season. Joe already gave a great cheat sheet for Woody Johnson on what to do this offseason, but I’m going to throw my two cents in and look at what kind of replacements we can look forward to possibly wearing the green and white in 2013. Today I’m going to focus on the coaching staff and the offense. Tomorrow I’ll be back with the defense, so be sure to check back.
(Keep in mind this is going to obviously change drastically between now and when the offseason gets into full swing, but this sure beats discussing the Chargers game, right?)
SELL: Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway – FIRED.
BUY: Rex Ryan and the Defensive Coaching Staff – Rex Ryan absolutely deserves the benefit of the doubt and should get another crack at getting this thing right. The guy gets his team ready to play every week, and the players love and respect him. Woody Johnson is not going to throw gold bars at Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden to come here, so where are we going to get a better coach than Rex? Do you want to be sitting there in two years saying “I wish we kept Rex!” as our defense flounders? I don’t.
SELL: Tony Sparano, Matt Cavanaugh, Dave DeGuglielmo - Cavanaugh’s firing is a long time coming, so there’s really not much else to say that I haven’t already. As for Tony Sparano, I don’t think he’s done an awful this year, it’s just that it hasn’t been very good. Aside from the awful statistics and whatnot, it is unacceptable how often this team looks completely and utterly confused. It looks as if the call comes in on the headset in Japanese and Sanchez does his best to translate to everyone, so what we end up seeing is the clock running down, guys frantically trying to get to their spot, Sanchez can’t get a look at the defense, and the defense jumps the snap because they know it’s about to happen. Ugh.
Oh, and he can take his delusional buddy Coach Gooch with him. Who is Coach Gooch you may be asking? He’s they psychopath who emphatically claimed Wayne Hunter was the best right tackle out there and they’d have to shoot him dead to bench him. That man has an eye for talent
BUY: Norv Turner as OC – This it he kind of guy Rex Ryan should have had in here since Day One. When great coordinators take over the Head Coach position, they need to be paired with a very strong coach on the other side of the ball, because their natural inclination is to focus on what they know. Instead, we suffered through three years of Brian Schottenheimer, and one year of Tony Sparano who seemed way in over his head. Look around the league and you’ll see how the Jets butchered even this. Gary Kubiak was on the verge of being fired until he hired Wade Phillips. Mike McCarty was given Dom Capers. Get Rex someone like Norv who is an excellent offensive coach, and this team can turn things around rather quickly.
BUY: Sanchez being here – Might as well get used to it now. He’s going to be here.
BUY: McElroy and Matt Moore - Having these two guys compete with Sanchez in a true competition in training camp is probably the best we can hope for at this point. Good quarterbacks don’t grow on trees, and if we’re going to just take a mid-round prospect, we might as well see what McElroy can do first, right?
SELL: Tim Tebow – I feel really bad for Tebow for having to endure this crap all year, and I genuinely like him. I just don’t want him as our quarterback, and he’s going to force his way out the first chance he gets.
SELL: Shonn Greene – Personally, I have no problem with Greene and I think he’s a strong complimentary runner. The problem is it seems like the team is going to go with Bilal Powell as the 1B option, so we are going to need a better 1A option, preferably someone who can break a big play once in a while.
BUY: Making a Trade - This appears to be a pretty good year to go out and get a veteran running back. There should be plenty of options available for a trade and most won’t cost all that much. The top of the line guys who may be available via trade or after they’re released are MJD, Darren McFadden, Deangelo Williams, Steven Jackson and Chris Johnson. I doubt the Jets will be able to afford any of them, but there are plenty of second tier options as well. A guy I’d love to see them explore is Ben Tate of the Texans, who is glued to the bench behind Arian Foster. I also agree with Joe that Chris Ivory is a guy to definitely sniff around, and after his poor year, Rashard Mendenhall can likely be had for a mid-to-late round pick. There are solid options here, but if all else fails, I actually wouldn’t mind bringing Greene back either.
BUY: Joe McKnight – Whoever our new coordinator is: Please… please try to use Joe McKnight at least a little bit. Thanks.
SELL: Lex Hillard – Good-bye.
RECEIVERS / TIGHT ENDS
BUY: Holmes, Kerley, Stephen Hill - All three will be here next year playing major roles, and if Hill develops heading into year 2, it’s actually a nice trio of receivers. Of course, Hill can’t totally be relied upon, so it would be nice to have a veteran receiver who can get deep down the field and also provides a big reliable target. If only Tannenbaum brought in a guy like that prior to the season… oh wait, in week 15 he did! You know who I mean…
BUY: Braylon Edwards – Braylon never should have been allowed to leave after 2010, that much is obvious. Now that he’s back, he obviously wants to stay, and he will be willing to take a low guarantee/incentive-laden type contract. There is no reason this shouldn’t happen.
SELL: Chaz Schilens, Jason Hill, Clyde Gates, Mardy Gilyard – Ha.
SELL: Dustin Keller – One of the Jets “premiere” free-agents this year is Dustin Keller. His great value to the team was he was the receiver who had the best chemistry and rapport with quarterback Mark Sanchez. Well, now that Sanchez’s days appear to be numbered, there’s no real point in keeping Keller around. He’s undersized, doesn’t have elite athleticism, and he’s a below average blocker. Let someone else overpay him this offseason.
BUY: Anthony Fasano – It makes too much sense, so it probably won’t happen, but Fasano is the exact kind of tight end this team can use. He’s a big, physical player and he’s a strong blocker. He can also get down the seam and make an occasional big play, as well as being a big red-zone target. He’s not great, but he’s the kind of low-cost role player this offense needs. Other options could include Delanie Walker of the 49ers, or James Casey of the Texans.
BUY: Cumberland and Reuland – If a player like Fasano is brought in, I have no problem with Cumberland being the #2 TE who can provide a bit of a receiving threat. I’m not the biggest fan of him, but we can do worse.
BUY: D’Brickashaw and Mangold – Two elite players at their positions, so they won’t be going anywhere, nor should they.
BUY: Austin Howard – I had my doubts at the beginning of the season, but Howard has really come on lately and been a solid player for us. He’s not a Pro Bowler or anything, but he can provide a low-cost and reliable option going forward. His pass protection leaves something to be desired, but he can push the pile and is a very good run blocker.
SELL: Matt Slauson – I like Slauson and wouldn’t mind seeing him back, but he’s a free agent and will likely be seeking a pay increase. He’s a slightly above average player and could hold the fort, but it will likely come down to him or Brandon Moore being retained, and Moore will likely win out. One of the guard spots needs to be upgraded to get this line back to the dominant unit it used to be, and Slauson will likely get the boot.
BUY: Using a 1st or 2nd Round Pick on a Guard – There are plenty of excellent linemen in this draft and this is the year to get one of them. The Big Ugly, Vlad Ducasse will likely be back as the first backup off the bench, perhaps even taking the Jason Smith “extra tight end” role. Get used to hearing “62 is eligibile”!
SELL: Jason Smith - Speaking of Smith, he has a 0% chance of not being cut due to his contract numbers. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him back under a much cheaper deal, but the Jets likely won’t be able to afford whatever he will be asking for.