During the New York Jets seven year playoff drought, certain “types” of players have consistently appeared on the team’s roster. Here is a reference guide to how those players are discussed by fans and analysts (including here!)
THE “GREAT AGAINST THE RUN, HE DOESN’T NEED SACKS TO BE ELITE BRO” 3-4 DEFENSIVE END
Examples: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams, Kony Ealy
All of these guys are good and occasionally great football players, especially Wilkerson in 2013 and 2015, Richardson in 2013 and 2014 and Williams in 2016 but the Jets have acquired these guys at an exhausting rate. By the start of 2018, only Williams may be around. For all the years with a “great” defensive line, the Jets have zero playoff appearances to show for it and have never had a truly dominant overall defense. Excessive compiling of very good but not quite great players at a relatively low impact position is not an ideal team building strategy.
THE “HE IS A PERFECT FIT FOR OUR COACH’S MAN TO MAN SCHEME, EVEN THOUGH HE’LL GET A TON PENALTIES AND STRUGGLE WHEN SINGLED UP” CORNER
Examples: Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, Rashard Robinson
It feels like whenever the Jets have added a corner over these past few years, the first line is always about a what a perfect fit he is for Rex Ryan or Todd Bowles’ man to man scheme. Long arms! Physical! Cromartie had a career year in 2013 but was fully washed by 2015, Skrine has had moments but will be most remember for endless penalties and third down completions allowed, Burris flamed out in a bigger role this year and Robinson’s charred remains are still somewhere in MetLife’s turf, courtesy of Tyreek Hill. The Jets need to build CB from scratch heading into 2018.
THE “HE IS BETTER AGAINST THE RUN SAFETY”
Examples: Eric Smith, La’Ron Landry, Dawan Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Calvin Pryor
I almost included Jamal Adams above but didn’t want to start a riot. Adams is obviously going to be a much better player than everybody else above but he is unquestionably better against the run as a rookie. The rest of the guys listed were basically just bad safeties who got a pass for “HITTING LIKE A LINEBACKER” and being steady against the run, in an increasingly pass happy league.
THE “GOOD TO HAVE IN THE ROOM VETERAN JAG” RECEIVER
Examples: Chaz Schilens, David Nelson, Jermaine Kearse, Jeremy Kerley (2nd time around)
The room! You can just imagine all the receivers meditating in a circle like a bunch of Jedi while wise old Jermaine Kearse imparts endless knowledge into their heads to turn them into the All-Pro receiver he never was. Nelson, Kearse and Kerley are all great guys and easy to root for but I’ll take more Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Chad Hansen, please.
THE “PLODDER TO TAKE AWAY BILAL POWELL TOUCHES” RUNNING BACK
Examples: Shonn Greene, Stevan Ridley, Matt Forte
For god’s sake, give Bilal the ball! It is like there is a grand conspiracy to put exceedingly slow running backs in front of him to drive both him and all of us insane.
THE “HE IS GOOD AT SETTING THE EDGE BUT CAN’T REALLY GET AFTER THE PASSER” OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Examples: Calvin Pace, Trevor Reilly, Lorenzo Mauldin, Jordan Jenkins
Nobody likes the ultimate edge setter Cal Pace more than this blogger but doesn’t it feel like every time the Jets add a new outside linebacker, the main line is “he isn’t predominantly a pass rusher but he’ll be good against the run and setting the edge opposite a top pass rusher”…unfortunately that top pass rusher never comes.
THE “HIGH INTANGIBLE, COMPLETELY OVERMATCHED HE JUST NEEDS A FAIR CHANCE BRO” BACKUP QB
Examples: Greg McElroy, Matt Simms, Bryce Petty
These guys have been pegged as prospective saviors in lost seasons. In reality they are just third string quarterbacks with one alleged redeeming quality to get fans excited. McElroy had a “winning pedigree.” Simms had the “genes, bro.” and Petty has a “huge arm.”
THE “#JETSTWITTER DARLING, WHO IS ACTUALLY BAD” CORNER
Examples: Ellis Lankster, Darrin Walls, Daryl Roberts, Dexter McDougle
The annual cornerback everybody gets too excited about because of a handful of decent plays but is actually just better off as role player or placeholder until more talented options come along.
THE “COMPLETELY FORGETTABLE RETURNER WHO CAN NEVER GET THE BALL PAST THE 20 YARD LINE”
Examples: Saalim Hakim, Darius Reynaud, Kalif Raymond, JoJo Natson, Walter Powell, Chris Owusu, Josh Cribbs, Zac Stacy
The Jets have been SO BAD at returner since the days of Leon Washington, Brad Smith and Joe McKnight. If JoJo Natson runs one more kick out of the end-zone, just to get tackled at the 18 yard line and then run off the field like he just made a great play, this laptop may end up in multiple pieces.
THE “NUMBER 63 IS ELIGIBLE BACKUP TACKLE” WHO IS A DEAD GIVEAWAY THE JETS ARE RUNNING THE BALL
Examples: Jason Smith, Brent Qvale, Dakota Dozier
“NUMBER 63 IS REPORTING AS ELIGIBLE” …guess what the Jets are doing? You are correct, here comes a 1 yard handoff to set up 2nd and 9 from their opponent’s 19 yard line after another brilliant return from one of the players listed above!
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com