Just like with most professional sports leagues, the NFL is a copycat league. Teams take concepts from other teams or college teams and implement them into their organization looking to for an extra edge to hopefully reach the promised land of a Super Bowl. The New York Jets are in a position to completely change the trajectory of the franchise with this offseason and can improve their chances of a playoff (and hopefully Super Bowl) run in the near future with a few things from this years Super Bowl teams.
Drafting/Developing Home Grown Talent & Addressing Needs
This may seem like an obvious concept but it’s something the Jets haven’t done at key positions. Quarterback, edge rusher and cornerback are the three main positions that you need to have studs at to win in this league. The Jets currently have none at those positions. They’ve wasted countless draft picks on these positions in recent years which, in essence, sets the franchise back with having to wait another year and wasting more dollars on players when drafting well at key positions allows you to spend money on not so key positions.
It’s not just hitting on top level prospects either. It’s hitting on lower round guys who fit your organization. Here is the breakdown pick wise of each teams starting 11 and kickers/punters (I’m including picks that weren’t made by either team but are now on the roster):
New England Patriots
- 1st & 2nd round picks – 7
- 3rd – 7th round picks – 9
- Undrafted – 5
- 1st & 2nd round picks – 13
- 3rd – 7th round picks – 9
- Undrafted – 4
The Jets need to do a better job of finding talent and developing said talent. Otherwise we are going to be in an endless cycle of roster turnover until we’re all six feet under.
Addressing needs isn’t something the Jets have done a good job at for the past however many years. It’s never a long term fix. If you had a ripped pool liner, you wouldn’t put duct tape on it in hopes that your pool wouldn’t ruin would you? No, you’d get the whole thing replaced and save yourself time and money by getting it fixed the right way. The Jets are placing duct tape on a ripped pool and are astounded that every two years, they have another rip in the pool liner and have to spend even more money hoping a quick fix will ultimately hold the whole thing together.
Go out, address your needs head on and to the best of your resources. It might not provide immediate returns but in the long run your franchise will be much better off.
Holding a Higher Organizational Standard
“The Patriot Way”. “Do Your Job”. “Next Man Up”.
All of these mottos will be thrown into our faces for the next week until we find ourselves saying them in our everyday lives without noticing. But there’s actual meaning behind these that both teams have embodied and that the Jets should.
The Jets, for the better part of my life, have been looked at as a joke of an organization. The owner is a back page junkie, fans flew planes with banners and put up billboards to have a GM fired and the team has had more quarterbacks than I’ve had girlfriends. There’s no stability or continuity.
The Patriots have a standard that is unmatched in pro sports. It starts with the owner and ends with the water boy. It’s sickening to watch as a Jets fan but deep down, we should aspire to have an organization like that. Everyone is held accountable and every person in their organization has a specific role. They find guys that fit their mold and put them in the best positions to succeed. If you don’t meet that standard, you’re out the door and sending out your resume. This is something the Jets need to start to adopt. There needs to be more accountability from the top down. Enough with band aid moves and short term mentality.
The Eagles lost what would have been the MVP in Carson Wentz and All-Pro tackle Jason Peters to season ending injuries. Nick Foles has stepped in and during the playoffs, shocked everyone outside of the Eagles organization with his play. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has stepped in for Jason Peters and has kept the Eagles offensive line at churning along. While some of this might just be a coincidence, I lean towards the side of these guys are prepped to fill in those shoes when they need to. How many times has a Jet player come up hobbling and you just mutter some awful words underneath your breath knowing that the drop off to the replacement is a mile long? That starts with getting the players that fit your mold and guys that aren’t just good athletes or good football players, but guys that are real students of the game.
GET. YOUR. QUARTERBACK.
What do both of these teams have in common? Their quarterback play was at MVP levels. Tom Brady is Tom Brady and while nobody (besides Bill Polian, apparently) could have predicted he’d have the type of career he’s had, the Patriots have put him in a pretty damn good position to succeed year after year.
On the Eagles’ side, they traded up to the second pick in the draft to go get their guy in Carson Wentz. He led them to an 11-2 record and they, depending on how he recovers from his knee injury, know they have their guy for the next 8-10 seasons.
Having the quarterback is everything in this league. The Jets have a the perfect opportunity to get their guy this offseason. It’s been well documented. Whether you want them to cash in on Kirk Cousins, draft Baker Mayfield at six or trade up to snag Josh Rosen, finding a quarterback needs to be at the top of any needs list. At whatever the cost, now is the time to go get your guy. Surround him with weapons and let’s boogie.
Photo courtesy of: hrgc.com