Stephen Russo on the five most painful losses for the New York Jets of the past 30 years…
We are less than two weeks away from regular season New York Jets football and while the preseason expectations surrounding this team are usually at their highest prior to week one, I figured I could give everyone just a little dose of sadness to drown out all that optimism. I’m kidding… sort of. For this article, I’d like to take another walk down memory lane and revisit some of the Jets – you guessed it! – most painful losses of the last 30 years!
Exciting, I know…
Stephen Russo on why the New York Jets are not tanking in 2020…
Somehow, over the course of the last few weeks, the tide has shifted in the world of Jets fandom and the panic has started to set in, and that word has been uttered more than a few times in the twitterverse: tanking. In a matter of days, the Jets traded their star safety in Jamal Adams for an absolute haul in return and their $85 million stud middle linebacker opted out due to COVID-19. Not exactly ideal for an arguably talent deficient roster as is. And for some reason, it seemed as though the “Tank Talk” didn’t start until the Jets cut guard Brian Winters (yes, you read that right). Maybe Jets fans placed an incredible amount of stake in the oft-injured guards meaning to the offensive line or maybe it was just the timing of it all, but as soon as the name Trevor Lawrence started creeping into the conversation, I had to throw my hands up in disgust.
Pump. The. Brakes.
Stephen Russo on what Sam Darnold needs to do in year 3 for the New York Jets offense to be successful
I’ve been quite bullish on Sam Darnold since the start of his Jets career. He passes the eye test. The young quarterback just has something about him that makes you think he’s different. At this point in his career, that’s about all we have – a feeling. Sure, Darnold has made some incredible throws. He has improvised and made some ridiculous plays. And he has finished up each of his first two seasons rather strong. But for almost every “wow” play he’s made, he’s probably had an equally boneheaded play to cancel it out.
However, when you realize that he has been paired with two average-at-best head coaches in his first two years, and pair them with sub-par offensive staffs, an underwhelming number of difference makers on offense, and one of the worst offensive lines in football – what else can we expect? An argument can be made that Darnold has overachieved in his first two years considering what he has had to deal with.
Stephen Russo with a deep dive on what to expect from Sam Darnold in year three…
While the Jamal Adams saga finally came to a close this weekend, Jets fans can put the drama behind them and look forward to the 2020 season filled with – you guessed it – so many question marks. The post-Adams-trade Jets are a team that is definitely building for the long haul. And rightfully so, questions arise on the team’s intention of competing in 2020. The loss of Adams certainly doesn’t improve the defense, but does the addition of McDougald mitigate the loss enough to where it won’t be felt as much? Does the addition of McGovern and Becton on the offensive line make a big enough difference for Sam Darnold and return Le’Veon Bell to his Steeler form? While how much the Jets upgraded is debatable, the moves that were made also make every fan ask the question “Does different necessarily mean better?”
I am here to tell you – the answer doesn’t matter that much.
This season’s success or failure is based on one thing, and one thing only: Sam Darnold.
Stephen Russo on if Joe Douglas can have the same impact on the New York Jets as Bill Parcells
It was more than 23 years ago that Bill Parcells made the infamous quote “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries” as he left the Patriots to become the Jets Head Coach and General Manager. And if you’ve read my work before you’d know that I typically reference the 1997-2010 era of Jets Football as the “glory gears.” It’s no secret that Bill Parcells was the catalyst for those years of perpetual success (because to Jets fans perpetual is a relative term). There is no denying the success that the organization had during that run. In those 14 years, the Jets had 11 seasons where they finished 8-8 or better, made 7 playoff appearances and had 8 playoff wins. What would we give up for that kind of success again?
Stephen Russo with why it is the New York Jets time to finally make a move in the AFC East
Everything new Jets General Manager Joe Douglas has done this offseason proves that he is a man with a plan. He’s also a man with a 6-year deal. He realizes that the years and years of short term band-aids and quick fixes that came before him won’t get this team anywhere, and the way to build is to be smart and methodical and invest in places that need it – not out-flash every other team with big money signings that never amount to anything (Goodbye, Trumaine Johnson).
Stephen Russo with a closer look at New York Jets UDFA defensive back Lamar Jackson, from Nebraska
Following the completion of Joe Douglas’ first draft as the New York Jets’ General Manager, he made some noteworthy UDFA signings as well. Among them was Nebraska Cornerback Lamar Jackson (I promise not to make any jokes referencing the League MVP with the same name). Jackson, a 2nd team all Big 10 player in his senior season at Nebraska, has the potential to make some noise in a seemingly wide-open cornerback room.
Stephen Russo with a closer look at UDFA WR Lawrence Cager, from Georgia
6’5” and 220 pounds. That’s pretty much all you need to know, right? Well, it may be his size that has created a lot of buzz for undrafted free agent Lawrence Cager, as the Georgia receiver has caught some significant attention following his joining the Jets on Sunday following the conclusion of the NFL draft. Cager clearly brings his size and physicality to the wide receiver position with the Jets, who need bodies to compete and his potential could lead to a surprise roster spot.
Stephen Russo with final advice to New York Jets GM Joe Douglas on night one of the NFL Draft
Draft day is finally upon us. It’s time for Joe Douglas, our white knight, our savior, our only hope to prove his worth. His first real crack at building the foundation of this team starts Thursday night. He will be fine, as long as he listens to my five keys to a successful draft weekend. Here we go!
Stephen Russo ranks the top five New York Jets offense of the past 25 years…
For far too long it feels as though the Jets have been stuck in the stone age of offense. As the rules changed, the game changed, and the way coaches called the game changed, the Jets stayed the same. They always found a way to have that conservative, defensive minded coach who was ecstatic to call 3 runs and a punt with five minutes to go while leading by 4, just to put it in the hands of his defense. They seem to have a knack for being behind the times when it came to offense, either due to being hamstrung by an inept quarterback or an antiquated system or, even when the team was solid, the “ground and pound” mantra.