Stephen Russo goes 1st and 10 on the New York Jets latest blowout loss…
Before anything else, I’m a fan. I bleed green. My father instilled this in me at a young age the same way that I am doing with my 6-year-old son. The story is that Joe Namath signed a deal with the Devil to beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, and if that’s the case I’m pretty sure my dad was the one who handed him the pen.
The season is three days away, and while I had to take our optimism down a notch last week with a recap of the Jets most painful losses, let’s change the pace and allow that positivity to creep back into our lives with the best Jets wins in the last 30 years. Here’s to hoping some good memories will spurn a successful kickoff to the 2020 season!
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 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 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 a closer look at new Jets WR Breshad Perriman
There have been a few buzzwords tossed around thus far to describe Joe Douglas’ approach to his first Jets’ offseason: strategic, disciplined, and tone-setting to name a few. No argument here. That has been exactly what Douglas has done, and for the most part, it has been somewhat of a breath of fresh air. While there is still work to be done, the moves have been smart, low-risk, high reward signings. Good for Joe and good for the Jets.
Stephen Russo goes 3 up and 3 down on New York Jets HC Adam Gase
With week one of Free Agency off to hot start around the league, Jets GM Joe Douglas has taken a simple, understated, and intelligent approach to put his stamp on the team. His best move thus far is undoubtedly Connor McGovern, the versatile interior offensive lineman from Denver – smart, durable, and penalty free – I like the sound of that! Douglas has taken other measures (George Fant, Josh Andrews, Greg Van Roten, re-signing Alex Lewis) as well to stick to his promise of bolstering a struggling offensive line unit from 2019. The bottom line is that he has placed focus in arguably the most important area of a team, when his predecessors spent years neglecting it. Now, will these moves pan out? Time will tell. But there is nowhere to go but up for this unit.
Stephen Russo on the myths around rebuilding in the NFL
The rebuild. It is a term that has found an all too comfortable home in the vocabulary of every long-suffering Jets fan over the last decade. There are all types of rebuilds, too. Look no further than the Jets teams of recent history to see how many different ways you can do this thing:
Stephen Russo with the good, the bad and the ugly from the New York Jets offensive weapons in 2019
Prior to the start of last season, it appeared as if the Jets took their first step into this century and bought into offensive football. While the hire was controversial, they went for an offensive coach in Adam Gase, a small step in the right direction. The organization recognized a serious asset in Sam Darnold, and also realized that if you want your young Quarterback to thrive, you surround him with talent. So, they signed Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder, and figured that pairing them with Chris Herndon, Quincy Enunwa, and Robby Anderson would lead to the “electric” offense that Sam Darnold and Adam Gase had envisioned when the season started. Well, weren’t we in for a rude awakening?
Allow me to take a look at the top weapons individually and grade them on a pretty simple scale: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Stephen Russo grades out the New York Jets defensive line in 2019
The Jets entire defensive unit, and in particular, their defensive line, was a strongpoint of the team in the 2019 season. With heavy investments made both in the draft and free agency in recent years, the defensive line should be a strength. Let’s take a closer look at how the unit performed this past season.