It's Friday, and that means we're back with another tour of the AFC East. Each week, we'll be talking to bloggers covering the Buffalo Bills' fiercest rivals - their divisional opponents. Today we'll break down the interviews into three posts - one for each team - and we'll now discuss the New York Jets with Brian Bassett from The Jets Blog:
I'm not a fan of them (see: Losman vs. Edwards), but maybe it'll help to hear about a different quarterback controversy. Clemens vs. Pennington: who starts, who sits, and how permanent is the opening day starter?
The Jets Blog: As ridiculous as it might sound, the offense looks to be much less reliant on QB this year. Word on the street is that the team will be moving more into power running and a vertical downfield offense and thus away from the West Coast that the team has run over the past two years - as evidenced by the addition of Bill Callahan as the line coach, the body shop at running back, Tony Richardson as a legit blocking back and upgrading the line with Alan Faneca and Damien Woody all during this past off-season. If they do try to throw downfield more, Pennington is in some serious trouble. I see Clemens as the opening day starter and that he'll get a long look during the 2008 campaign. The organization invested a second rounder two years ago in Clemens and he seems to fit the offense that the team is moving to better.
I hate to break it to Jets fans, but a power run, vertical downfield offense doesn't disguise the errors of QB play. We're only too aware of how Steve Fairchild's "power run, vertical downfield" offense couldn't prevent the downfall of J.P. Losman nor the struggles of Trent Edwards. It's not about the offense in this league, folks - it's about your quarterback being able to execute that offense, whatever the attack may be.
The Jets and their fans are in for a harsh reality if they're expecting their new offense to mask the deficiencies of their two quarterbacks. If I were a Jets fan (and I'm glad I'm not), I'd be pulling for Pennington to start - they have a team heavily laden with veterans, and Pennington has proven he can win. If they gamble with Clemens, they'd better be prepared to lose. A lot.
We've got one more installment of Around the AFC East coming later on this afternoon, as we discuss the Dolphins.