I love the New York Jets - or rather, I love to hate them. Why? Because they do weird things. Honestly, the Jets are one of the strangest-run organizations in all of sports; all style, no substance. They're impatient, they make big splashes with tiny ripple effects, and they routinely infuriate their fans on draft day (save this year, of course).
Two of the Jets' most recent failed experiments - former head coach Eric Mangini and the insufferable Brett Favre - were escorted out of New York this off-season, leading to a lot more flashy change in New York. Will it help? Time will tell, but I'm more interested in hearing whether Jets fans feel all of the big change hinders the overall progress of that organization. That's where John B of Gang Green Nation comes in.
I want to talk about a couple of failed experiments in New York; namely, the hiring of Eric Mangini as head coach and the trade for QB Brett Favre. Neither is with the team any longer, so don't hold any punches. Did bringing in either of these men hinder the overall progress of the Jets organization?
John B: I'll start with Mangini. In the long run, I actually think his tenure with the Jets will be a positive. He brought in a lot of talent and left the club in much better shape than he inheirited it. The way in which he hindered the development of the franchise mainly has to do with the 2008 season. The AFC was wide open, and he had as much talent as anybody in the conference. This was a golden opportunity to end four decades of misery. While he was certainly not the only problem and arguably not the biggest, he was a big reason the team collapsed the way it did. He saw in 2007 his coordinators were not getting the job done and retained both of them for 2008. He did not demand they make necessary changes as the season progressed. Blitzing more on defense and finding more than two offensive touches in a given week for Leon Washington are examples. The gameplans were suspect, and in game decision making was suspect down the stretch. 2008 could have been a transformational year for the Jets. Mangini was one of the reasons the team did not go as far as it might have.
Favre is tougher to evaluate. He shares in blame for the collapse. However, we will not know the extent which he cost the franchise for a few years. His presence cost the team a year in which it could have evaluated Kellen Clemens. Imagine Clemens goes to another team and becomes a quality quarterback. Then imagine Mark Sanchez does not pan out. One season of Favre in this scenario may have cost the team five years to a decade.
Now if Clemens does not pan out as a player or Sanchez does, Favre's cost to the Jets comes down roughly to what Mangini's was. One could argue it cost the team Chad Pennington, but it seemed like the power that be had determined Chad had taken the Jets as far as he could. At best, he does what he did with Miami in 2008, wins the division, and gets bloodied by the Ravens in the first round. Been there. Done that. Would it really have been that much better of an outcome?
I'm thankful that there's another (several) week(s) of Around the AFC East to come, because reading about people potentially screwing over the Jets organization gave me a sudden urge to ask John about GM Mike Tannenbaum. Next Friday!
In the meantime, John's on point in regards to Favre - he outlines exactly what it was miraculously stupid for the Jets to add him last season. It would have been a dumb move even if they'd made the playoffs. Bringing in Favre set the franchise up to fail, and fail they did. They're not starting over in New York as a result, but there was plenty of change for a club that hasn't been able to get over the hump in the AFC East any better than our Bills have.
As for Mangini - well, I always thought he was kind of a dunderhead, but I thought that the Jets pulled the plug on him far too quickly. When they hired Mangini, he was the youngest head coach in the league that was made to look more intelligent because of the man he worked for in New England. The raw tools for a good coach are there, but the Jets got impatient after three years. That's terrible management; it's like drafting Kellen Clemens in the second round and then bringing in a washed up future Hall of Famer and a whiz kid out of USC. Wait...
One more fishy installment of Around the AFC East on your way this afternoon!