Welcome to part one of our 32-part series, Better Know a Football Team.
Something’s rotten in the state of Jersey.
Oh, that’s just the Meadowlands.
The seemingly hapless New York Jets franchise spent last season taking several giant leaps in the wrong direction. In fact all they’ve really been good for lately is acting as the Triple A affiliate for the playoff-bound Redskins (exhibit a, exhibit b, exhibit c)
Gone are the motivational press conferences of the truly mediocre Herm Edwards (although he was better than Al Groh, who now lives in a van down by the river). Stepping in is Eric Mangina (typo…really), the second youngest coach in NFL history. While he may be a disciple of the Oracle of Mass, he will soon learn that he’s a long way from Foxborough. Regardless the hiring of Mangini has already appeased both Fireman Ed and Paulie Walnuts.
In recent years the success or failure of each season has been determined by the effectiveness of the men under center. Last year Chad Pennington went down with a nasty recurrence of Kerry Wood Disease and the Jets crumbled like Curtis Martin’s 33-year-old knees. Entering this season he appears to have all the arm strength and tenacity of a young Timmy Lupus. To compound his problems Pennington just happens to be walking into a three-way battle royal the likes of which haven’t been seen since Invisible Man.
Chad’s modest company includes a lead-footed castoff and an untested rookie. Patrick Ramsey will come into camp auditioning for the rest of his career after a tumultuous few years in DC and his subsequent demotion to the minors. The option currently carrying the most momentum heading towards training camp is newly drafted quarterback Kellen Clemens out of Oregon. The highly regarded prospect managed to slip all the way to the Jets despite the unmitigated success of Oregon QB’s in the NFL. Between the likes of Joey Harrington and Akili Smith we could very well be looking at the next Heath Shuler!
As questionable as the quarterbacks seem to be, they are no match for the Jets feeble running game. Unfortunately CMart appears to be on his way towards bankruptcy, and even worse, there doesn’t appear to be anybody worth a damn waiting in the wings (what ever happened to that guy LaMont?). Ced Houston is serviceable at best while Leon Washington doesn’t appear capable of twenty carries a game. Perhaps the best bet to supplant Martin is the D-Blocker himself, Derrick Blaylock, although Jadakiss runs a better 40. Long story short, the offense is fucked no matter who’s wearing the headset.
The once proud defensive unit has been decimated by age and defection. Jonathan Vilma is an incredible talent but without a running mate like Jon Abraham his efforts will go for naught. This of course will all lead to the Jets trading another studly Hurricane to Washington in exchange for some overrated chump.