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Tonight, Thank God It’s Them Instead of You


What better way to celebrate the season than some well-turned snark about a legendary-in-its-own-mind football team?

At this point, the sad-sack New York Jets aren’t a circus, as the New York Post insinuated back in September. They’re a bizarre performance art project that only a few people can tolerate watching. Their inept handling of seemingly every decision has become impressive.

The team’s technique of having no distinct quarterback depth chart is now crossing over to their handling of a new general manager. The Jets want to try and get another general manager to work side by side with current GM Mike Tannenbaum, even though that idea would essentially nullify the whole purpose of a general manager.

I’m not sure — it might make sense to have Tannenbaum run the cap and have someone else run personnel, although Tannenbaum’s drafting was fine while Mangini (who, in retrospect, got kind of a raw deal after being overrated enough to be immortalized on the Sopranos) was there.

The real difficulty for the Jets will be executing their central organizational goal, which in lieu of the “try to find NFL-quality offensive players” goal of more boring organizations seems to be “find a potential replacement for Mark Sanchez who is even worse than Mark Sanchez.” An increasingly difficult problem! I think we can narrow the next big Jets acquisition down to four possible choices:

  • Ryan Lindley
  • JaMarcus Russell
  • Ryan Leaf
  • Marc Wilson

And if they need a new offensive coordinator…what a lucky break that Cam Cameron is now available!

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  • Alan in SF

    I do have to put in a word here for those football fans who were not fortunate enough to have witnessed the JaMarcus Russell oeuvre, due to his team being too horrendously bad to ever be on national TV. There have been many bad quarterbacks over the years — certainly Ryan Leaf sets a very high standard, Tood Marinovicah comes to mind, and Charlie Batch will always be bad. But there are bad quarterbacks,there are excruciatingly bad quarterbacks, and then there is JaMarcus Russell. I believe it was Dan Dierdorf who perfectly characterized the Russell style: “He looks like he’s playing with his eyes closed.”

    • Tnap01

      Don’t worry about JaMarcus, even if he’ll never play in the NFL again his fine LSU education will help him get back on his feet.

      • Jim Lynch

        Give Russell his due: the man could throw a football sixty yards while on his knees and sipping a bottle of cough syrup!

        From the day T-Bo signed on with the Jets, I’ve assumed the problem is with their owner. It’s the only thing that explains why their GM wasn’t fired for incompetence– he wasn’t responsible. It must have been the owner.

      • That is good times.

      • Scott Lemieux

        “Went in dumb/Come out dumb too.”

    • Green Caboose

      Rusty Lisch. Without a doubt the worst QB I’ve ever seen start an NFL game (week 15 for Chicago at home vs. GB in 1984 after McMahon and Fuller went down). So bad they let Walter Payton try a series as QB in shotgun formation. The Bears had a solid running game, an even better pressure defense than in 1985, and a good young offensive line so there was minimal pressure on the QB. Yet, when he did go back to pass, he’d cock his arm as if to throw and hold it their for 5 or more seconds completely unsure of what to do.

      The desperate Bears brought in Greg Landry from retirement to start the last game – which he won against his old team.

  • I’m putting my money on Dan Orlovsky starting the first game for the Jets next year.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Good one.

      • Rex Grossman should be available, too.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Let us not forget John Beck, who managed the feat of being substantially worse than Rex Grossman.

          • efgoldman

            The [then Baltimore] Colts won a playoff game, I think, with RB Tom Matte at QB. Unitas and Morrell were both out injured.

        • Pestilence

          Please. Joe Namath’s still alive, right?

  • jeer9

    Drafting a quarterback is sort of a crapshoot. For every Manning, Ryan or Roethlisberger, you have just as many over-rated college stars who fail miserably at the pro level. Brady was a 6th rounder, Rodgers was passed over by numerous QB-needy teams, and who could have predicted the success of Wilson this year? Seattle is suddenly an exciting team to watch.

    Sanchez looked pretty good the first few years, but his confidence is shot and a location change seems in order. (A Jets friend blames everything on the lack of quality receivers.) And Tebow was a really stupid acquisition. He needs to go to Jacksonville. Mr. Foot Fetish probably doesn’t deserve to survive this year’s performance, which means he almost certainly will.

    • and who could have predicted the success of Wilson this year?

      Teams that looked at performance and not just whether someone is more than 6’2″?

      • Scott Lemieux

        Teams that looked at performance and not just whether someone is more than 6’2″?

        Exactly. Wilson dropping to the 3rd round is a classic Moneyball inefficiency; the Seahawks just remembered that they aren’t selling jeans. He was a very accurate college QB who was projected to be good, if not this good this soon. (BTW, Jesus the Browns were run by fucking morons.)

        • Kurzleg

          So, you’re saying that a team whose gm hires the son of said GM’s late defensive coordinator isn’t well-run?

    • Sherm

      If the jets built a system based upon the skills of their qb, Sanchez would be perfectly fine. He’s athletic, mobile and accurate out of the pocket. Put him in a west coast style system and move him around to create passing lanes for him to compensate for his lack of height, and he’d be good. They instead only pass on third and long on seven step drop backs, where he’s out of his element. He’s nothing great, but he’s not the problem and has been put in the position to fail by his coaches and front office.

      • Scott Lemieux

        I think that’s too strong. I agree that Sanchez, with some talent to work with and a real offense to run, could be OK. But I don’t see what the basis is for calling him an “accurate pocket passer” is.

        • Sherm

          He’s not a pocket passer, and that’s how they use him. But he’s pretty accurate on the move, out of the pocket. They should move him around to create passing lanes for him

          • Scott Lemieux

            Ah, I see what you mean! Right, he’s a good play-action QB.

        • TT

          Sanchez is bewildering. At times he’s shown flashes of being a good QB; leading the Jets to a 2nd-half comeback against the Steelers in the 2010 AFC title game, when they’d been pretty much left for dead after the 1st half, was no mean feat, and a competent organization would’ve built on that. But over the past two seasons a combination of his own limitations, a terrible offensive line, a non-existent running game, a laughable receiving corps, and management mind games have taken their toll. I think a change of scenery might help him or at least put him on a team interested in building on his past successes, such as they were.

          Also, Babe Laufenberg. Hands down the worst QB in the history of the universe. Bobby Beathard’s comic relief act was always brought in when Redskins fans needed a laugh in the mid-’80s.

    • efgoldman

      A Jets friend blames everything on the lack of quality receivers.

      Who’s been the O-coordinator during the Sanchez years? How many? Has he had an actual QB coach?
      Seksi Reksi neither knows nor cares about offense – he just thinks it appears like magic.
      I almost feel sorry for the J-E-T-S. Almost. But if they didn’t win another game for five years, I’d be schadenfreudishly happy.

      • Chet Manly

        Who’s been the O-coordinator during the Sanchez years? How many? Has he had an actual QB coach?

        This. Sanchez has had a different coordinator every year he’s been in the NFL.

        • Sherm

          He had schottenheimer for his first three years and soprono this year. Bigger problems are the lack of skill players around him and their insistence upon running a system which accentuates his weaknesses. There is not a starting caliber skill player on the roster, with the possible exception of Dustin Keller, who has been hurt this year.

    • Pestilence

      Tebow was a really stupid acquisition. He needs to go to Jacksonville

      why do you hate the Jags?

    • Sockie the Sock Puppet

      … and who could have predicted the success of Wilson this year?

      Answer: The Lewin Career Forecast.

      There are extenuating circumstances that led to an insanely high forecast rating for Wilson — a.k.a. “The Asterisk” — but the five paragraphs that the writer used to explain away the results in hindsight seem like the fudge factor Einstein invented to keep his equations from showing the universe was expanding.

  • My money’s on Vince Young.

    The Jets are the gift that keep on giving — except to their fans. Whoops.

    It’s a hot mess from top to bottom.

    Ha – maybe they’re stupid enough to pick up Tim Teb…oh, right. Hilarious.

  • c u n d gulag

    No talk of Jeff George?
    I guess he finally hung up his cleats a while back.
    Remember how many teams thought they could “fix” him?
    He had a bazooka for an arm. And Bazooka Bubblegum for a brain.

    • Pestilence

      Well you could describe Vinnie Testaverde the same, but at least he was smart enough to know he was too dumb to do anything but follow instructions (once he had a coach who knew how to handle him)

  • James E Powell

    I really wanted the Jets to go Full Tebow. I doubt they’d have won more games, but I would have been entertained.

  • The Jets, the Mets, the Nets.

    Biggest market in America, lots of financial potential and just routine delivery of failure of the most obvious nature.

    Good thing the Yankees, the Giants, the Devils, and the Rangers don’t rhyme with their incompetent cousins.

    They should get some of those profound banners that Bill Belichick uses. Like:

    “Do your job”

    • Sherm

      The mets have won more championships in my lifetime than the rangers have won Stanley cups. The giants didn’t make the post-season from 1963 until 1981.

  • Green Caboose

    I have no freaking idea what the Jests are doing and its clear they don’t either. Remember the off-season started with the Jets failing to land Peyton and responding by giving Sanchez a massive new contract, apparently to soothe his feelings, followed by trading for the-worst-backup-QB-in-history (in the sense that he and his legion of wingnut fans very obviously are coveting the starting job and will destroy the team, if necessary, to get it). Then they have Tebow do all kinds of weird things, few of which have any positive impact, and when the season is lost and the starting QB obviously needing to be relieved, they go with their 3rd string late-round no-name QB not once but twice and stick with him after he’s proven to be even worse than the starter.

    However, we NFL fans in Colorado can only smile at this mess.

    Maybe, for the Jests next act, they’ll give Josh MickeyD another shot at being a head coach.

  • Sherm

    My money is on Vick.

  • Bill Cross

    It’l like no one here has ever heard of the legend of Kim McQuilken


    sub-40% completion percentage, 1 in ~70 passes for TDs, 1 in ~10 passes for interceptions and ~10 yards per completion. He cracked a 20 QB rating one of the three years he started games for the Falcons with a 21.7

    • Sherm

      Holy shit. Those are some awful stats.

  • shah8

    1) I know people will repeat that JaMarcus Russell was the worst bust ever ad nauseum. He’s a bust, but he’s really pretty far from being a megabust, and that’s pretty evident if you actually examine the stats and eyeball what was happening in 2008 and 2009. Compare and contrast with people like, oh, Heath Shuler. Moreover, in general, a JaMarcus Russell with his weight under control will find another job in the NFL.

    2) It is not insane for NFL GMs to be concerned about his height. At 6’0″, it takes exceptional talent to succeed in the NFL, as evidence by Brees and Vick being the only two short starters prior to Wilson. At 5’10” or so, Wilson had a great deal to prove. He probably should not have been into the third round, never mind that deep in the third round where he was taken.

    3) Sanchez’ problems really have to do with the rather unenviable situation he was in. He’s only alright, but is asked to cover deficiencies well beyond his capacity, and can’t even bother to be overwhelmed free of the lulz.

    4) NFL is almost as much theater as sport. Very few people understand what’s going on, even as they spout all the terms they learned from Madden. All sports have franchises that don’t really care about putting a winning product out there, but none are quite as blatant as NFL franchises. In that light, the NFL is also pursues a marketing strategy that seeks to keep white people unalienated. As such, the NFL can be rather incredibly racist, particularly about the QB position, but also in many other facets, such as disciplinary procedures. Sports media goes along with this, with gusto. That’s why you can get as much visceral hate for Sanchez or Vick, when ultimately, it’s about circumstances beyond their control. Or the lack of comment as to what’s going on with the Viking’s QB situation. Or the simple acceptance of the suckitude of Cassell. While *every* black QB gets the uppity negro attitude label, regardless of what they do–witness that awful article about Kaepernick’s tattoos being the latest example. And manifestly unqualified white QBs like Tebow and Ponder gets chance after chance, the former for an set of weirdo groupies.

    • Alan in SF

      Really, you had to see JaMarcus consistently to appreciate how awful he was. He had probably the strongest arm I’ve ever seen, at least since Elway, and could hit a receiver in stride eighty yards downfield (while on his knees, sipping cough syrup, as someone said upthread. Or throw it twenty yards to the left of him. Or into the middle of his offensive lineman’s back. Or just drop the ball. He had zero pocket sense, and for a really big guy he was amazingly easy to bring down. Many, many other quarterbacks were just incapable of throwing passes in the NFL. JaMarcus was proactively gawdawful — but he did make plays and complete passes amidst all the fail, so he put up some stats.

      • Sherm

        That video of him throwing the ball through the uprights from midfield, on his knees, was amazing.

  • He is the 21st century’s answer to Dave Brown. I now need a drink.

  • Njorl

    I think it is an ideal time for me to work on my experimental coaching project. I plan on combining the brains of Rex Ryan and Norv Turner to create a coach capable of running an offense and a defense. As an added benefit, I hope that it will also be able to speak at an appropriate volume.

    From the leftovers, I can make another Rich Kotite.

    • CJColucci

      Norv Turner may be looking for an OC job, which may be the next best thing.

  • Alan in SF

    If only the Jets could get their hands on an actual good coach, like Seattle’s Pete Carroll…Oh, that’s right.

  • Omar

    There was a time, before the Tebow acquisition, when the Jets had a capable back-up on the roster, Drew Stanton. But, after overpaying for Tebow, a 6th round draft choice, they sent him to the Colts for a late rounder where he holds the clipboard for Luck.

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