Whats Wrong With the Jets? - HowTheyPlay - Sports
Updated date:

Whats Wrong With the Jets?

Evan is a new online sports writer and long-time co-host of the Big Apple Sports Podcast.

Jets logo

Jets logo

Ever since the Jets wowed everyone on their way to two consecutive AFC Championship Games, they have been stuck in football limbo. With a seemingly never-ending revolving door of quarterbacks, Jets fans are constantly screaming for the next one before the incumbent one can prove himself. In a league dominated by offense, where your quarterback is essentially your franchise, how do the Jets stop the endless cycle of shame and ineptitude? Read on, because it’s not as simple as getting the number one overall pick in next year’s draft.

A Historical Look at the New York Jets

First, let us take a look at some seemingly ancient history. The last time the Jets had a Top Five offense was in 1998. That year they were led by the legendary Bill Parcells, with an aging Vinny Testaverde at quarterback, Curtis Martin leading the running game, and a young Keyshawn Johnson leading the receiving corps (which also had fan favorite Wayne Chrebet). That year they were ranked fifth overall and made it to the AFC Championship game. Since then the Jets have fluctuated between mediocre and garbage, with a few 10-win seasons sprinkled in. The only other time since that the Jets have had a Top 10 offense was with Brett Favre at the helm in 2008. Is this a coincidence? Possibly. The more likely and obvious answer is that both years they had an established quarterback. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Duh, everyone knows you need a quarterback in the NFL. So why have the Jets had so much trouble getting that highly coveted franchise quarterback? I believe I have the answer, and it won’t make Jets fans feel any better.

The Jets' Quarterback Problem

Let’s look at the young quarterbacks that the Jets have tried to develop over the last 20 or so years.

  • Fan-favorite Chad Pennington: Pennington was a smart quarterback who knew how to protect the football. He rarely threw a red zone interception and led the Jets to the playoffs three times during his short tenure. But even with Martin in the backfield the Jets offense was never in the top ten in scoring. Then Pennington’s shoulder went out, making his borderline arm even worse, so he could no longer make the throws necessary to be a competent NFL quarterback.
  • Mark Sanchez: He was supposed to be the one to bring the Jets to the promised land. However, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Vinny Chase look-alike struggled with turnovers from day one. He was carried into the playoffs by the top offensive line in the league and an excellent running game where in his second trip to the playoffs he showed flashes of being a franchise quarterback, carrying the team to wins over Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. At this point, Jets fans were probably thinking they had something brewing. The Jets then pulled what can only be described as a ‘Jets move,’ and kept getting rid of experienced offensive linemen and wideouts, replacing them with subpar players. Sanchez couldn’t handle the increased pressure and his tenure ended with the “Butt Fumble” and a shoulder injury in a preseason game.
  • Geno Smith: He was overrated from before the NFL Draft and was a horrible pick, but what else would you expect from John Idzik, possibly the worst GM in NFL history when it came to talent evaluation? Geno Smith spent his days at WVU throwing bubble screens to Tayvon Austin, who then ran all over the other team’s defense. Geno Smith couldn’t throw a five-yard slant route, and somehow had worse turnovers than Mark Sanchez.
  • Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty: Both have strong arms and have had some success in college, but neither of them has gotten much praise or confidence from the Jets’ fanbase. Most likely with the current staff of the Jets, they too will fail.

So What's Wrong With the New York Jets?

Is it possible that over the course of the last 20 years, the Jets have been so bad at evaluating talent that they have missed on every single quarterback that they drafted? While the defense since Rex Ryan was at the helm has been extremely successful, with a plethora of talent on that end of the ball, how is it that the quarterback position has been a complete and utter failure?

The answer is quite simple: The Jets organization as a whole does NOT know what it takes to develop an NFL quarterback. It starts at the top with Woody Johnson and Neil Glatt and trickles all the way down to every GM and head coach they have hired since Al Groh. Woody Johnson put someone in charge who doesn’t know how to find the right person to develop a young quarterback. This is what has led to a string of terrible GMs, who hire first time, defensive-minded head coaches who have no idea how to take the raw talent of a Sanchez, a Hackenberg, or even a Geno, and make them into winning quarterbacks, let alone Super Bowl-caliber players.

What the Jets Need to Do

Now, I know what you’re thinking: I talk a lot of smack with no advice on how to fix the problem. If you’re still reading this, then I appreciate your patience and it will all pay off shortly. The solution to the Jets problem is simple, yet seemingly impossible. The Jets need to hire people who have experience developing young quarterbacks in the NFL. People like Andy Reid and Bruce Arians have helped take older quarterbacks and help them revive their careers. How does one get people like this to come work for the Jets? If I knew that I wouldn’t be writing this article, I’d be working in an NFL front office.

© 2017 EVAN R FREEMAN

Comments

TT from Anywhere on September 01, 2018:

Its a combination of poor ownership, bad coaching, and lousy draft picks and free agency signings

Related Stories

quarterbacks-with-the-most-impressive-hand-sizes-in-nfl-history

17 NFL Quarterbacks With the Largest Hand Sizes

Hand size is important for a quarterback. Nearly every play has the quarterback handling the ball, and small hands mean less ball control. Quarterbacks such as Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have shown it's possible to have success at a height of 6'0" or shorter if you have huge hands.

where-are-they-now-2006-nfl-draft-quarterbacks

Where Are They Now? 2006 NFL Draft Quarterbacks

I recap the careers of the top five quarterbacks of the 2006 NFL Draft and what they are doing today. There were a number of exciting players in this draft though many of them wound up being big busts in the pro ranks.

american-football-positions-and-what-they-do

American Football Positions and What They Do

This article will cover the positions in football, what their primary job is, and where they are located on the field. It also includes famous examples of players at each position.

where-are-they-now2009-nfl-draft-quarterbacks

2009 NFL Draft Quarterbacks: Where Are They Now?

I recap the careers of the top five quarterbacks of the 2009 NFL Draft and discuss what they are doing today.

where-are-they-now-2008-nfl-draft-quarterbacks

Where Are They Now?—2008 NFL Draft Quarterbacks

I recap the careers of the top five quarterbacks of the 2008 NFL Draft and what they are doing today.

five-key-reasons-for-recent-green-bay-packer-success

Reasons for the Green Bay Packers' Success

An excellent general manager and coaching staff, player development, and excellent fans are some reasons for the Green Bay Packers' success. I will detail five key reasons for the team's success.

15-nfl-players-with-the-longest-arms

15 NFL Players With the Longest Arms

Arms are the first point of contact in an NFL game. If you can't get your hands on an opponent as a lineman because he has a much better reach than you, you're going to have a bad time. There are surely players who can succeed despite having short arms, but they're more the exception than the rule.

what-are-the-qualities-of-an-elite-nfl-quarterback

12 Characteristics of the Top-Level NFL Quarterbacks

This article discusses the most important characteristics of high-quality quarterbacks in the NFL. Develop these quarterback qualities to get a shot at having a career in the NFL.

nfl-top-10-running-backs-of-all-time-statistical-ranking

NFL: Top 10 Running Backs of All-Time With Statistical Ranking

This article covers the top 10 running backs all time. We'll look at statistical ranking and analysis.

top-10-offensive-linemen-not-in-the-pro-football-hall-of-fame

Top 10 Quarterbacks Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

I rank the top ten quarterbacks not in the pro football Hall of Fame

25-tallest-quarterback-to-ever-play-in-the-nfl

25 Tallest Quarterbacks to Ever Play in the NFL

The average height of a quarterback in the NFL is 6’3”, with most falling in the 6’2” to 6’5” range. The NFL has had some successful tall QBs like Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, and Cam Newton, but the tallest QBs aren't necessarily the best, as the career of Dan McGwire shows.

greatest-wins-in-cleveland-browns-history

Greatest Wins in Cleveland Browns History

Though the Cleveland Browns have been synonymous with losing for most of the past 20 years, with 37 winning seasons and 28 playoff appearances, there have been plenty of memorable wins for the team. What follows is a list of 10 of the most prominent victories in franchise history.

15-best-quarterbacks-for-the-los-angeles-rams

15 Best Quarterbacks for the Los Angeles Rams

This article suggests a list of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the Los Angeles Rams. Provided in the story is a short biography for each quarterback and relevant statistical data.

philadelphia-eagles-top-5-quarterbacks

The Top 5 Quarterbacks in Philadelphia Eagles History

Though the Philadelphia Eagles have been in the NFL since 1933, they haven't had as many truly great quarterbacks as one might expect. However, the team is fortunate to have been led by some very impressive quarterbacks. Let's take a look at the top five and a few honorable mentions.

pittsburgh-steelers-all-time-team

The Ultimate Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team Roster

This is the ultimate Steelers all-franchise team, a 46-man, game-ready roster of Pittsburgh’s all-time greats at every position.