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The Jets disaster on Sunday

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

The New York Jets lost 0-34 on Sunday to the 49ers. After losing to the Vikings I think most everyone expected the 49ers to come out strong in this game, but after the opening-day game the Jets had to start the season I don’t think anyone expected this. It wasn’t a beating, it was a shellacking.

The Jets offense has never been known for it’s performance, they have never been known for putting up big numbers on a consistent basis, and although the 49ers defense has become one of the top defenses in the league over the last few years, the Jets have no excuse for going scoreless. You play football to win, defense gives you a chance, offense puts points on the board and points win games. Can’t win anything with a zero.

Where was the feared Jets defense? Nowhere to be found. With Revis out, even Alex Smith and the 49ers were safe to pass all day long against bench-warmers. The problem wasn’t just in the corners, the safeties were doing… whatever that was on Sunday along with most everyone on the field that wasn’t on the line.

Speaking of the line, the Jets are thin at the line on both sides of the ball. I don’t mean thin as in lack of great or even good players, which is also true in this case, what I actually mean is the Jets line on offense and defense is thin, not a lot of big guys, not a lot of guys with a naturally low center-of-gravity. It doesn’t matter how much motor a guy has if he is made of tin, once he runs into that heavy chunk of solid iron, well. Especially true when the line is obviously not getting results, again on both sides of the ball.

What is more interesting is that the Jets acquired Tim Tebow, practiced integrating the wildcat into their offense, and then failed to even do the most simple and remedial of actions in running the right plays, the situations you game planned for. Running the wrong plays was something I was unaware was possible after such preparation, causing Tim Tebow’s position on the Jets to become subject to the term experiment. Accident or mistake? Either way I don’t think that was the right way to handle that, if you know where I am going with where I think the Jets were going with this.

Which leads me to my next reason for failure, Mark Sanchez! He’s not worried about his job security after the horrible loss on Sunday, well that isn’t surprising, queue the tape Jimmy! Mark Sanchez has said this whole time, in his best Mark Sanchez unenthusiastic tone, that he is not worried about his job. He’s not worried about his performance after that terrible loss on Sunday, well that isn’t surprising, queue the tape Jimmy! Mark Sanchez has said this whole time, again in his best Mark Sanchez unenthusiastic voice, that he is not worried about his performance. Well I’m stumped Mark, when do you think you’ll ever get better? Fake Mark Sanchez response “I’m not worried about ever getting better.” Well at least a fake Mark Sanchez had the decency to say it.

Having no faith in Sanchez, I turn to Rex Ryan. Why would Rex Ryan bring in Tim Tebow to use him seemingly for the sole purpose of buoying Mark Sanchez? The same Mark Sanchez that most likely would be long gone, especially after Sunday’s familiar performance, if it weren’t for Rex Ryan being there at every turn. Why is a guy known as a defensive genius meddling into offensive affairs, particularly after consistent lackluster performances, and why he is defending and fighting for guys that are the weakest link in a broken and battered chain? Don’t even get me started on Rex Ryan blaming the defensive coaches over the players over the offense over Sanchez.

Something tells me there are potential superstars in the shadows of the Jets starters. The players need to step up, not just on the field but in the locker room, in the weight room and at team meetings. It is up to the players to say what needs to be said, demand what needs to be demanded, and take action when and where action is needed, because their leaders are no longer doing what must be done. Players, pick it up. Your game is on the floor, your game isn’t working, pick your game up.

Woody Johnson the owner of the Jets, most likely won’t be smiling for long. Once he stops, you can count on someone getting fired. If he fires Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez will be the first big name player to go, without a handshake or a thanks. Hopefully Rex Ryan sees this, because we know Woody won’t care what Rex sees or thinks when he fires him for making a slew of bad decisions, some of them multiple times.

As a Jets fan I always have hope. I have to, no matter how poorly a player plays, no matter how bad my team looks, no matter how discouraging the future seems, I have to have hope for my team. One day they will win a Super Bowl, and they will earn it when they do. Great play is always just around the corner, here’s to hoping it is around this next corner. Go Jets.

What’s up Cleveland Browns?

September 23, 2012 Leave a comment

When you think of the Cleveland Browns, what comes to mind? A lot of things come to my mind, most of them negative, others have expressed the same. So what did they do to build such a bad image?

To their credit, the Browns typically dont draft players with problems off the field, nor do they trade for them. That does not, however, mean they are a popular team or a positive team in the public’s eye. The Browns have had a losing record all but three seasons since 1990. Before that, it was nearly the exact opposite. Losing causes a lack of interest, losing on a regular basis causes a lack of interest on a regular basis. It is a surprise to some extent that people haven’t forgotten about the Browns. Perhaps its only that they are actually at the game and on the field wearing brown helmets to remind us, that and the announcer still says Cleveland Browns when they run onto the field, unless he reasonably forgot who they were.

The Cleveland Browns have a local rival in the Cincinnati Bengals, but despite the possibilities of greater interest through a rivalry, both teams are lacking in winning seasons over the last two decades. It is hard to care, even about a local rivalry, when both teams suck. The Bengals, despite playing as bad as the Browns in the last couple decades, have taken quite a different approach to their team, in that they have drafted and traded for players with significant problems off the field. They say any press is good press, but not even the Bengals off the field problems are attracting enough interest, at least not enough for their fans to care about the Browns rivalry. It is mostly true that every fan wants their team to just be better than their rival, especially local rivals, though you wouldn’t know it looking in on the Browns or their fans.

Perhaps the most commonly known problem of the Browns is Jim Brown. Jim Brown is the one name every football fan can and probably does think of when someone mentions the Browns, and to be fair his name comes up when the best players in history are mentioned, especially running backs. Always critical, always blunt, Jim Brown says what he wants when he wants when it comes to the Browns. He has criticized the Browns front office on more than one ocassion. Recently he criticized the newly drafted Browns running back Trent Richardson. Richardson said he thinks Brown was trying to motivate him, and that we will see his motivation worked. I am not so quick to write off anything Jim Brown says as motivation, considering how he makes his statements about the Browns in general. The new Browns owner seems to be making immediate culture changes, having brought back Jim Brown and making both Brown and Mike Holmgren speak publicly about Jim Brown spending time with the Browns and possibly being welcomed into their locker room again, and don’t forget banning Brown to begin with has been blamed on Mike Holmgren for years, though I don’t know of anyone that disagreed with the move, Brown’s attitude wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you wanted around your players, considering what Jim Brown was saying about the team at the time. Jim Brown also does not appear to be a Mike Holmgren fan, Holmgren of course being the GM for the Browns during the recent and mostly consecutive losing seasons.

That brings us to the next piece of this puzzle, General Manager Mike Holmgren. What has he done that is positive for the Browns? The Browns had a long history of strong players, the kind of players you wouldn’t want to be infront of on game day. What happened in the last two decades that changed that? Draft picks came and went, potential big names came and went, it is now almost to the point that if the Browns draft anyone then we can expect them to leave and thrive elsewhere or to stay and play poorly. There has been an interesting change, however, with the Browns that could shake up the front office as well as the future of the Browns. The team has been bought by a life long Steelers fan, conveniently after the team’s most promising draft pick in recent years with Trent Richardson, and after the team drafted a more experienced 28yr old Colt McCo.. I mean Brandon Weeden at QB. The new owner, based off comments made seemingly randomly by Mike Holmgren after the sale of the team, could be leaving the door open for Holmgren’s dismissal on purpose. I for one am not sure that would be a bad thing. Unless Holmgren drafted Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, and had all of his other ‘turned out to be a star’ draft picks overridden by the others guys in the draft room on draft night, then it may be a good thing for a change in the position that largely contributes to and in some ways determines the future of your team.

Browns fans are scattered online as well, not so much in that there are Browns fans everywhere across the country, but more that there are fewer Browns fans commenting on sports sites than there are for most teams, if not all teams. Its one thing to have more Ravens fans than Browns fans commenting on articles about your team, and Saints fans in the last few months, but Steelers fans? Everyone knows Steelers fans like to rub it in the noses of losing teams, especially low scoring teams, and everyone knows they do it without prejudice. But come on Browns fans, come on. Really? Where is your ‘Represent!’? If any other fans, especially Steelers fans, go around commenting in groups on articles for decent or winning teams you will see some immediate push back from that team’s fans. Not so often for Browns fans. You would think with such a consistently bad record, that people wouldnt troll the Browns article comments, but I guess its easy to kick them when they are down. Its like Browns fans are sleeping, or they are the most nonconfrontational fans in all of the NFL.

Wake up Browns fans! Your team needs you to boast for them! Your team needs you to lift them out of bed and onto the field! Your team needs you to make your presence known, and they might just follow. We all know they aren’t doing much without you.

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The Raiders Have Problems

January 12, 2012 1 comment

Early in the NFL season the Raiders were looking like early playoff contenders. Head Coach Hue Jackson looked like the first promising Head Coach hire of Al Davis in a while right out of the gate. Then Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden got injured.

It can be argued really any way you like, but there are some serious questions facing the decisions that were made. Let’s start with Carson Palmer. Was he worth not having a first-round draft pick in 2012 or having to buy your way back into it? Probably not. Was he worth alienating your QB Jason Campbell? Probably not. True he played at an above-average level, but so does Mark Sanchez when you really get into it, so that is kind of a moot point, and possibly an even more embarrassing comparison. Considering the Raiders receiving core was only above-average at best, they seemed be playing on par the first few games Carson Palmer played. However at that price tag and with (hopefully) obvious immediate needs and demands on the offensive side of the ball, it seems perhaps more should have been done by Carson Palmer.

Does anyone care that Carson Palmer didn’t show up for camp with the Bengals? There are so many behind-the-scenes power-plays and strong-arms that it’s hard to tell wgat the situation was for Palmer. Either way I am pretty sure you need tough skin to play in the NFL. If players get their feathers ruffled by management, then maybe these aren’t the toughest men in sports today. But it was quite interesting to watch the whole
‘Bengals Drama’ thing during training camp.

The passing game was fortified with a consistent running game. They were saved with the above-average running by Michael Bush who actually looked pretty good this season despite appearing to not have his hips on a swivel. That kind of backup play probably made Al Davis smile. Those are the players he went for, after all.

So then how would Al have handled Jason Campbell getting injured? Would he have given up the bank for Carson Palmer or would he have accepted his season was over with a backup QB? I am leaning towards the late Mr. Davis at least keeping Jason Campbell happy while his team lost the rest of the season. Though knowing Al Davis in the offseason he would have gotten rid of Jason Campbell.

The Raiders defense gave up the big points in the final game of the season. It may be easier to credit the Chargers offense for coming through in a must-win. However the Raiders were also hoping to sneak into the playoffs with a win in that final game of the season.

Either way the Raiders are in quite the pickle. After firing Head Coach Hue Jackson, they now have to decide if they want to keep Carson Palmer, assuming he wants to stay in Oakland. I now am wondering what Hue Jackson told Carson Palmer while luring him to the Raiders, or rather what he promised him. The blow up after the final game by Hue Jackson may have been very telling, if he bet something big on this, or multiple somethings. More than just draft picks and Jason Campbell.

Let’s hope the entire Raiders organization gets it’s act together. Maybe they can start with a new stadium.

Well, maybe try something that costs less. Like having Owner Mark Davis get a hair cut that doesn’t involve a plastic bowl or the 70s.

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