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Posted 28 Mar 2013Link: http://insider.espn....s-new-york-jets
How far away are the Jets?
Options for New York in the draft and why the team will improve in 2013
Originally Published: March 28, 2013
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Over the past five seasons, the New York Jets haven't had a single player go over 1,000 yards receiving in a season. That's not some exclamation point meant to define the era, it's part of a bigger point. Four of those years consist of the unofficial Mark Sanchez era -- a period that has been defined by very good defense and consistently inconsistent play on offense. (The high point for passing yards per game during this period was 21st in the NFL, in 2011.)
We tend to call the Jets a team built on defense, one that needs to "control the ball." Except the running game also has fallen apart over the past two seasons, as the Jets have averaged 3.8 yards per carry each year. Add it up and you have an official period of decline over the past two seasons consisting of 8-8 and 6-10 records.
It's an outmoded way of thinking to say offenses need to establish the run or establish the pass. Teams play to their strengths, and you don't consistently do something likely to be less successful just to set up something better. The fact with the Jets over the past two seasons is it really hasn't mattered what they have tried to do. The running game has been completely devoid of explosiveness, and the passing game under Sanchez has been simply bad. One side hasn't been able to set up the other, because neither side can consistently offer a threat.
Bottom line: The offense has been the problem. And despite where the offense is in terms of personnel, I still don't believe the Jets are in some total rebuild mode.
Here are some reasons why and why the draft can be a part of the solution.
The defense is still strong
The 2012 Jets were sixth in total defense. Think about that based on what this defense was dealing with. It lacked any consistent pass rush off the edge; it lost the best corner (Darrelle Revis) in the NFL early in the season; safety play wasn't great; and it saw decline years from Bart Scott, David Harris, Calvin Pace and LaRon Landry. Oh, and the offense was a three-and-out machine. Add up all the problems and that still-good No. 6 ranking represented the worst defense statistically in the Rex Ryan era. The Jets can be better at every position they were lacking in 2012, and the defensive line is going to be a major strength with the continued development of recent first-rounders Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples. I don't care what you give Ryan to work with, he's going to scheme his way to a top-10 defense. I don't think this unit is going to take a step back.
The passing game should be better
Yes, that's a relative statement given how bad it was in 2012, but even if Sanchez is under center in 2013, the passing game should improve. The loss of Dustin Keller doesn't help, but the return of Santonio Holmes gives the passing game at least one reliable target it lacked last season. Wideout Stephen Hill was bound to see major growing pains as a rookie given the college system he came from, but he should take a step forward in 2013. I still believe they need to find more help in the draft, but whether it's Sanchez, David Garrard or someone else entirely throwing passes, the passing game has no place to go but up.
Same with the running game
Sorry, but regardless of what you think of Shonn Greene, his absence in 2013 isn't a setback. He lacked the ability to make defenders miss and isn't even the power back some consider him -- just 2.1 yards per carry after contact, which was good for 44th among qualifying runners last season. The current combination of Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson isn't impressive, but it offers more than Greene and the draft could provide further help.
So what can the Jets do in the draft?
For one, the Jets can improve the defense by adding a pass-rusher offenses truly need to account for on every play. An athletic freak such as Barkevious Mingo or a productive pass-rusher such as Jarvis Jones are among the options for an upgrade at No. 9.
Even if the offense is bound to be a little better in 2013, I still think the Jets need to add at least one "fear factor" element via the draft. By that I mean a player who can create explosive plays or clear matchup problems. Because the value range for that player isn't really at No. 9 -- unless they go for a guy like Tavon Austin or Cordarrelle Patterson that early -- the Jets could consider trading down to pick up an extra first-, second- or even an early third-round pick.
This is a draft with a decent amount of depth at tight end, so finding a replacement for Keller in Round 2 or 3 could be an option, and adding another wideout who can cause safeties to play a little deeper -- Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers and Terrance Williams come to mind -- could be had after the first round.
The Jets also need help on the offensive line (right tackle was a pass protection issue last season), but they could certainly find help at that position beyond the first round.
One other reality of this draft that could help the Jets is the fact that the safety class is really deep. Even if it's a third- or fourth-round pick, the Jets could find some immediate help at that currently depleted position.
Finally, there's the big question at quarterback, but this isn't a draft class that offers any assurances of an immediate upgrade, even over Sanchez or Garrard. With Jacksonville, Oakland, Cleveland, Arizona and Buffalo all drafting ahead of them, there is no chance Geno Smith slips to No. 9, and taking any other quarterback that high would be a massive reach. Could they grab another QB later in the draft? Absolutely. But no one in this class will offer help for Week 1 of 2013.
Drafting well offers no certainty that the Jets will make major strides in 2013. But by health, subtraction and development alone they could have a chance to be a little better at the skill positions. Remember that Ryan also has an uncanny ability to piece together an above-average defense and there should be reasons for hope.
It all starts at quarterback, but at least the new front office is taking a healthier approach to the idea of competition at the position headed into a new season. Every year we see teams we reflexively wrote off before the season make major strides and land back in the playoffs. The Jets were a total disaster in 2012 yet were still 6-10. This isn't a total rebuild; it's a team that could get better both through the draft and because, in some areas, it'll be hard-pressed to play any worse.
Posted 21 Feb 2013This is a great article by Schein, IMO... and I usually hate the stuff he produces. It is rational, well-spoken, and defends all parties involved, as well as proponents of each possibility:
1 - Give that man his money
2 - Trade that man to someone who will give him his money, and get rebuilding picks in return
No matter which side of the fence you're on, these are the only logical options at this point, which it sounds like the majority of the board agrees with here.
It's refreshing to read something on this topic without the label "moron" or "street thug" attached to it.
Jets should trade Darrelle Revis to 49ers or Bucs, build for future
By Adam Schein
On Monday night's Total Access on NFL Network, Andrea Kremer sat down with New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis for a revealing interview. There were plenty of revelations, and I came away with three strong convictions:
» Revis wants to be the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL and has an excellent case.
» Between the start of free agency March 12 and the draft on April 25, Revis will be traded.
» There is a very realistic chance in a rare win-win-win scenario that Revis, the Jets and his new team all come away very happy.
Revis told Kremer he wants to remain a Jet but won't "pout" if he's traded, understanding the business element of the NFL. He knows he's done in New York. He has held out twice in his six-year career. The last time he did it, during a highly publicized standoff with the Jets in 2010, he infuriated owner Woody Johnson by showing up so late in the summer. Revis angered Johnson even more by getting injured in Week 2 and going on to have the worst full season of his career.
As part of that new deal, Revis' contract becomes void at the end of the 2013 season if he doesn't hold out. There's also a clause that the Jets cannot franchise him. In reality, Revis will be a free agent at the end of 2013.
Could you imagine if the Jets held on to him and failed to sign him, and then a cornerback-needy team like the New York Giants or New England Patriots -- the Jets' two biggest rivals -- snatched him up? That would be an epic PR disaster and would be counterproductive to the cause. There are just two choices for the Jets: Sign him and give him every penny he wants, or trade him and get needed pieces in return.
I think the answer is crystal clear. The best scenario for the 2014 Jets is to trade Revis.
Even with Revis, the Jets are the worst team in the AFC East. They need to retool and rebuild. Keeping Revis and trying to win a few more games would be akin to using a bandage when you need surgery. It's really not an option, and credit Woody Johnson for knowing it.
Revis wants his money. He always has. Right after he ended his 2010 holdout, he stressed he might hold out again, seemingly before the ink was even dry. In Johnson's eyes, Revis has never truly been happy from Day 1, prioritizing paper green over Gang Green.
Revis is an incredible talent, the best corner in the game. Even after tearing his ACL in Week 3 of last season and rehabbing from the subsequent surgery, he has a very strong case to be the highest paid defensive player. He's been diligent in his rehab. If he gets what he wants financially, theoretically he won't be distracted in the way that he often has been with the Jets.
The Jets are in cap disarray. The roster is a mess, too. They need a quarterback, running back, receiver, tight end, two offensive linemen and help at every level of defense. Other than that, they are in good shape.
New general manager John Idzik did the right thing in calling Revis after the Inside The NFL story broke. And Idzik didn't blow smoke, either. He didn't guarantee Revis would stay with the Jets, primarily because it is smart to use Revis to remake the roster.
Revis is going to command a bushel of picks in return, even coming off of an injury. Idzik is going to be shopping a top commodity.
Tampa Bay makes a lot of sense. The Buccaneers have plenty of cap room. Coach Greg Schiano loves Revis' style. GM Mark Dominik needs a winning season. Revis is very marketable, and there are a ton of New York transplants living in Tampa. That's important to the Glazer family. Could the Jets get a first-round pick this year and next in exchange for Revis? Tampa would pay him. A win for everyone.
How about San Francisco? The 49ers have a bushel of draft picks. They will be in the Super Bowl hunt again in 2013. Revis would represent a major upgrade at corner. Could the Jets get back a first-rounder, a second-rounder and a third-rounder? How about Alex Smith? The Jets need a quarterback, and it would be smart for San Fran to use Smith as a chip. The Jets could restructure Smith's deal and give him guarantees for 2014 with a low number in 2013. Smith is smart and excellent at protecting the football, making him the antithesis of Mark Sanchez.
Could the Denver Broncos be in play? It isn't remotely the Pittsburgh way for the Steelers to get involved, but Revis is a Pittsburgh native who starred at Pitt in college. The Steelers were poised to draft him before the Jets traded up to the slot ahead of the Steelers to pluck him. There will be teams lining up for Revis. They will want a window to sign him, and the Jets will grant it.
The Jets should make an effort to sign Revis to an extension for less than the insane money Mario Williams received from the Buffalo Bills. Revis will laugh. The Jets should then trade him.
And in the end, everyone involved -- the Jets, Revis, his new team -- will be very happy.
Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein
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