The New York Jets did not make it into the postseason, yet they are a hot topic in the NFL this past week due Mark Sanchez, Tony Sparano in place of Brian Schottenheimer, Matt Higgins leaving, and their slow decline. Jets fans like myself are looking puzzled at Sanchez’s behavior in December and how Jets players are speaking out anonymously about him and locker room situations.
Anonymous statements from teammates to the New York Daily News on Jan. 11 give some proof that Sanchez’s tenure with the Jets is in jeopardy, or so the players should want it. If Mark wants to find inspiration, now is the time. With all the Peyton Manning talk that should light a fire under him, even if he won’t come to NY. The fans have spoken and so have the players. This is his 4th quarter two minute warning.
At the same time that some Jets are trying to put Sanchez on a Jet himself, the Giants went up to Green Bay and defeated the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. As Sanchez regressed in 2011, Manning had his best statistical year and finally seemed to prove that he is New York’s QB. Sanchez needs to take note and learn what it means to be a QB in New York. .
Sanchez and the Jets looked ready to take over New York in the last two seasons while Manning and the Giants regressed. However, New York is the Giants’ and Manning’s town all over again and they may not have real competition for a while at this rate. That really should inspire the Jets and Sanchez in a number of ways to get back on track and do what their cross-town rivals have done.
With all the woes Sanchez has provided, some are looking at the change from Schottenheimer to Sparano with mixed feelings. In typical New York Jets fashion, the franchise decided to part ways with one of the most ineffective offense coordinators in the NFL and replace him with an even worse one.
The hiring of former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano will not repair the rapidly descending Jets, nor will it bring fans the coveted Lombardi Trophy. This action, including the departure of EVP Matt Higgins might not look favorably in the fans eyes.
Instead, the move may halt all possibility of Mark Sanchez developing into a franchise quarterback, and it may actually lead to a regression on the offensive side of the ball. Sparano loves to run the ball. And by this, I mean he hates to throw the ball. In his four years as head coach, the Dolphins ranked no higher than 3rd and no lower than 12th in rushing attempts per game in his tenure with the Dolphins. .Plus, the Dolphins did not have a definitive quarterback to build a passing game around.
Many may think that the Jets are attempting to get back to their “ground-and-pound” roots. However, the team has too many holes to successfully return to that strategy. Unless New York can solve their major offensive line problems and find a faster running back, then Sparano’s offensive game plan will be just as noneffective as this past season.
The hiring of Sparano also shows the Jets don’t have faith in Mark Sanchez as the franchise quarterback. The team looks to be going out of their way to keep the ball out of his hands. The Jets feel they need to have the ground and pound offense so Sanchez can relax and feel more comfortable in his passing game. Which could be a drawback if you need your quarterback to mature and know how to throw the ball.
Tony Sparano is also not shy about voicing his opinions. Sounds like a man after Rex Ryan’s heart. Will a locker room that consists of a diverse group of players and a bombastic head coach be a good fit, or will it lead to another media blowup? Either way, it spells drama and attention.
Most importantly, Sparano has not won with this conservative approach. He had a losing record with the Dolphins, while appearing in just one playoff game. Many Jets fans wonder how a coach who was not successful in Miami will help a Jets franchise that has had moderate success.
Too many factors point toward the Sparano hiring being made a giant error. His mistakes on offense will make the defense work harder than they should. Tony Sparano will not just lead to the demise of the Jets passing game, but he will lead to the demise of New York as a winning team. Something the Jets fans are quite used to.
With everything the Jets have had happen the past week, taking the attention away from the other New York team who deserves it seems to be fitting for the Jets. They seem to garner more attention for what they do off the field rather than on it. The last seven days seem to be filled with more questions than answers for the Jets.
There is only one question Jets fans want answered from Rex Ryan: Where is the Super Bowl you promised us?