Elster's World

Friday, August 19, 2005

Your Time Is Gonna Come

A word of warning to the wondeful souls who form my "fan base". If sports, especialy football, is not your thing, then for you I quote the great wizard Gandalf the Grey as he hung from the Bridge of Khazad Dum: "Fly you fools!"

Ok, for those of you still with me (and I mean you, Joe), I present for you Elster's 2005 Guide to the New York Jets!

Yes, that's two exclamation points in one post. And I hate exclamation points. But damn, I love football. So for all of you who don't care, that's ok, I care for all of you. Feel free, for your own sanity's sake, to stop reading now. For everyone else, on to the show.

The 2005 season has a little bit of a different feel to it than previous seasons. Bill Parcells began a process of re-establishing the Jets from lovable laughingstocks into a Real Football Team. (Though he took them to within a half of the Super Bowl, I always thought Parcells' best coaching job for the Green Machine was the following year, when they went 7-9 after losing Their starting quarterback and backup running back in the very first game. n Yom Kippur no less. But I digress).

However, the real changes have come under the Herm Edwards/Terry Bradway (and Mike Tannenbaum, not only mentioned because he is a member of the tribe, but because he is a "cap guru") era. Thanks also to the Deity Known as Donnie Henderson (or DKADH for short), the Jets finally have the feeling of a real contender. Coupled with some major body blows to the Patriots defense, there is a feeling around camp that making the playoffs this year will not be enough. That the goal of this squad is 2006 Super Bowl or Bust. Well hell, count me in boys.

The Defense:

The Jets defensive line took a major blow when Jason Fergeson defected for bigger bucks in Big D. The initial reaction of Those Who Know was that the Jets would have a weaker defense with the subtractionn of the run-stuffing, space eating man-child from Georgia. But recent whisperings say that DKADH likes his three headed, no name monster filling that spot. And if it's good enough for Donnie my friends (that means you, Joe), it's good enough for me.

The rest of the line will stack up the same. Dewayne Robertson and his bad knee, Shaun Ellis and John Abraham. (For the time being, let's assume Abraham will be back in camp and I will not be taking him out with a high powered rifle. - More on this later.) Even without Fergie, this has to be one of the better lines in football right to left. And I haven't even counted James "Tank" Reed.

The outside linebackers are solid, if unspectacular. The Victor Hobson/Mark Brown combo is acceptable. Eric Barton plays with an edge. I like that (though don't get me started on his roughing the passer penalty from last year - just don't get me started). But what makes the unit above average is middle LB Jon Vilma - He is a man. A playmaking machine. Perhaps, dare I say, the next Ray Lewis? Enough said.

The secondary is much better than it was last year. Davis Barrett was one of the most underrated corners in football last year. No, I'm serious. Stop laughing, he really was. Ask reknowned football pundit Paul Zimmerman, who was thisclose to voting him into the Pro Bowl. On the other side is The Law. We hope and pray that Ty resumes to "shut down corner" status. If he does, he's probably the missing piece.

Erik Coleman and some three headed combination wil man the saftey positions. Shrug. it's all about Ty back there.

The Prediction: Year 2 of DKADH's defense should be slightly better than last years despoite the loss of Jason Fergeson. So far, so good.

The Offense:

The line: The left side is a year older. Kevin Mawae is a year older. I don't think the Jets have lost as much as people think with Brandon Moore and Adrian Jones, who's replacing the guy who went to the Giants. See, I forgot his name already. The key, as usual, is Mawae. Is this the year that the unquestioned leader of the line finally breaks down? If not, the line rocks.

Running Backs: It all starts and ends now with 32 year old Curtis Martin. The ageless one led the league in rushing last year. Will this be the year he finally breaks down? Probably not, he really is a marvel That being said, look for him to slip from last year. Derrik Blaylock was a nice pick-up, though he's no Lamont Jrodan. Overall, with an older line and the loss of Anthony Becht, the rushing game will probably be weaker than last year.

Wide receivers/Tight ends: Laverneous Coles is back (beter in every way than Santana) and Juatin Mccareins is cemented on the other side. Wayne Chrebet (and his extra padded helmet) shouild slot in nicely with those two guys, Jerricho Crotchery will be a great fourth wheel. I'm pulling for Chas Gessner to win the 5th job, mostly because his name is Chas but also because that would mean we have a guy from Brown AND Dartmouth on the team. So even if we suck, we'll be smarter than the other team.

Doug Jolley was a great pickup. The one thing lacking in the Jets offense last year (besides a strong shouldered QB) was a vertical tight end to stretch the middle of the field. I used to bitch and moan about this every week. Ask anyone. Well someone listened. Now they have one. Now al they need is someone to get him the ball. Which leads us to.....

The Quarterbacks: Yes, I have been dreading this with each passing sentence. Chad, what do we have with you? Are you the hotshot who had one of the greatest seasons in recent history or are you the innusry prone, weak armed QB who managed to dupe everyone into giving you a huge contract? Well, everyone's betting on the former.

If Pennington is right, the tools are all in place. He has more targets than ever, including his favorite in Coles. He has a vertical tight end and a number of really solid pass catchers out of the backfield (BJ Askew and Jerald Sowell). The running game will still be solid. All we can do now is hold our breath and see what happens.

Oh and massive kudos to Terry Bradway for bringing in Fiedler. If history has shown us anything, it's that Pennington won't play 16 games this year. Fiedler is the perfect stopgap. And besides, how many teams have won Super Bowls without a Jewish player on the team? How many? Er, forget that last one.

Special Teams: Nugent is an upgrade, Westhof is another genius, yada yada yada.

Coaching. You have Diety Donnie. You have Hermdinger (who, if nothing else, is an addition by the subtraction of Paul Hackett). You have Westhof. All great coaches. Herm is one of the classier people in football and an amazing motivator. unfortunately, he can't coach actual games. let's hope that doesn't play a factor. Um...

So wow, this post really was long. It's even boring me. I don't think I'm even going to proof this thing. Is the Super Bowl a possibility? Absolutely. I see the Pats being weaker and I see Ben Roethlisburger being worse in year two than year one. Am I predicting a Super Bowl? No. The Jets have to prove that this won't be another season of "same old Jets". Talking is done. You have to show us.

Now, onnce more and with feeling: J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets!!!!!!


  • Some quibbles:

    1. "I always thought Parcells' best coaching job for the Green Machine was the following year, when they went 7-9 after losing Their starting quarterback and backup running back in the very first game. n Yom Kippur no less."

    The Jets went 8-8 in '99 after a 1-6 start, and lost Vinny in opening week on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Indeed, Yom Kippur cannot fall on a Sunday.

    Elster, you are demonstrating ignorance both of the Jets and of Judaism.

    I think Parcells did a terrible job in '99, insisting on using Rick Mirer until the Jets were 1-6, when he gave Ray Lucas a chance. Parcells gave up on the season as soon as Vinny went down.

    2. I like Vilma. But the next Ray Lewis? I didn't see anything like that from him.

    3. Why is the secondary much better this season? Just because of Ty Law? You dismiss the problems at safety way too easily. Ty Law cannot save the secondary alone.

    4. Are you serious, you forgot about Kareem McKenzie? Maybe when Chad is sacked 10 more times and those holes Curtis Martin had last year disappear, you'll remember him again.

    5. If you learned anything from Bill Parcells, it's not to be so dismissive of special teams. It requires much more than a line and a half.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 3:28 PM  

  • Some responses:

    1. Correct. I cry pardon on both fronts. Though you have to admit parcells milked more out of Ray Lucas and a mediocre defense than anyone could have hoped.

    2. Ok, the Ray Lewis comparison may have gone too far but besides making plays, he has areal nose for the ball and a real sense of right plsace right time. That's not anyhting you can practice.

    3. The seconday is better because even a 75% Law is better than anyone who manned that corner last year. Coleman is year better. I refuse to think that Oliver Celestin and Kerry Rhodes will sink this team. In fact, I refuse to believe it. So therefore, it cannot happen.

    4. The staff has compleet confidence that Jones can replace McKenzie who, by the way, was definately overrated.

    5. Special teams got the shaft only because i was tired. I think Nugent is a major upgradeover brien. I liked that they felt he could be dofference makr and grabbed him in the second round. I hope the aussie punter makes the team and once booms a 92 yard punt from the back of his own endzone. I hope that Westhof continues to make guys like crotchery into game breakers. I hope.

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:38 PM  

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Wkae me when it's over....

    By Blogger AnySara, at 8:56 PM  

  • I TOLD you to skip it. Another woman who doesn't listen to me. I'm sensing a pattern.

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:06 PM  

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