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From the Press Box: That's So Jets, Rex Ryan and Cover-2 Twitter

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From the Press Box: That's So Jets, Rex Ryan and Cover-2 Twitter

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan by David Butler II—USA TODAY Sports.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan by David Butler II—USA TODAY Sports.

There was a whole lotta ballgame left and then there wasn't.

The New York Jets played their best football of the season Thursday night, which tells you everything you need to know about their season. It came down to a blocked field goal in the last few seconds of the game—a 58-yard attempt by a guy whose best had been 56 yards—which was a result you could sort of see coming from the first quarter.

Not a blocked kick per se, but a missed opportunity and a close loss. Because the Jets, as they have all season long, squandered chance after chance early on. Sometimes you can settle for field goals but against New England? Even a weakened New England will usually make you pay.

The Jets red zone offense is a travesty and while the stats aren't up anywhere yet, it seemed to me that the team abandoned a very effective run game for passing way too frequently. Chris Ivory was running better than we have seen him run in weeks, but there were times the Jets just had to put the ball in Geno Smith's hands.

Or more accurately, the hands of his receivers. And as has been discussed many times across the media landscape, there aren't nearly enough weapons. It's Eric Decker and a bunch of guys. As much as there is to like about Jeremy Kerley, the Jets didn't use him last night. Tight end Jace Amaro is still prone to drops. Of course, Decker had a big one last night, with Darrelle Revis draped over him as well.

But too often targets went to such Hall of Famers as T.J. Graham and David Nelson. We need to see the All-22 to know for sure, but you have to wonder whether this is play selection by the offensive coordinator, target selection by Smith or fantastic coverage by the Patriots.

Certainly Brandon Browner and Revis played well. But getting back to the run, if it's working between the 20s, why stop using it in the red zone?

As always with the Patriots this year, it's amazing because they look like a team of mortals this year. For the second year in a row they appear to be a team you can beat.

Yet nobody in the AFC East seems able to take that on since Miami opening week. And Miami looks like a much different team now than they did then.

So it's status quo in the AFC East.

 

Should Rex Ryan be Fired?

You know what would really be ridiculous? Firing Ryan this offseason, then G.M. John Idzik spends the $20 million in cap money he let collect dust this offseason, putting a lot more skill on the field, which results in a new coach winning.

We can talk about Ryan's flaws all we want—and there are many—but if you look at this roster over his tenure, few coaches have done more with less. After the second AFC title game the Jets have removed offensive weapon after offensive weapon. Sure, the defense was stacked for most of the time, but what happened this year when the defense wasn't stocked? When Ryan didn't have the corners he needed because, bafflingly, the team decided they were good with Dee Milliner and a bunch of yams?

A 1-6 record and a defense which reminds one way too much of other defenses like Washington's, which features a solid front seven and no secondary. That pass rush can only do so much when the secondary can't cover receivers.

So the Jets defense finally collapses and suddenly the offense—which was never a strength—looks even worse.

Now, some of that is on Ryan who has never been involved enough on the offensive side of the ball. A good head coach needs to be involved in all aspects of the game. Of course, there is the double standard for offensive coaches who almost never get called to the carpet about having a terrible defense the way a defensive coach gets hammered for a poor offense (paging Sean Payton!). It's an offensive league, sure, but it's worth noting.

But the lack of offensive weapons the last few years, the ever-changing offensive coordinators and the refusal to spend money on key positions—or worsem settle at them—is on the general manager. Mike Tannenbaum lost his job for it. Idzik looks well on his way.

Maybe Revis burned his bridge in N.Y. too thoroughly, but why let Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walk without a deal? Or why not go after Alterraun Verner? Hell, bringing back a bad Antonio Cromartie is better than what the Jets were left with—a situation excacerbated by Milliner's season-ending injury.

Now Ryan has to use his linebackers in coverage against running backs and slot receivers—which we saw worked out terribly for them again Thursday night.

So you have to wonder if Ryan should lose his job. In a "what have you done for me lately" league, he probably should.

It might not be the right move, though, and it would be disappointing to see given how poorly most feel the offseason went.

The Jets look like they are in hard core rebuild mode and as that's the case, they may have to make a move at head coach regardless of whether it's really the right move.

 

Twitter Cover 2

And finally, in what has to be the best line regarding Twitter I have ever seen, Steve Smith told the Baltimore Sun why he left Twitter and it was fantastic.

Here's the quote:

“People are going to say what they want on Twitter. Internet courage is great. Internet courage is like a Cover-2 corner. You’ve got a safety over the top, you feel better about yourself. You got that one-on-one coverage, you back off a little bit. That’s how I look at Twitter.”

Isn't that just the perfect encapsulation of a social media site that, while I use it for work, is more and more of a headache? I mean, it applies to sports but it also explains crap like #GamerGate and other online harassment. People think of anonymity like a buffer—that safety over the top—but if they met you one on one, they'd be much more cautious.

Good for Smith to realize he was unhappy with how he was reacting on Twitter and stepping away. Good for him to realize that it's not worth the headache.

I only wish that, like in the Cover-2, getting burned long moved peopel to rethink their strategy like it can on the field.

Have a great weekend folks.

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