Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jets 2009 Postmortem & 2010 Teaser?

We want a ring on that finger next time!

The rollercoaster of a season is finally over, and from dizzying highs -a 3-0 start including the emotional victory over the Patriots- to mind-numbing lows -that six interception stink bomb against the Bills- Rex Ryan and his Jets ended the season on a crescendo that carried their fans all the way to a 17-6 lead 28 minutes into the AFC title game. The fact the Colts promptly pulled the rug from under the Jets is disappointing, but they proved to be the better team after a rocky start in which Manning was knocked down a few times. But once he deciphered the Jets' blitz packages and schemes, he was in complete control of the game. Of course, Rex as he is wont to do, went down swinging on his blitzes with his defense. One can be certain a legitimate pass rushing linebacker is high on his wish list, along with a potential replacement for erratic safety Kerry Rhodes, who too often checks out of games.

As far as the development of the offense goes, the playoff run gave us a taste of how potent this unit could be in the hands of Mark Sanchez -already with great footwork and a Favre-ian play-fake arsenal- and Shonn Greene -I don't care what Mike Francesa has to say, a case can be made his departure did affect the outcome of the championship game, at least for those who partake in gentlemanly wagering. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer saved his best play calls for the biggest games, pushing all the right buttons on counters, rollouts and Brad Smith option passes. And as maddeningly inconsistent as Braylon Edwards' play was as a Jet, his ability to create distance between defenders makes him invaluable in the play action game and worth a one-year tender, and along with the steady Jerricho Cotchery and emerging target Dustin Keller, it looks like the Jets have most of the pieces along with a stout line that they're ready to go to war with in 2010, with Rex already firing salvos at his competition, starting in Sunrise, FL. Now we all knew Rex wasn't afraid of pulling punches at the podium, but his swagger and bravado are quite mobile. He told Francesa around this time last year he wasn't going to 'kiss Bill Belichick's rings,' and it's clear he won't take crap from a bunch of yahoos in Bumblefrak, FL. Who wouldn't want to be in the trenches with this guy?

Considering how bleak the spring and summer months look when faced with the prospect of Met baseball, I can't wait soon enough for Year 2 of the Rex regime.

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