In the 2006 NFL season the New York Jets exceeded all expectations and made the playoffs as a wild card with a 10-6 record. That’s not bad for a team in a so called “rebuilding year” in the competitive AFC. Of course they did lose in the first round to the Patriots, so although they may not be in complete rebuilding mode, the Jets are by no means a top tier, well balanced team just yet.
At the beginning of last season the biggest, of the many, looming question marks was Quarterback Chad Pennington’s arm. He had begun his starting career after sitting behind Heisman winner Testaverde, and he started on fire, in 2004 taking his team into the second round of the playoffs and very nearly the conference championships. Then the arm problems began, the Jets missed the playoffs, and the Dynasty quarterback was on the verge of being replaced. Only no one seemed to be able to successfully do the job, not even the return of Vinny Testaverde out of retirement. Another hopeful replacement, the former Redskin Patrick Ramsey, was set to be the starter for 2006. Then Pennington exceeded expectations, recovered, and took the Jets to the playoffs again. So for the present and hopefully the future the Quarterback question has been answered very well.
The other looming question at the start of the 2006 season was the advancing age of former pro bowl running back Curtis Martin, now treading into his thirties. So the Jets had a couple of hopeful replacements if something should happen, which turned out to be a smart move. Martin was injured bad very early in the season, and thus decided that he would be retiring his stellar career. This was the chance for the back ups to show their stuff, but the halfbacks groomed for the job did seemed to be working well, the biggest disappointment being Kevin Barlow. Then an exciting, new talent came up under the radar, sharing time with current starter Blaylock. This new talent, Leon Washington, proved to be a speedy addition to the ground game. After the season the management, seeing Washington as the best back of the season but too small to hold the starting job alone, received Bear’s running back Thomas Jones in trade, giving the running game a great one-two punch. Thus the problem of running backs seems to have been solved.
Now to the areas unsolved as yet, the questions poised more and more as the draft looms. Most pressing are the defense backs which are either young and inexperienced or old and slower than before. So a good shut down cornerback would be a blessing for a slack secondary. Marcus McCauley from Fresno State or Darrelle Revis from Pittsburgh would be good choices and might bring a nice boost to the defense, but the defensive line could use help as well.
Sadly the Jets have had to say goodbye to the days of a first rate defensive line. Shaun Ellis alone remains, and his help is mostly young and untested. It goes without saying that a replacement for the sack minded Abraham is needed at defensive end. Paul Posluszny from Penn State might be beneficial to the line as he combines a linebacker’s speed with a lineman’s size.
Slightly less pressing then the defensive concerns but still important is the receiving corps. Only two receivers, Laverneus Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, can be trusted with full loads for the coming season. With only two valid threats in the passing game the opposing defenses will not only be able to provide coverage but slaughter the ground attack as well. Thus a third passing option, preferably a tight end, would be of great help to the offense. Greg Olsen from Miami could be a great asset at tight end, yet as ESPN declares, he is somewhat of a hot pick and might go earlier.
At this point defense, either secondary or line, is the most pressing matter, and it should be at the forefront of the managements’ minds as they choose a first round pick. And with two good cornerbacks looming as late first round picks, the best choice for the Jets might be to snatch one of these player’s up. Of course if Olsen is still alive when the two minutes starts, a boost to the offense could be two appetizing to pass up.
National Football League is a tournament that all football fans wait for eagerly and it is nothing short of a national event where everyone watches the matches glued to their television sets without flinching and numerous people register to the football index sign up offer to get relevant details about the matches to take place.