I love the New York Jets, a football team that promises good things but hardly ever delivers. And my loyalty is such that I never consider changing my allegiances, notwithstanding the big disappointments and continuous mocking that any diehard Jets’ fan deals with (repeatedly).
This football season has been awful – full of mistakes, missed opportunities and, yes, a bit of bad luck too.
To make bad things worse, yesterday’s game was an utter and total debacle. Facing a weak team, the Jets managed to self-destruct in a spectacular manner, taking themselves out of contention for the playoffs.
Yet there is a silver lining to this dark cloud of humiliation and disappointment. And it is one that I have been thinking about – if only as a way to deal with this season’s serial letdowns.
So, here is some totally unsolicited advice to my beloved Jets; and it comes from a person whose only qualification in this regard is longstanding loyalty (and suffering).
Let us start with the context: It is a good thing that the Jets’ season effectively ended on national television last night in such a totally embarrassing and demeaning manner. This provides the organisation with a catalyst to move to fix things, rapidly and aggressively.
It can do so by delivering simultaneously on four issues:
First, nurture what works well: The Jets’ defence is good and can get even better. It kept the team competitive despite huge failures elsewhere. And it did so despite big injuries. Everything must be done to maintain and reinforce its quality.
Second, exit a failed experiment: The attempt to run an offence with both Sanchez and Tebow has been a disaster. It confuses matters, making one plus one is a lot less than two. It is time for the Jets to cut their losses.
Third, seriously revamp the coaching of the offence: The game plan for the offence has been awful. There has been virtually no attempt to course correct. And, as one of the MNF commentators brilliantly put it last night, “every time you look at the Jets sidelines, it is as if they are trying to solve a complicated calculus problem.” It is time to replace some coaches on offence.
Fourth, do not wait: The temptation will be to limp along to the official end of the season and then take actions. That would be a mistake. The shortfalls are clear; and they have been well documented for weeks. It is time for the Jets to move forward.
There are many talented players on this Jets team. Their ability to deliver has been undermined by failed experiments and poor coaching decisions.
The Jets’ organisation needs to take the difficult and necessary decisions.