2012 Record: 6-10 (3rd in Division)
General Manager: John Idzik
Head Coach: Rex Ryan
Offensive Coordinator: Marty Mornhinweg
Defensive Coordinator: Dennis Thurman
Special Teams Coach: Ben Kotwica
Everyone’s favorite circus of a NFL franchise, the New York Jets, were a mess in 2012. Quarterbacked by Mark Sanchez, or “the Sanchise,” he was able to claim a title for the Jets with a record setting 33 weeks on ESPN’s Not Top 10. The “Butt Fumble” summed up the Jets 2012 season in one embarrassing play. It is safe to say the Jets have missed their window for winning a championship after their back to back AFC Championship game losses. The Jets are by no means lacking quality players. They actually have some very underrated players, but when you are on a team that is considered a circus with your quarterback and head coach as the ringleaders, your quality players won’t be taken seriously.
Offense: Total Offense (30th), Passing (30th), Rushing (12th), and Scoring (12th).
Not a good year for the Jets offense. If it wasn’t for tough running from Shonn Greene behind an underrated offensive line it would have been a dismal year for the Jets offense. Mark Sanchez lead the Jets offense to a 30th overall ranking which makes sense according to his awful play and lack of receivers. Santonio Holmes was hurt and rookie Stephen Hill didn’t catch on in his rookie season as the Jets hoped he would. The bright spot on offense was third year receiver Jeremy Kerley.
Defense: Total Yards (25th), Passing (31st), Rushing (7th), and Sacks (25th).
It was a very perplexing season stats for the Jets defense. A great year for their secondary, but an awful year against the run and getting after the quarterback. On paper the Jets have a really nice front seven, but as it can be seen in the stats they weren’t effective in 2012. The biggest loss for the Jets was losing Darrelle Revis in their first match up against the Dolphins. Antonio Chromartie took charge of the Jets secondary and lead them to being one of the best secondaries in the league. Defense is Rex Ryan’s specialty, but 2012 was not a defense you would expect under Ryan.
Special Teams: Field Goals (28th), Kick Returns (6th), and Punting (8th).
Nick Folk has been the kicker for three unspectacular kicking years. In 2012 he went 21 for 27 when kicking field goals. That is not the percentage you want out of your kicker when your offense could use the help. Joe McKnight had a really nice year for returns averaging 26.2 yards per return. Robert Malone had a surprisingly good season punting for the Jets, and a good punter can really help a defense.
2012 Offseason Impact:
QB Tim Tebow, WR Chaz Schilens, OT Stephon Heyer, SS LaRon Landry, SS Yeremiah Bell, and K Josh Brown.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WR Plaxico Burress, DE/OLB Jamaal Westerman, CB Marquice Cole, SS Jim Leonhard, and S Brodney Pool.
Round 1, Pick 16: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Round 2, Pick 43: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Round 3, Pick 77: Demario Davis, ILB, Arkansas State
Round 6, Pick 187: Josh Bush, FS/CB, Wake Forest
Round 6, Pick 202: Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
Round 6, Pick 203: Robert Griffin, G, Baylor
Round 7, Pick 242: Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina
Round 7, Pick 244: Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan
By no means was this a franchise-changing off-season for the Jets, but it brought in some players that could make an impact in the following seasons. Personally I believe the Jets brought in Tebow because they were upset about their loss to the Broncos. LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell were nice players to grab in Free Agency to solidify the Jets safety positions. The Jets also didn’t lose anyone that important to Free Agency either, which is always a good step in the right direction. The Jets keep building their defense yearly through the draft, so it makes sense that they are consistently good and keeping their best young players.
The problem is the offense is being neglected in the draft and they continue to struggle. See the pattern here? Coples is a very intimidating athlete, but where he was at his strongest at UNC was as a rush defensive tackle. The Jets ran him at end in the 3-4 and he did well, but in 2013 they will be moving him to outside linebacker. Rush linebackers in a 3-4 aren’t usually guys who have questions about their motor, so we will see if the move pays off. They also usually aren’t 6’6” and 290 lbs. Demario Davis, Josh Bush, and Stephen Hill are the only other players to earn significant roles as of now, but look for their fellow classmates to push for roster spots on a weak 2013 Jets roster.
RB Chris Ivory, RB Mike Goodson, TE Kellen Winslow, G/OT Willie Colon, NT Antonio Garay, DE/OLB Antwan Barnes, S Dawan Landry.
QB Tim Tebow, RB Shonn Greene, WR Braylon Edwards, WR Chaz Schilens, TE Dustin Keller, TE Josh Baker, OT Jason Smith, G Brandon Moore, G Matt Slauson, DE/DT Mike DeVito, NT Sione Pouha, DE/OLB Bryan Thomas, ILB Bart Scott, CB Darrelle Revis, S LaRon Landry, S Yeremiah Bell, S Eric Smith.
Round 1, Pick 9: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Round 1, Pick 13: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Round 2, Pick 39: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Round 3, Pick 72: Brian Winters, G, Kent State
Round 5, Pick 141: Oday Aboushi, OT/OG, Virginia
Round 6, Pick 178: William Campbell, DT, Michigan
Round 7, Pick 215: Tommy Bohanon, FB, Wake Forest
As far as Free Agency goes nothing gained, but a handful of players lost. The Jets traded the best corner in the league, let their most reliable target walk in Dustin Keller, lost a Pro Bowl guard to Free Agency (he is a aging player but the Jets need help), and both safeties who were brought in a year earlier are gone. There are cases for letting these players walk, but when your team is in turmoil you would like to keep some starters for cohesiveness.
This draft for the Jets made very little sense. It has Rex Ryan written all over it. Dee Milliner will come in and help fill the void for Darrelle Revis, so that pick makes a ton of sense. The 13th overall pick is the head scratcher. Sheldon Richardson is a great player, but with so many offensive problems why would you take another defensive lineman? If you’re going to go defense take a position you need. Realistically there were no offensive players worth the 13th pick at that point, but Rex, trading down is also an option.
Then the Jets take Geno Smith in the second round. It was a bad class for quarterbacks in 2013, but even then Smith was ranked as my third best quarterback behind Manuel and Glennon. Smith could be a good NFL quarterback, but he is the product of an air-it-out West Virginia offense with two of the best receivers in college football catching his passes. The best pick the Jets made was Brian Winters. Winters has the ability to play tackle or guard. He’s a nasty blocker and compares to Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito.
Defense wins championships, but you don’t win anything with a nonexistent offense. No matter who the quarterback is for the Jets, it will be a rough year without any offensive weapons. Santonio Holmes is the only consistent player on the Jets offense that can move the ball, and he is still out with his injury from last season. On the defensive side they look good upfront, but that didn’t stop teams from running all over them. Corner looks like a strength for this team even with the loss of Revis, but if anything gets past them Rex Ryan better hope the turf at MetLife Stadium can make a play.
The Jets are in rebuilding mode. The event this off season that was puzzling (just like the rest of the Jets offseason) was the firing of general manager Mike Tannenbaum, but keeping head coach Rex Ryan. Usually with a general manager change there is a whole new regime brought in. If Woody Johnson wants Rex to keep Rex-ing it up the Jets franchise and fans are in for a rough couple of years. If Rex gets canned this year Geno Smith may have a short NFL career with a good quarterback class coming out in 2014. Jets fans, if you are traveling with children, make sure that your own mask is on first before helping your children. In the unlikely event of an emergency landing and evacuation, leave your carry-on items behind. Life rafts are located below your seats and emergency lighting will lead you to your closest exit and slide. We ask that you make sure that all carry-on luggage is stowed away safely during the flight. While we wait for take off, please take a moment to review the safety data card in the seat pocket in front of you.
About the Author: Zachary Cintron
Zachary Cintron is a sports blogger who has spent the past two years covering the National Football League (NFL), NCAA football, NCAA lacrosse, and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) for Sports Unbiased and The Sports Complex (Drexel University’s Sport Management Blog). Zach is expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Drexel in June of 2016. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.