JETS OFF SEASON NOTES

Well, here we are – Super Bowl week. The NFL’s hype machine is running at full speed while both the Falcons and Patriots fans froth at the mouth for – heaven forbid – some   football. NFL franchises leaving or trying to leave town all over the place. Prospects preparing for April’s NFL Draft in shorts.

But I gotta get with my team. Lets fire up this sucka. 

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has a daunting task before him rebuilding this franchise and I don’t envy him in the least. But the future of this team lies squarely in his lap. And the successes and failures of his decisions will define this teams’ prospects for the next decade. No pressure right?

jets-hierarchy

Top L-R: Mike Maccagnan & Todd Bowles     Bottom L-R: John Morton & Kevin Greene

New Orleans Saints’ wide receivers coach John Morton has been signed to take this offense to the next level as the new offensive coordinator replacing the recently retired Chan Gailey. Hopefully his lack of play calling experience doesn’t come back to bite them where they sit. Don’t ask me how good he’ll be, I just know the Jets’ WR corp just got a big boost getting this guy. 

Morton was a part of the coaching staff as wide receivers coach in San Francisco from 2011-14 that helped lead the 49ers to three appearances in the NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XLVII. During his time with the 49ers, Morton’s top pupils were Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Most recently he’s overseen the development of some excellent receivers in New Orleans as well, including Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, and Willie Snead. He comes highly recommended by his boss, Saints head coach Sean Peyton, who coached with Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles under Bill Parcells in Dallas. But there appears to be a lack of play-calling or QB development in his resume. So it’ll be interesting to see which QB coach they sign to further the development of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

His hiring was preceded by the addition of HOFer Kevin Greene as OLB coach earlier in the week. He was not only good enough as a player to earn the NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1996), he coached the Green Bay Packers OLBs to the Super Bowl XLV title. I hope he’s kept his coaching chops sharp during his sabbatical from coaching to be with his family. He does have something to work with on the roster with youngsters Darron Reed and Jordan Jenkins already in the fold. I’m very interested in observing how much he can coach them up along with Lorenzo Mauldin. I wonder if this decision takes away any temptation to pick an edge rusher at #6. However I’m sure if a stud like Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, the consensus best player in the draft, somehow drops, Maccagnan won’t hesitate to pull the trigger like when Leonard Williams fell to him in 2015.

This upcoming NFL Draft looks to be a good place to add some talent to this team. Unfortunately for the Green and White, there doesn’t appear to be a sure-fire franchise QB among the blue-chip defensive studs that dominate the top of this draft. For some reason Mitch Trubisky of UNC and DeShaun Watson of Clemson, the two top QB prospects don’t generate much in the My understanding is next year’s draft will have a few candidates for the title of next great franchise QB. But this is a critical offseason and they can’t waste the 6th pick of the draft on just a solid player or an out and out bust. The scouting staff is on red alert.

There are explosive offensive players as well, such as TE O.J. Howard of Alabama or RB Leonard Fournette of LSU. Either would inject much explosiveness into the equation. It would be rare since they haven’t used a first rounder on an offensive player since Mark Sanchez in 2009(!). By the way, I DO NOT adhere to the theory that you don’t pick RBs, Safeties, or TEs in the top ten. Any player that impacts the game is fair game in my book.

Mike Maccagnan has gone from Executive of the Year one year to the hot seat in the next. And though I don’t think he should be replaced, he’s got huge decisions to make in the coming months. He and his scouts have to flood this roster with quality athletes or this will get ugly in a New York minute. Owner Woody Johnson is off to London to serve as the US Ambassador to England, leaving his brother Chris to oversee the team. Yeah, I’ve never heard of him either. But apparently he’ll keep ol’ Woody abreast of all the happenings at Florham Park. Let’s see how this is going to turn out. The hope here is they’ll come through this offseason and get this franchise back on its feet. 

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About Luis Fernandez

I am a NYC native & have followed New York sports for the last 45 years. Attended Fordham Preparatory H.S., Manhattan College, & C.W. Post. Former co-host of "Truth Be Told" & "Real Talk Sports" podcasts. Began "The Empire State Of Sports" in 2014.
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