Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas
Do you think there was much of an overreaction when the Jets signed Brett Favre? You bet there was. Does Favre make the Jets better than they were the day before his acquisition? Of course. Now, what does that mean?
The Jets are, to begin with, in the wrong division. Without Brett Favre, they start the season playing for a Wild Card playoff spot. Do you really think that’s changed now that he’s in New York? Neither do I.
After all the pomp and circumstance (Brett Favre with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall before he’s ever even practiced with the Jets was a bit much), what does this do for the Jets in the short term and the long term? Well, in the short term, the Jets are a better team. Good enough to make the playoffs? Maybe, by squeezing into a Wild Card spot. How long does the Brett “improvement” last? Maybe one year, two years tops. If the AFC East was a wide-open division, it might be a different story. But it’s not.
What about Brett’s attitude coming to New York? Clearly, it wasn’t his first choice (Minnesota). It probably wasn’t his second choice (Chicago). It probably wasn’t even his third choice (Tampa Bay). He’s only committed to one year in New York. If things don’t go well for the Jets early on, Favre will take a pounding in a New York minute (Favre’s not in Kansas – oops, I mean Green Bay – anymore).
For example, the Jets open in Miami against the woeful (at least last year) Dolphins. But now that the Dolphins have instituted the Bill Parcells system from top to bottom and signed a Parcells first-round pick when he was a Jet (Chad Pennington), this first game goes from an easy win to a much tougher win. With the Patriots and the Chargers after that, the first game of the year now becomes a must win divisional game on the road, a tough thing to do regardless of your opponent. While the schedule gets much easier after that, the Jets could be in a gigantic hole after only three games.
Beyond that, what does this do for the Jets in the long term (defined as three, four and five years from now)? Well, if nothing else, the growth of Kellen Clemens will be stunted (from a small sample of NFL games, I’m not sold on Clemens as a big-time quarterback or even the future of the Jets at quarterback). But the Favre acquisition limits his growth for at least another year or two. To really understand this, just look at Aaron Rodgers. Where’s he going this year? Favre has said in the past that he doesn’t want to be a mentor. Do you think he’s going to change now? Neither do I.
Give owner Woody Johnson a ton of credit. He’s spent a ton of money on Alan Faneca, Damien Woody and Kris Jenkins, among others. Are these guys still top-shelf players or on the decline? Tough question. Brett Favre’s acquisition certainly makes this a win-now team. Or else. Will all of these All-Pros/Super Bowl Champions still be top shelf players in three, four or five years? Very unlikely. Will any of them? Tough question.
But it’s a win-now world and a win-now league. Did Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery just get better? Absolutely. Are either of them Donald Driver? Unlikely.
And don’t forget, despite a great regular season in 2007, Favre has, in recent years, shown a tremendous ability to make some incredibly stupid throws in big spots. Hard to believe that (now Super Bowl champion) Eli Manning could go into Green Bay in a playoff game and outplay Brett Favre. But he did, and many thought that final terrible interception that Favre threw, which, essentially, ended Green Bay’s season, would be the final pass of his glorious career. Obviously, that’s not true.
To recap, the Jets have improved as a football team for the next year, maybe two. Did the Jets have to make this move? Probably. But will Brett Favre make them an elite AFC team (which, nowadays, would make them an elite NFL team) this year? I can’t rate them ahead of the Patriots or the Colts or the Chargers (or even the Steelers). Can you?
Perhaps the most interesting thing Favre said since his arrival wasn’t the “I can’t make any guarantee” or the “I hope I can play as well as I’ve played in the past.” Rather, it was the following at his initial press conference: “To a certain degree, I really don’t know what I’m getting into.” Well, he’s going to find out, for better or for worse.
© Copyright 2008 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.