Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas
After a great run in the playoffs, you knew the Jets weren’t going to stand pat (no pun intended). They clearly made a decision to improve their team by taking players regardless of character. They look more and more like the Ravens of yesteryear.
But have the Jets done too much? Yes, they brought in a quality guy like LaDainian Tomlinson (hopefully nobody in New York will refer to him as LT – there’s only one of those and he played for the Giants), but a back who is past his prime. But they also brought in questionable guys like Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie. And no matter what you think of him, Jet-hater Jason Taylor is on the down side. Yes, they seemed to have a pretty good draft with top cornerback prospect Kyle Wilson from Boise State and (maybe) offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse from UMass and (maybe) running back Joe McKnight from USC.
BUT LOOK WHO THEY HAVE LOST!
It’s hard to believe that the Jets would virtually gut their running back tandem of Thomas Jones AND Leon Washington, bringing back neither. Yes, Shonn Greene played great for Gang Green. But are he and Tomlinson the answer? And can McKnight or anyone replace the returning threat and all-purpose yardage machine that is Washington? All of this remains to be seen.
Worse, from this angle, is the unceremonious dumping of the perennial Pro Bowl guard, Alan Faneca. A number of Jets seem particularly unhappy about this, none more so than his running buddy, center Nick Mangold. According to the New York Post, Mangold was actually eating dinner with Faneca at a steakhouse in Summit, New Jersey when Faneca got the call from Rex Ryan, telling him that he was cut.
Not only did Mangold tell the Post that the decision was “very disappointing and difficult to deal with,” he showed how tough it’s going to be for any new guy (Ducasse?) to step in by saying “I’m going into my fifth year and I still don’t know exactly everything about the [Jets’] system.”
Translation: It’s going to be very hard to replace this guy and still be the line of a year ago.
SO, WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE JETS?
It leaves them battling again with the always-dangerous Patriots and the improving Dolphins. While it’s not the NFC East, it is one of the toughest divisions in football. With the questionable chemistry, the character, all of these new guys, it says here that it’s going to be very hard to beat the Patriots for the division or to go as far as they went last year.
© Copyright 2010 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.