The New York Jets, in their fourth and last preseason game for the year, have finally scored a touchdown. Pressure had been building throughout the last three weeks, as trade period pick up Tim Tebow from the Broncos was expected to do some wonderful things with the NYJ’s offense.
Having said that, today’s result still did not fall the way of the Jets, as they fell to a 0-4 record for the pre season with the 28-10 loss to Philadelphia.
Not only that, but the touchdown was not thrown by Tim Tebow, or the Jets’ interchangeable first string QB Mark Sanchez. It was thrown by third stringer, Greg McElroy. It took 37 possessions, 201 minutes and 5 seconds of elapsed time, and then finally, in their 199th play of the preseason, they reached the endzone.
McElroy looked comfortable in the QB position, and calls have since gone out that he should be the Jets’ number two QB, however a lack of regular season experience is his drawback.
Many have begun to read into the Jets’ winless preseason, declaring that they will falter this year, and fall below last year’s standings of 8-8. Bringing Tebow in was supposed to help improve that, as they hoped to rekindle form from 2010-11 when they finished with an impressive 11-5 record.
The winless preseason shouldn’t be too much of a worry for Head Coach Rex Ryan, but he would be beginning to feel the pressure. NFL football is big business.
However the Jets are a young team, both on and off the field.
A second year starting quarterback in Tebow, a rookie defensive end filling that gap from last year that has looked promising, young receivers, and a gaping hole left by superstar running back LaDanian Tomlinson, who retired at the end of 2011.
Not to mention, six of their coaching staff have been with the Jets for one year or less. Some of the names on that list are Tony Sporano, Offensive coordinator. He was signed after the Jets meagre 8-8 season, after he was head coach at Miami, so this is his first regular season in charge of the Jets’ offence.
It is also Dave Degugliemo’s first season with the Jets, and he is in charge of their offensive line- protecting the QB and creating holes to run for the backfield. It will take time for the O-line and Degugliemo to gel.
Sanjay Lal was also appointed post last season, and he is New York’s Wide Receiver Coach. Again, time will help the receivers and Lal gel as a group.
Perhaps the criticism of the Jets’ offense is unfair, new coaches in means new plays, new styles of training, new everything. Perhaps this preseason has been about getting the processes right before the regular season.
The Jets just need to leap the mental boundaries that have begun to creep in. Tebow needs to throw a touchdown.
The O-line needs to gel, a receiver that isn’t Santonio Holmes (who has signalled his want for a trade no less) needs to stand up and stamp authority on the game. They will do fine this year, a wildcard entry into the play-offs would be a very good result; but for them to achieve that, they need to start winning games.