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News » Jets sold out, bought a headache


Jets sold out, bought a headache


Jets sold out, bought a headache
Let the hyperbole begin.


  • "The Jets can make the Super Bowl."

  • "The Jets are a lock for the playoffs."

  • "After the Super Bowl, this is the second greatest day in franchise history."

    These are quotes from media types in the last few hours.

    Why let the facts get in the way of a story.

    Let me channel my inner Jim Mora.

    Playoffs???

    How about finishing ahead of the Buffalo Bills? Are you convinced the Jets are unequivocally better than the Steelers, Browns, Titans, Texans or Broncos? Or even the Bengals, or Ravens? I'm not. I won't even ask about comparing them to New England, San Diego, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville.

    The New York Jets, who are moving into a beautiful new stadium and will very soon be charging personal seat licenses for season ticket holders, just got their brand new toy/quarterback/selling point when they acquired Brett Favre. This is an excellent move in terms of business and buzz. In a town dominated by the Yankees, Mets and the New York Football Giants, the Jets are now the hot story, and will be all season.

    The New York Jets are certainly more relevant. The Jets are absolutely more exciting. But does this make the Jets a lock for the playoffs?

    Color me very, very skeptical.

    You have to wonder if the Jets compromised some of their principles to make this happen.

    Favre retired from the NFL because he had enough of the work during the week in preparing for games. Those are his thoughts from his retirement press conference, not mine. Mike Tannenbaum and Eric Mangini have set up a program that is based around participation in offseason programs. They set up a system where nobody is bigger than the team.

    This move flies in the face of it. I need to stay consistent here. I've given the Jets credit for being team-oriented in the past. I obviously have to be critical now. Tannenbaum told me last week on Sirius NFL Radio when I saw him at Jets training camp, "When you build a team it is an art, not a science. We look at salary cap, depth, what's a players DNA; is he a leader, (or a) follower? We are going to always look at every possible way to improve the football team."

    Brett Favre has flipped and flopped on retirement over the last three years, not just the unprecedented circus over the last three months. He's caused a major distraction for the Packers.

    It's funny how people like to forget about Favre wanting to mentor Aaron Rodgers. Let's see how he is with Kellen Clemens, a former Tannenbaum and Mangini second rounder who oozes talent and upside and gets the short end of the stick with the trade. It's funny how people forget about Favre speaking out about Javon Walker's contract situation. It's interesting that Jets management, who likes their players to be a bit guarded in their commentary with the news media, is taking on a player who speaks his mind to his chosen friends in the press.

    Favre was in a comfort zone in Green Bay. The New York televisions shows (starting with our SNY TV shows "Loudmouths" and "Jets Postgame Live"), the local radio shows, and newspapers won't care about his Hall of Fame résumé if he throws three picks against the Patriots in Week 2 and follows that up by turning it over three times on a Monday Night against the Chargers' incredible defense. The back pages of the New York Post and New York Daily News won't cut him a break because he's a future Hall of Famer. The fans will boo and be honest with you if you don't perform. If you don't believe me, ask Alex Rodriguez or Randy Johnson.

    Favre doesn't know Brian Schottenheimer's offense. You have to believe that process will be a bit taxing. He hasn't worked with an NFL receiver in months. I love the sure hands of Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles. These guys are as tough as nails and excel when it comes to the ultra-important yards after the catch. But the Jets don't employ a game breaker like Greg Jennings who can break down a cornerback on the fly when Favre goes completely against the playbook and improvises. Even Favre admitted during his press conference that other than Bubba Franks, he doesn't really know anyone on the team.

    One NFL starting player sent me a text message Thursday morning that said, "Eric (Mangini) has a lot of rules and doesn't like turnovers. Let's see how this plays out."

    Last year was MVP-caliber for Favre. And he deserves credit for it. Favre is an all-time great at the quarterback position. But he was ineffective in the heartbreaking playoff loss to the Giants, throwing a game-changing pick to Corey Webster in overtime to set up New York's stunning win.

    And let's not forget about 2005, when the gun-slinging Favre tossed 20 touchdowns against 29 picks. And let's not forget 2006, when he had a 1-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and constantly threw into double- and triple-coverage, irking Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

    Will Favre be a Jet past 2008? Nobody knows.

    Former Packers vice president Andrew Brandt told us on Sirius NFL Radio Thursday morning that not knowing Favre's future can be problematic.

    Brandt said, "In 2006 we didn't know if Favre was coming back until the eve of the draft. We were a 4-12 team trying to recruit free agents like Charles Woodson and LaVar Arrington. It was tough selling these guys on coming to Green Bay if we weren't convinced he was going to play."

    Now it is the Jets turn to deal with the "maybe it's the final game for Brett" saga that can truly bother teammates and brass.

    And let's remember that the Jets were not high on Favre's wish list. He wanted to be in Minnesota. Several league sources have told me that Favre isn't in Tampa because he isn't a fan of Jon Gruden. At the end of the day, Favre really didn't have many options. He settled on New York.

    Please don't misinterpret my commentary. I said last week on FOXSports.com during my recap from Jets training camp that I thought the Jets could win eight or nine games. The team has talent and is well coached.

    But getting Brett Favre doesn't guarantee a thing. It doesn't make them more than a nine-win team, which won't guarantee the playoffs.

    There are several sides to the Brett Favre story. Let's not ignore them.



  • Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: August 8, 2008

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