Rebuilding is Not Tanking

The New York Jets will always dominate the sports pages in New York / New Jersey, but too often it’s not because of great play on the field.

There have been some exciting years – in the 1980’s with the beloved record breaking “Sack Exchange” but losing the AFC championship game 14-0. Coach Don Shula left the tarp off the field to slow down the speed of Wesley Walker, Freeman McNeil, and Bruce Harper.

The 1998 season had Coach Bill Parcells, with QB Vinny Testeverde get the team to within 30 minutes of the Super bowl. Drafting Chad Pennington in the first round in 2000, every year that he was healthy, he took the Jets to the playoffs – 3 times, until departing for the Dolphins in 2008 only to lead them to the AFC East title.

Of course, we can never forget the greatest and only Super Bowl, led by NY Jets QB Joe Namath back in 1969. So often with Twitter and Facebook, many Jet fans weren’t even born then so they missed out on the most amazing Super Bowl of all – the guarantee!

So their frustration is understandable.

Most recently the Jets, after drafting (moving up to get him) Mark Sanchez as their QB and acquiring some great locker room leaders and free agent signings to go with the great drafts of 2006 and 2007, had 2 years of AFC championship games with Coach Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum. Then things began to fall apart, from locker room dissension, to letting some key leaders go in free agency, and some very poor drafts. But the biggest problem always comes down to quarterback and Mark Sanchez never progressed as hoped and a franchise quarterback has eluded us.

The Jets tried and almost succeeded with the bandaid idea. Getting free agents that are on the back side of their careers and hoping they’ll be as they used to be. But as Coach Bowles said in his first year, the Jets needed to get faster. We had no WR’s or RB’s that were deep threats, no punt return man to take it all the way or change field position, no speed at LB or edge rusher to blitz as our strong front were strong but not pressuring the QB, an aging OL, and DB’s that lacked speed and great tackling. There’s always a winner and a loser when a game is played, but so often there seemed to be lack of emotion, intensity, effort, and communication by some.

So clearing up cap space is one reason, but without a current franchise QB, the idea of rebuilding with a vision and plan, fresh blood, good chemistry, and bringing in guys with speed and that love the game is awesome.

I don’t call this or consider this “tanking” as Bill Polian said.

I don’t call this or consider this “tanking” as Bill Polian said. That means giving up, lack of care and effort and no way any coach I’ve known would do that. When the Jets hired a Coach like Hall of Fame Kevin Greene, there’s no way anyone will be going half speed or not playing with emotion. The Jets are just facing facts, it’s time to rebuild, they know Jet fans are loyal and I think this is so exciting. I can’t wait to watch the combine, then free agency and the draft.

Hitting on the draft picks are so important in this rebuild. The Jets have a 1, a 2, and 2 third round picks – let’s get 4 starters! I’m willing to be patient and watch this rebuild.

I hope we finally develop a homegrown quarterback, whether it’s one on the roster now, or a draft pick that becomes THE MAN!

Connie Nicholas Carberg grew up around the New York Jets with her father as the team’s internist for 26 years (Dr. Calvin Nicholas). In 1974, she joined the Jets as a secretary. In 1976, she was named the first female scout in NFL History. Her contributions led to a number of top drafts culminating with her discovery of a little known defensive end, Mark Gastineau. ConnieScouts shares her memories and blessings over the years.

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