Posts Tagged ‘pennington’

Hold Your Happiness: Wins Over The Scrubs, Losses To The Elites, Nothing New Here

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I’m just as happy as anyone else that we had a dominating win with an in-sync offense yesterday, but let’s look in the mirror and be real folks:

2-2 is exactly where we had this team pegged with Chad Pennington’s balloons, and 3-1 is what we wished for with Brett Favre’s darts. Cake-like wins over the Dolphins and Cardinals with decisive defeats to the Patriots and Chargers is not something to throw a party over.

Our expectations now should be a 3-0 run heading into Buffalo at 5-2. Anything less would be a big disappointment. Clearly Mr. Favre is now “comfortable” in our offense, but our defense and special teams need lots of work. Our head coach is a 50/50 proposition at best, rolling the dice strangely, bowing to the will of public pressure.

The next month tells the tale of this season. The only elites left on the schedule (if you even want to call them that) are the Bills, Titans, and Broncos. Before we let that too make us all giddy, everyone else in the AFCE has a similarly easy schedule, so we must take care of business against the lesser teams if we’re going to make a run at the postseason at which point we will have to face an elite team or two and it’s going to be an unknown if we can handle them. So far, both tests have been failures.

SAR I

Looking Like Woody Wanted Favre and Mangini Didn’t

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

The theory goes that Woody Johnson needed a big name to help sell PSL’s. He watched the Giants win a Super Bowl, courted Darren McFadden and didn’t get him, saw the economy take a downturn, and threw a large hat into the ring in the Brett Favre situation in the summer- the only team in the NFL to do so.

Eric Mangini has never been a big fan of the high-risk vertical passing game. Has never actively sought a QB who could flick his wrist and throw a 50 yard rope. Stuck with Pennington for his first two seasons, and developed Clemens as another game manager- safety first, no risky QB play, no improv, just be conservative and set up the run in front of a strong defense.

During the entire Favre to New York process, Eric Mangini was silent. Tannenbaum and Woody got all the press, did all the gushing and blushing, Mangini rarely made an appearance in the midst of the hoopla. Yes, was in the middle of preparing for preseason games, but only appeared at a single press conference and never sounded overly excited about his new QB.

Flash forward to today and the current line of thinking is that Mangenius suddenly got stupid. Suddenly forgot that his QB can throw a pea through a concrete wall. Failed to adjust to his strengths. Well, what if he’s not stupid but rather stubborn? What if he never wanted Brett Favre, never wanted a high-risk gunslinger, never wanted that square peg in his decidedly round hole? What if Woody’s PR move is in direct conflict with the strategy employed by the head coach? What if Eric feels like he’s stuck with a circus freak when he’s trying to direct an opera?

Methinks we are going to find out pretty soon. If Eric keeps sticking to his guns and making Favre into a safe game manager with his Pennington gameplans, something’s going to give. Either Woody’s going to pop or Mangini will.

Stay tuned.

SAR I

The Right Way (Denver Broncos) and The Wrong Way (New York Jets)

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Three years ago, Mike Shanahan and the rebuilding Broncos bet the farm by taking a franchise QB prospect in the first round and starting him right out of the gate. Lumps and all, decides that it’s best to get his young QB the reps, better to validate him quickly, best to let him gel with the starters from the git-go instead of holding a clipboard.

Three years ago, Eric Mangini and the rebuilding Jets sheepishly pass on the franchise QB prospect in the first round and stick with the incumbent who can’t pop a balloon with a needle. Takes a development project as a maybe QB of the distant future. Assigns him a clipboard. Does not validate him, does not play him, makes him ride the pine.

Flash forward to today, and Shanahan’s QB is looking more and more like a franchise player. In his third season, he’s experienced the NFL top to bottom and shows poise and leadership abilities. He’s blossoming into a great player at the same time the rest of his young teammates are coming into their own. A team in sync, ready for the 5 year run. Set at the most important position on the field, building the players and the team around him.

Flash forward to today, and Mangini still lacks a QB. The balloon thrower was cut too late, the 2nd round project has failed due to mismanagment, and he is left with an oft-retired Hall of Famer for the next 4 months in a desperate bid to save his job. The youngsters around this rental QB aren’t in sync, and when he’s gone before the snow stops falling, they’ll have to start all over again next year. Not set at the most important position on the field, not building properly, not ready for a run of any sort.

Football is a team game. Needs great coaching, a gelled offense, and a great QB. Needs a smart gameplan in the front office, needs belief in a young QB, needs grooming and patience. The Broncos took their lumps these past few seasons and are again ready to make a jump back atop their division. The Jets continue to think short-term and are engaged in a desperate attempt to make a single run in one year on the backs of high priced, aged, and questionably motivated free agents. Can you think of another team built this way that had a consistent string of playoff appearances and an eventual Super Bowl? Can you recall another NFL team that spent and constructed like George Steinbrenner circa 1976 and was successful?

The right way and the wrong way. Look no further.

SAR I

If Favre Was Chad, We’d Be Killing The Guy

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

I’ll start this of by repeating that I love the fact that we’ve got Brett Favre on the team from an entertainment perspective, but that it’s wrong for us long-term.

We’ve got 8 quarters of live NFL football to judge our new quarterback, and it’s not pretty. What we now know:

1. Putting Brett Favre in an offense designed for Chad Pennington isn’t working. Favre’s dinks/dunks aren’t any more effective than Chad’s. The occassional long-ball is a big win but the more-than-occassional huge mistake is a big loss. Right now, Favre looks like Chad The Game Manager with a bigger arm and a bigger ego. With Chad, was either a single or a walk. With Favre, it’s either a home run or a strikeout. In this offense, Favre’s downside is looking worse than Chad’s mediocrity.

2. Favre’s only brilliant play was the in-step TD to Cotchery in his very first quarter down in Miami.

3. Favre’s midfield Hail Mary’s only have a 25% success rate. The others were either close to being turnovers or were intercepted. The jump-ball TD in Miami was luck, not an offensive strategy.

4. Favre’s not seeing open receivers, he’s throwing up too many prayers, he holds onto the ball too long, he’s taking too many risks, he’s getting hit and fumbling, he’s tossing interceptions to the other team, he’s taking 25 yard losses on sacks, and he weakens as the games progress.

It’s 2 games into a long season and its no time to be too critical or panic. But the reality is that the Jets don’t know what to do with Favre and he’s not a great fit for an offense that is built on ball control and mistake-free operation. The Jets aren’t good enough to overcome blunders, and to date, Favre’s turnovers and drive-killing decisions almost cost us the Miami game and did cost us the Patriots game.

SAR I

Time To Weigh In On The Favre Situation – “That’s Entertainment”

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

First off I’ve been begging for a legitimate, bonafide, franchise-caliber quarterback since it was apparent that Bill Parcells Vinny Testaverde diceroll went astray, so a part of me is thrilled that Brett Favre is a New York Jet.

It’s the other part of me, the part of me that knows better, that says that this isn’t the answer to our prayers. Everyone else in the old AFC East got their franchise quarterback, and Hall of Famers all: Miami got Marino. Buffalo got Kelly. Colts got Manning. Patriots got Brady.

The Jets? We got a rock.

So now I see the Favre jerseys, I see the excitement, I see the circus, and I like it. No, not because it’s the answer to my prayers. Not because we just discovered a 23 year old franchise QB and are set for 10+ years of consistency and greatness at the QB poisition. I like it because it makes the 2008 season interesting. Instead of watching Chad’s balloons and Kellen’s confusion, I get Ringling Brothers. It’s going to be fun to go to games again. It’s going to be fun to see 50+ yard passes again. It’s going to be fun to be wide-open again.

But the expectations end there. Instead of a 7-9 Pennington bore-fest, it’s going to be a 10-6 Favre NASCAR-race. But make no mistake about it; watching the Bearded Lady is a lot of fun, but in the end, the Jets are just doing what they’ve been doing since 1970: Treading water.

We still got a rock. Just a fun one. And one that gives Woody Johnson a coverboy for his PSL brochures and a “face” to a franchise. One that sends a message that Mike Tannenbaum has balls. Lots of selfish motives, nothing that’s really beneficial for a non-win-now team. I won’t be buying a Brett Favre jersey because next year, when he’s gone and we’re faceless again, it’ll look as silly as those Ronnie Lott jerseys you see ever so often at the tailgates.

So sit back and enjoy the show. It’s a one-year funhouse. Makes me happy, makes me sad, makes me melancholy, makes me ambivalent.

SAR I