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Thread: Ewing Theory - Can the Jets D elevate their game without Revis?

  1. #1

    Ewing Theory - Can the Jets D elevate their game without Revis?

    No, not saying the defense will be better, but will we see other playets step up? Will Wilson do better on the outside than in the slot? Will a pass rusher realize he doesnt have coverage help and go after the passer with even more aggression?

  2. #2
    For those who aren't familiar (from a Bill Simmons column from a decade ago):


    What's the Ewing Theory? Where did it come from?

    The theory was created in the mid-'90s by Dave Cirilli, a friend of mine who was convinced that Patrick Ewing's teams (both at Georgetown and with New York) inexplicably played better when Ewing was either injured or missing extended stretches because of foul trouble.

    Curious to see if this phenomenon applied to other stars/teams, Dave noticed people were pencilling in the '94-'95 UConn Huskies for a .500 season because "superstar" Donyell Marshall had departed for the NBA. Dave knew better; a lifelong UConn fan, he thought the Huskies relied too much on Marshall the previous season and could survive without him. Like Ali predicting the first Liston knockout, Dave told friends the Huskies would thrive in Marshall's absence -- and that's exactly what happened. By midseason, UConn was ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history; the Ewing Theory had been hatched.

    Dave introduced me to the Ewing Theory three years ago, and we've been tinkering with it like Voltaire and Thoreau ever since. Eventually, we decided that two crucial elements needed to be in place for any situation to qualify for "Ewing" status:

    A star athlete receives an inordinate amount of media attention and fan interest, and yet his teams never win anything substantial with him (other than maybe some early-round playoff series).

    That same athlete leaves his team (either by injury, trade, graduation, free agency or retirement) -- and both the media and fans immediately write off the team for the following season.

    When those elements collide, you have the Ewing Theory.


    What's the best example of the Ewing Theory?

    That's easy. During the '99 NBA Playoffs, Ewing tore an Achilles tendon during the second game of the Eastern finals against Indiana. With Ewing finished for the playoffs and nobody else on the Knicks who could handle Rik Smits, the series seemed like a foregone conclusion. As an added bonus, since Ewing himself was involved, that made this the ultimate test of the Ewing Theory; in fact, I e-mailed Dave that week to say, "This is the greatest test yet."

    Dave's return e-mail oozed with confidence, as he told me in no uncertain terms, "Ewing's injury is the best thing that ever could have happened to the Knicks -- they're definitely making the Finals now."

    So what happened? The Knicks won three of the next four and advanced to the NBA Finals for only the second time in 26 years. Had Jeff Van Gundy's crew shocked the Spurs in the Finals without Ewing, Dave might have his own line of "How-To" videos out right now (a Knicks upset was simply too tall of a task against Duncan and Robinson, Ewing Theory or no Ewing Theory).

    What are other examples of the Ewing Theory in action?

    Some classics from the past three years, in no particular order:

    1. Utah Utes, 1998: Keith Van Horn's ballyhooed college career ends without Utah ever making a Final Four. Nine months later, the Utes shock everyone by making the NCAA title game.

    2. Tennessee Volunteers, 1998: Even more ballyhooed than Van Horn during his college career, Peyton Manning leaves UT without either winning a national title or beating Florida -- and the Vols win the national title nine months later.

    3. Seattle Mariners, 2000: After allegedly "giving up on the season" by dealing their marquee player (Junior Griffey) eight months after dealing their marquee pitcher (the Big Unit), the Mariners cruise to an AL wild-card berth and shock the White Sox in the first round.

    4. Boston Red Sox, 1999: After Mo Vaughn signs with the Angels for $80 million, nobody believes that the Sox have enough hitting to finish above .500. Wrong. They roll off 94 victories, capture the wild-card berth and win their first playoff series in 13 years (beating Cleveland in five games).

    5. Miami Dolphins, 2000: Dan Marino retires and everyone prepares for a rebuilding year in Miami; the Fins end up advancing to the second round of the playoffs with Jay Fiedler. Jay Fiedler!

    6. Philadelphia Flyers, 2000: After losing superstar Eric Lindros to a serious concussion in mid-March, the Flyers hold on for first place in the conference and defeat Buffalo and Pittsburgh in the playoffs. In the conference semis, the Flyers take a 3-1 lead when rumors swirl about a Lindros return. Stunned, the Flyers drop Game 5 at home, as Dave and I send frantic e-mails back and forth. Lindros finally returns in Game 6, and the Flyers squander that one, too; now people are blaming Lindros for killing Philly's momentum. In the climactic Game 7, the Flyers get expunged as Lindros gets knocked out with another concussion midway through the game. Season over.

    7. Boston Red Sox & Seattle Mariners, 2001 (ongoing): Written off after Nomar Garciaparra's wrist injury and Alex Rodriguez's departure, both teams cruise to the top of their respective divisions during the first five weeks of the season.

    8. University of Kentucky, 1998: One year after the departures of Rick Pitino, Derek Anderson and Ron Mercer, the Wildcats never miss a beat with new coach Tubby Smith and went on to beat Utah to win another NCAA title.

    9. St. Louis Rams, 1999: Starting QB Trent Green tears an ACL during the preseason. Given up for dead, the Rams rally behind former Arena League football star Kurt Warner and win the Super Bowl, which might be the most unbelievable thing that ever happened..

    10. Detroit Lions, 1999: Stunned by Barry Sanders' retirement in August, everyone gives up on the Lions for the '99 season. The Lions respond by sneaking into the NFC playoffs.


    What are some famous examples from the last few decades?

    In no particular order:

    1. The LA Lakers, 1972: NBA legend Elgin Baylor retires before the season without ever playing for a championship Lakers team. Of course, the '71-72 Lakers end up running off a record 33-game winning streak en route to their first-ever NBA title in L.A. Seriously, you couldn't make this stuff up.

    2. Virginia Cavaliers, 1984: Three-time Naismith Award winner Ralph Sampson graduates without ever leading Virginia to a national championship. Amazingly, the Cavs regroup the following season behind Othell Wilson and Rick Carlisle, going just as far as Sampson ever took them by sneaking into the Final Four. A Hall of Fame Ewing Theory example

    3. N.Y. Yankees, 1996: Yankees icon Don Mattingly retires without ever playing in a World Series game. The Yanks replace him with Tino Martinez and immediately roll off four of the next five World Series titles, as Mattingly joins a weekly support group with Buck Showalter.

    4. Cleveland Indians, 1997: Superstar slugger Albert Belle signs with the White Sox as a free agent. Eschewed as a threat to win the World Series without Belle, the Indians respond by making it all the way to the seventh game of the '97 World Series.

    5. World Wrestling Federation, 1997: Then-WWF champ Bret "Hitman" Hart signs a contract with Ted Turner's WCW federation (No. 1 in the TV ratings battle at the time). Aided by publicity from a real-life, backstage fight between Hart and WWF owner Vince McMahon after Hart's final match, the WWF rebounds in the Post-Hart Era and regains its No. 1 status within a year. Ironically, Hart's departure is considered the crucial turning point, because it gave birth to McMahon's new "bad guy" status and paved the way for the WWF to promote fresh stars like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Even in fake sports, the Ewing Theory is indomitable.

    Currently, who are some possible Ewing Theory candidates?

    All right, I'll bite. Remember, we're targeting stars on teams that haven't won anything, as well as teams that would probably be written off without the stars we're about to mention:

    Drew Bledsoe: Every Patriots fan is nodding right now. (Damn, called it. And this is from late summer 2001.)

    Michael Vick: Textbook case. Everybody's already writing off Virginia Tech for next season, despite the fact that they never won anything with Vick. They might post a 12-0 next season.

    Chris Webber: Don't laugh. What happens if C-Webb leaves the Kings this summer, and they use the extra cap space to sign two second-tier free agents?

    Vince Carter: Watch the Raptors in two years, after Vince joins MJ in DC (and you know it's happening).

    Griffey: The baseball version of Ewing.

    Kobe Bryant: After they split him up from Shaq and he gets his own team.

    Pete Sampras: This one makes sense, if you think about it. Taking Sampras out of the men's tennis equation could make Wimbledon more interesting and allow younger, more charismatic players to rise to the forefront.

    Barry Bonds: It's unfair, but he fits the formula.

    Manning: You can feel the "Manning goes down and the Colts rally behind James & Harrison" moment coming in the next few years, can't you?

  3. #3
    Considering Wilson plays in his place, the answer is a resounding no. He was a waste of a 1st round pick. You throw in Wilkerson and Coples (both of whom have done very little this season) and you have to start questioning what the Jets have been doing in the 1st round the past few years.

  4. #4
    Well, it's certainly going to force Rex and co. to come up with something more creative for the long-term this year, as opposed to a one-week bandaid solution since it always seemed likely Revis wasn't going to miss more than one game with the concussion. If Rex is as good a defensive coach as he says/thinks he is, then we'll be okay. Big if.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SlickBri481 View Post
    Considering Wilson plays in his place, the answer is a resounding no. He was a waste of a 1st round pick. You throw in Wilkerson and Coples (both of whom have done very little this season) and you have to start questioning what the Jets have been doing in the 1st round the past few years.
    Why the hate on Wilkerson? Dude's not, and never was supposed to be, some great pass rushing prospect. Not what he was drafted for, not what he was ever developed to be. He'll obviously get sacks from time to time but he was never going to be the pass-rushing d-lineman specialist on a team that predominantly plays the 3-4 (though that's changing a bit now).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by unchartedm0nkey View Post
    Why the hate on Wilkerson? Dude's not, and never was supposed to be, some great pass rushing prospect. Not what he was drafted for, not what he was ever developed to be. He'll obviously get sacks from time to time but he was never going to be the pass-rushing d-lineman specialist on a team that predominantly plays the 3-4 (though that's changing a bit now).
    Wilkerson is a solid starter, but you're always looking for gamechangers and Pro Bowlers in the first round. He doesn't appear to be one so far.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SlickBri481 View Post
    Wilkerson is a solid starter, but you're always looking for gamechangers and Pro Bowlers in the first round. He doesn't appear to be one so far.
    I agree with that, but Wilkerson was projected as a first round talent. I guess the relevant question then is how does Wilkerson compare to other 3-4 defensive ends drafted in the first round? No idea what the answer is there though lol.

  8. #8
    Remember when Revis was out for like 4 games in 2010 with a hamstring injury? If memory serves me correctly, we won all those games.

    We'll have to come up with something to soften the blow.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by unchartedm0nkey View Post
    I agree with that, but Wilkerson was projected as a first round talent. I guess the relevant question then is how does Wilkerson compare to other 3-4 defensive ends drafted in the first round? No idea what the answer is there though lol.
    The only 3-4 DE that was selected before him was JJ Watt. And he's looking like an All-Pro.

    Mo is a very solid player.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by King P View Post
    Remember when Revis was out for like 4 games in 2010 with a hamstring injury? If memory serves me correctly, we won all those games.

    We'll have to come up with something to soften the blow.
    He only missed two games. Weeks 3 and 4, @ MIA and @ Buff. Both of those games went pretty much the way they always have under Rex - close nerve-wrecker in Miami and complete ownage of Buffalo.

  11. #11
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    Kyle Wilson stinks. Here we are in year 3, and he still doesn't turn his head around to look for the ball. Year 3! He is a dime back, nothing more.

  12. #12
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    cameron heyward was selected right after mo, and he's been decent. made a few plays, but has yet to start a game (more so due to a lack of opportunity with keisel and hampton and hood as the starters

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by unchartedm0nkey View Post
    He only missed two games. Weeks 3 and 4, @ MIA and @ Buff. Both of those games went pretty much the way they always have under Rex - close nerve-wrecker in Miami and complete ownage of Buffalo.
    And we were without him for the 2nd half of the Patriots game in Week 2. And we still won!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by King P View Post
    And we were without him for the 2nd half of the Patriots game in Week 2. And we still won!
    Our D was better in 2010 than what we've seen from the group so far in 2012. Losing Revis will sting regardless of what we did a couple years ago. We saw Wilson make mistakes last week and today and we know that Cro gets burned by top WRs way more than Revis. His absence will be felt for sure

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SlickBri481 View Post
    Our D was better in 2010 than what we've seen from the group so far in 2012. Losing Revis will sting regardless of what we did a couple years ago. We saw Wilson make mistakes last week and today and we know that Cro gets burned by top WRs way more than Revis. His absence will be felt for sure
    Was it though?

    We still have the same CB's (and Wilson is more experiences), better safeties, the same LB's, and an identical D-Line. And our pass rush was pretty bad back then as well.
    Last edited by King P; 09-24-2012 at 01:24 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by King P View Post
    Was it thought?

    We still have the same CB's (and Wilson is more experiences), better safeties, the same LB's, and an identical D-Line. And our pass rush was pretty bad back then as well.
    Rex's schemes and blitzes seemed more effective back then, that'd be the biggest difference I can see. 2010 D finished in the top 5 in the league, maybe top 3 if I recall. Our LB corps seems slower now too.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by NY State of Mind View Post
    No, not saying the defense will be better, but will we see other playets step up? Will Wilson do better on the outside than in the slot? Will a pass rusher realize he doesnt have coverage help and go after the passer with even more aggression?
    What's a playet? Is that a reference to the fact that our players, when compared to real NFL players, are like a junior version? If so I agree.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by unchartedm0nkey View Post
    I agree with that, but Wilkerson was projected as a first round talent. I guess the relevant question then is how does Wilkerson compare to other 3-4 defensive ends drafted in the first round? No idea what the answer is there though lol.
    He's heaps better then this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyson_Jackson who hasn't been much of a difference maker despite his lofty draft position

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by blitzct View Post
    A big resounding no.... Games are won and lost in the trenches. Based on what the jets front seven has shown thus far, we are nowhere near as good as we've been in previous years. Our lack of a playmaker/s is becoming painfully obvious, and teams are gonna have no problem picking us apart if we continue to leave Scott, pace, Smith,de vito, and even Harris to some extent on the field in passing situations. As far as stopping the run, that's all about will and heart and right now we seem to be lacking some. I do believe that we can improve and will improve against the run as the season goes on tho.
    Exactly, without a pass rush it doesn't even matter either way.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY State of Mind View Post
    No, not saying the defense will be better, but will we see other playets step up? Will Wilson do better on the outside than in the slot? Will a pass rusher realize he doesnt have coverage help and go after the passer with even more aggression?
    When you mention Ewing, I thought this was a thread about VLAD.

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