New England Patriots
– Yeah, yeah, Bill Belichick is the smartest coach who has ever lived and I am nothing but a bumbling sports writer who should bow to his greatness. … Got any other good ones, Pats fans? Look, I'm one of Belichick's biggest fans in the media and one of the few who has defended many of his moves. At the same time, I'm perplexed by some of the things he does in the draft. From drafting too many guys to moving out of the draft at key moments, Belichick oftentimes is a guy who is too smart for his own good. The Pats traded out of the No. 29 spot even though safety Matt Elam was there and Elam fits the profile (hence, Baltimore took him three spots later). The Pats, who are entering the winter of Tom Brady's glorious career, need guys who can help NOW, not in three years. Sure, the Pats picked up a couple smart-guy receivers in second-rounder Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, but they would have gotten Dobson anyway and could have easily gotten Boyce with a lesser trade later. In other words, they bypassed Elam for no great reason.
New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez
– Things were already bad enough for Sanchez in New York, where his 52 turnovers the past two years were called out by everybody, including owner Woody Johnson (Johnson's mantra has become, "The quarterback can't fumble"). On Friday, the Jets made no bones about Sanchez's future when they drafted Geno Smith and he was immediately dubbed "Broadway Geno." While Smith has a long way to go, the only hope for Sanchez at this point is that the Jets are willing to swallow the $8.25 million they owe him this year and just let him go. That would be the humane thing. Then again, football is not a humane sport.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan
– Yes, Ryan was among the winners from Thursday night when the Jets took cornerback Dee Milliner and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, but things only got better. Drafting Geno Smith is a boon to Ryan regardless of whether Smith can play. Assuming the Jets do the smart thing and dump Mark Sanchez, Smith automatically becomes the starter and Ryan gets a chance to make this a full-fledged turn toward the future rather than some weird balancing act with Ryan perched on Sanchez's shoulders (or tattooed on Ryan's shoulder, as it truly is). If Ryan can rebuild the defense quickly and get the offense to stay error-free, an 8-8 season might make it hard for the Jets to fire him. Yeah, Ryan still looks like a dead man walking, but there's a hint of a lifeline.