lolz!...Oh jeebus. What a fun three weeks that must have been! Like Ground Hog's Day...over and over....and over.Week 13 November 24, 1996
at Buffalo Bills
Week 14 December 1, 1996
Week 15 December 8, 1996
at New England Patriots
Fortunately that all transpired during a blurry senior year in college for me and I was barely even paying attention to the Jets that season. I'm glad I don't remember much.
I remember it well the first year Kotite was coach they gutted the team. They traded Rob Moore pickup crappy Ron Moore for rb. The jets were so depleted a guy by the name of Wayne Chrebet got a shot. The next year was worse the jets signed Jumbo Elliott to help rebuil the Ol. In the first game Elliot went down and the Ol fell apart. Neil odonnell got sacked beaten up so bad they yanked him and put Frank Reich in.
Meanwhile Kotite, being a former TE, loaded up the roster with crappy Tight Ends, all of whom made the final roster. Wide Receivers were few and far between except for this kid Sherbert who caught everything in sight during the preseason and ended up starting.
After the magnificent 3-13 season, they drafted Keyshawn Johnson with the first pick in the entire draft and Alex Van Dyke with the second. They signed David Williams and Jumbo Elliott for the OL and Neil O'Donnell to be the savior at QB. Ron Ehrhardt was hired from the Steelers to be the OC and many of us were hopeful that he would be the defacto head coach making Kotite a figurehead.
Training camp started and the Sherbert kid from Hofstra hung in there and ended up starting ahead of Van Dyke and along with Johnson. O'Donnell was underwhelming from day one (and blamed everybody and everything else for it --- SOUND FAMILIAR??-- Williams and Elliott spent the entire training camp on bikes and off to the side doing exercises, both being not ready to play football with some sort of injuries.
O'Donnell went down with some sort of injury after a few games and Reich took his place. In about week 14 or so, O'Donnell made his triumphant return on a rainy wet Meadowlands field, took one good long look at the mess he was about to be the QB of and "reinjured" something during warmups, limped off to the locker room and wasn't seen again until the 1997 season when Parcells finally had enough of him and replaced him with Glenn Foley
Wonder about all these injuries??
The Kotite strength coordinator told the story of the Kotite conditioning program during the 1997 season when he was being blamed for all kinds of stuff by the media. Of course, it wasn't mandatory but most of the players did show up. The weight room in Hofstra (until Parcells redid it )consisted of a few pieces of outdated and/or broken equipment.
The real beauty of the Kotite conditioning program was that the 90 or more players were supervised and monitored by the ONE strength coordinator-- No Kotite, none of his coordinators, none of his assistant coaches EVER showed up to see what was happening. So the players would sign in, talk to the strength guy, mill around waiting for a machine or weights and then when the strength guy went to talk to another player, sneak out the back door and go home.
Result -- the whole team was out of shape and injured for those entire two seasons.
We all know about the changes Parcells made to that conditioning program when he arrived and, in my opinion, that had a lot to do with many of the same players suddenly showing dramatic improvement in 97
We ran a high school offense.
Galloway did kill us that game. I remember they tried a 3rd time to him, and Aaron Glenn got injured after making a leaping INT (I think he tore an ACL?). Marcus Coleman came in and did a tremendous job...and ended up being pretty solid for us the next couple of years.
Thankfully I've blocked out most of the memories from that horrific season. Here's what I do remember:
-The infamous shovel pass from Bubby Brister that was intercepted and returned for a TD vs. Jacksonville. This might have been the low point of the year.
-Adrian Murrell busting a big gainer at the end of the Arizona game, giving us our only win. I was so relieved when it happened.
-Wayne Chrebet showing flashes of ability in his rookie year.
A lot of guys here being pretty hard on Neil o Donnell. Wasn't he pretty good with Pittsburgh for a few years before coming over to the jets? Why did he suck all of a sudden?