Does The Key Fit?
By Chris Pine
Jets Staff Writer
November 21st, 2003
Will this man be wearing green again in 2004?
Will this man be wearing green again in 2004?
Should the Jets try and get him back?

That is a question that will be all over the New York papers for months in the wake of the surprising and deliberate dismissal of Keyshawn Johnson. It seems that the wide receiver has worn out his welcome in Tampa Bay and is now considered a distraction to his teammates and to the coaching staff. For some reason whatever Johnson has done is far worse than anything that has been stirred up by his now ex-teammate Warren Sapp. To paraphrase the Bard “something is rotten in the state of Florida.” Now I am not saying that Keyshawn is innocent of whatever allegations that may be posed against him by upper management within the Tampa Bay Buccaneer organization but I have my doubts that he is solely to blame for what has transpired. It is kind of like someone who tries to end a relationship before the other one does. They both want it over and they both want the other to look like the bad guy so they can convince all of their mutual friends that the other is the unreasonable one.

There are a lot of factors that probably have contributed to this situation reaching the level it has. Obviously the head coach and the player cannot co-exist, and when the coach is one as revered as Jon Gruden is, the player is the one who will lose. Although getting paid a few million to sit around and chat on the NFL pre-game show on FOX can’t really be considered losing.

None of this answers my original query: Should the Jets try and get him back.

Here is what I can say about Keyshawn Johnson: He is a physical freak. It is unbelievable that he has survived eight seasons without missing a game, without any serious injury at all. Think about that for a few minutes. That is just an amazing task for someone who plays with the intensity that Keyshawn does. This is a player that I will go on record saying he never took a down off. How many other players can you say that about with any conviction?

Is he selfish? Well he wants the ball all of the time and lets everyone know how great he thinks he is. He did say he would play for whichever team would pay him “his money” but I don’t know though if that truly makes him a bad guy to have on your team. How that can be worse than anything Randy Moss or Terell Owens has done?

Still; should the Jets try and get him back?

Johnson would provide not only a big target for Chad Pennington but a consistent one. He would compliment Santana Moss very well on the other side and allow Wayne Cherebet to settle back into his more comfortable slot position. He can handle the pressure of playing in New York. Actually he would thrive in it. He has already. Johnson almost single handedly defeated the Jaguars during the 1998 playoffs.

Should the Jets try to get him back?

The answer: No.

Although Keyshawn would be just what the doctor ordered he would cost too much. He is still owed more money than the Jets can really pay him and would require too much in a trade.

Keyshawn Johnson is something of a throwback to the days when NFL teams had superstars. You see, Keyshawn is a superstar. The problem is in today’s NFL is that there are no more superstars. There are players and teams. Superstars are no longer required to win championships. Keyshawn was part of an extinct species before he even was selected in the draft by the Jets all those years ago. The Jets should not acquire this superstar. They should just try and build a team.

Games Week 12

So after a few weeks of less than glorious standing I continued my dismal slide by going 1-2 last week. Meanwhile George suffered the same record leaving us at 16-16 and 17-15. Not good but hopefully still salvageable. Let’s see what this week has in store.

Game 1: Carolina at Dallas My Pick: Cowboys The Coin: Panthers

This is easily the most attractive match-up of the week. Both teams seem destined for the playoffs and to go down in the “Chris Pine Bandwagon Log”. I am only giving Dallas the edge thanks to the home-field advantage. It should be a boring game much like the Dallas match-up against New England last Sunday night; a slow and plodding defensive struggle that showed off all of the deficiencies in The Cowboys game. We will see if Parcells can come up with a solution for that.

Game 2: Cincinnati at San Diego My Pick: Bengals The Coin: Bengals

Marty is sure having a tough time this year. I have my doubts he lasts much longer with the Chargers if they can’t win a few more. Meanwhile Marvin Lewis is doing his best Dick Vermeil act crying after last week’s victory against the Chiefs. Now he has his team poised to do something they probably haven’t done since the Boomer Esaison days. Have a winning record.

Game 3: Seattle at Baltimore My Pick: Seahawks The Coin: Seahawks

Looks like I can’t really lose or gain any ground on my 25 cent friend. We both picked almost exactly the same this week. We have yet another defensive match-up here as the improved Seahawks takes on the slowly fading Ravens. Although Baltimore’s defense is still formidable they will have too much trouble scoring in this game and fall meekly to the Starbucks kids. My real prediction will be the presence of Vlad Guerrero at the contest.