The Jets made a statement this weekend. The first noises were heard Friday afternoon when everyone slowly learned of "The Trade". The team that seemed to have no direction during this off-season tried to make it clear to everyone that there was a plan. A goal. A reason to believe that the men entrusted with this franchise may know what they are doing.
Friday afternoon general manager Terry Bradway and head coach Herman Edwards put the Jets in the position to obtain an impact player in the 2003 draft by trading the Jets two first round picks (13 and 22 overall) for the Bears first round pick (4 overall). They decided not to sit put and hope that the players they may have drafted if they had stayed at their current positions could become productive players. Players that after a few years in Edwards system could one day help the team towards the goal of finally bringing a Super Bowl title to the Jets.
They knew that with the number four pick they were going to get a player that could be placed in the starting lineup immediately. A franchise player.
They knew which player they wanted. It seemed everyone knew. The fans, the media, opposing teams all were quite aware of who the target was which helped create some tension before commissioner Paul Tagliabue finally announced the Jets pick.
They know that the acquisition Dewayne Robertson helps the Jets move closer to their quest for a championship than they were a week ago. Closer than they were a year ago.
Obtaining Robertson represents a daring move by the much-maligned brain-trust behind this team. Bradway and Edwards have come under fire for their lack of holding on to some players this year that Jet fans thought of as irreplaceable.
You would think that a general manager and head coach that have reached the playoffs in each of their first two seasons might garner a little patience and trust. Patience and trust are two things though that Jet fans are lacking in. They are always waiting to hear the bad news. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop because when it does it is normally right on top of them.
Maybe Jet fans should step back and look at the big picture. Herman Edwards and Terry Bradway came in with a vision for this team. They envisioned the creation of a defense in the mold of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They knew it would take some time to achieve. It meant dealing with an adjustment period. It meant changing personnel to suit the system.
They have had to ship out several incumbent starters and bring in new players to replace them. They had to let some young talent go. They had to replace the quarterback a third of the way into a season. They had to deal with position coaches leaving. The had to clear up cap space and restructure a number of contracts written up during the tenure of the previous team management.
Through all these growing pains they still achieved an amazing feat. They reached the playoffs. Twice. They also stole a division championship last season from the reigning Superbowl Champs. The team took a step forward each year that Bradway and Edwards have been here.
There is no doubt that everyone has heard everything about Robertson and has already formed an opinion. We will hear about him on the radio. Read about him in the papers come training camp. He will be the focus of everyones attention this upcoming season. He should be.
Dewayne Robertson has all of the skills and attributes to enable him to contribute to this team right away. He has enough size and strength to solidify the front four of this defense today and for years to come. He will alleviate many of the double teams that had previously plagued Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham. He will get to the quarterback. He will stuff the run.
The Jets made a bold move this weekend. They showed their fans that they were committed to improving this team. Committed to moving forward. Bradway and Edwards also made a statement to their fans, trust us and have patience; we know what we are doing.