A Clockwork Green
By Kevin Newell
Jets Head Writer
November 15th, 2004
Ravens' safety Ed Reed runs back his endzone interception of Jets RB LaMont Jordan. (Jets Photo)
Ravens' safety Ed Reed runs back his endzone interception of Jets RB LaMont Jordan. (Jets Photo)
Time out, Herm!

What the heck were you thinking yesterday? What were your coaches thinking? Were you thinking?

How do you allow the game clock go from 55 seconds to 18 seconds during the final drive in regulation, running just one play, with a chance to win the game? How do you burn a time out with 14 ticks left following an incompletion? How do you have the audacity to play for a tie with the ball a mere three yards from the goal line? How did you blow this game?

I guess your “You play to win the game” mantra has now become “You play to tie the game and take your chances in overtime because the coaching staff’s clock management skills are inept.”

You and your staff burn time outs like a bachelor burns toast. No one can blame Quincy Carter for this. This is all on the HC of the NYJ. May I suggest adding, Football Clock Management by John T. Reed to your must-read list? "I think they kind of messed up at the end, using that timeout,” said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Ray, you think?

Farcical. That’s the only word to describe Ravens 20, Jets 17. Why the Jets coaching staff continues to botch these games is a classic conundrum. The pattern is alarming. If you can’t learn to tell time after all of this time, you never will.

I guess Father Time, aka Dick Curl, left his Timex on the kitchen table.

We all know the role of a coaching staff is to put its players in a position to win. The players play and the coaches coach. Simple enough. When your players give you maximum effort against a quality opponent, how can you justify you and your staff morphing into a bunch of rodeo clowns at the sight of the 40-second play clock?

The sad part is, the final drive should have been a moot point. The Ravens were on the ropes, on their collective heels, prior to the half. The Jets offense was doing something no team does: pushing the Ravens defense around like a wimp on the beach. Heck, Curtis Martin became just the second running back this season to rush for 100 yards against the vaunted Baltimore 11.

Leading 14-0 and in striking distance for a 21-0 halftime cushion at best, 17-0 at worst, the coaching staff blew the first of several fuses.

Paul Hackett, Mr. Conservative, suddenly became Howard Dean and just went for broke. How do you take the ball out of the hands of your quarterback, who was 7-for-7 passing at the time, or your Hall of Fame back, Martin, and decide to play street ball? How do you ask Lamont Jordan, a player who’s been in your doghouse for most of the season, to complete a running back option when he’s never done so before?

Herm, the play-call from Hackett came down to the sidelines. Why didn’t you recognize its minimal chance of success and put the kibosh on it before giving the OK? You should have known better. Instead, that one play changed the entire complexion of the game.

Last week you were waxing poetic about the misconceptions of discipline. How you don’t need to rant and rave at your players to instill and teach discipline. You then used a stupid analogy about how nuns are symbols of discipline and teach without yelling and screaming.

You forgot to mention that nuns sometimes use(d) strong-arm tactics.

I guess you must have matriculated at St. Softee of the Barbecue because when I was in Catholic school, the nuns we had didn’t take any guff from anybody. My knuckles still hurt from being whacked with a ruler. I also remember one of the nuns grabbing me by the hair above my neckline because she deemed it too long.

Maybe you should don a habit (that’s nun garb to the uninitiated) and whack Hackett’s knuckles. And while you’re at it, you should go to the chalkboard and write, “I must never blow a timeout again” about a thousand times. Maybe you’ll learn some time management discipline once and for all.

Your team likes to fancy itself as Super Bowl contenders. Talent will only get you so far, Herm. And you have talent. But until the coaches and you figure how to manage a game, your staff’s legacy won’t be that of a Lombadi Trophy.

You’ll just be remembered as a bunch of block…er, clock heads.