Drop Dead, Asshole!


“Drop dead, asshole,” was just one comment of many after posting, “A Friggin’ “Tangenius” Scam!” The Jets had just beaten the Cardinals 56-35 to go 2-2 and the media was gushing while I was saying this is NOT the team that Jets fans were promised.

Okay, I admit it, I’m not the brightest bulb in the ceiling fixture. So, at the risk of sounding even more dim, let me try again to make my points: ‘A,’ the Jets don’t know who they are or who they want to be when they grow up and, ‘B,’ the Woody Johnson/Tannebaum/Mangini regime (“Tangenius”) did in fact promise to give Jets’ fans a smart, tough, fundamentally sound playoff team built with the Patriots plan — which is actually the Bill Parcells plan adapted by Bill Belichick.

First of all, by going to the Patriots for Eric Mangini — a Parcells/Belichick disciple — the implication, or the implied promise, was to bring in that Parcells/Belichick plan for success. And the “Tangenius” regime did explicitly promise Jets fans that plan a dozen times. At best, it was a mistaken promise and at worst, it was a con, a scam, a “bait and switcheroo.”

Let’s review the facts. After a disastrous 2005 season, the Jets — like most under achieving teams in the NFL — looked north to New England for a plan and hired Mangini to institute that plan but, almost immediately, strayed from it. On the one hand, they stayed true to it by recognizing their talent limitations and fashioning a ball-control, short-passing offense tailored for smart but weak-armed Chad Pennington. But, on the other hand, they tried forcing their 4-3 personnel to play a 3-4. This is NOT part of the Parcells/Belichick plan. When Parcells came to the Jets in 1997, he employed a 4-3 even though he preferred a 3-4 because he didn’t have the personnel for a 3-4 … and stayed with a 4-3 until he got the personnel he needed for a 3-4. Square pegs forced into round holes are not part of the plan.

And by following just part of the Parcells/Belichick plan, the Jets went 10-6 in 2006 and made the playoffs. But, in 2007 the only part of the plan they emulated was the Parcells/Belichick arrogance — even though they hadn’t earned the right to it while Parcells/Belichick had with five Super Bowls rings between them. They stonewall the press and talk “Mumbo-Jumbo” to their fan base. When Pete Kendall beefs about his contract, they run him out of a town. They insist on a five year deal with Darrelle Revis instead of a four year deal most number one draft choices get and wind up with a voidable fifth year which still makes it a four year deal. And, without the exiled Kendall, they can’t run the ball or pass protect, hamstringing the Parcells/Patriots plan which is based on ball control. 2007 is 4-12 mess.

Then, after the Patriot go 18-0 and meet the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, they abandon the plan altogether. They want instant success — just add water and stir. They want to sell PSLs. They want pizzazz. So, they load up with 140 million dollars worth of big name free agents including Bret Favre, the gunslinger and media darling, who replaces Pennington — the guy the offense was specifically built around. Sounds like the Jerry Jones/Daniel Snyder plan, doesn’t it? And, like the Jones and Snyder plans, it fails, too.

The Parcells/Belichick plan works. Just look at the 2008 Dolphins and Patriots who both went 11-5. Neither team has better personnel than the Jets did in 2008. Not the Dolphins, that’s for sure. The Patriots lost Tom Brady, Rodney Harrison, Adalius Thomas and host of others for the season. But, the Patriots and Dolphins stayed true to the plan and the Jets didn’t.

Successful teams know who they are and don’t try to be something they’re not. If the Jets ever learn that and summon up the discipline to stick to it, they can have success, too. But they have to follow a good plan and stick to it. They have to figure who they are and who they want to be when they grow up. And, yes, it would really help if they’d finally grow up because, Christ, it’s been 60 years and counting since Super Bowl III.

So, what’s the plan now? Well, there doesn’t seem to be one beyond firing Mangini — who, by the way is probably the least culpable of the entire “Tangenius” regime. I think he tried to remain true to the plan and probably didn’t want Favre — who was sure to screw the plan up — which probably didn’t endear him to Woody-I-know-all-about-bandages-Johnson and his stooge, Mike Tannebaum, who’s really just a cap-guy. The Jets look lost — for a change. But, hey, what the hell do I know; I’m an asshole, remember?


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