Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jets' 2013 Offseason Primer: Turnovers cue turnover


The Mark Sanchez-Rex Ryan honeymoon looked to be nearing an end late in 2011, and in 2012, it was officially over. A turbulent 6-10 campaign in which the team never had its stuff together led to general manager Mike Tannenbaum getting fired and changes at each of the coordinator positions.

It also put Ryan on the hot seat and Sanchez somewhere close to the door. The pair faces the incredibly tough task of having to prove their worth during a year in which the team is in major transition under new GM John Idzik. (photo: Marianne O'Leary, Flickr)

Front office/coaching changes so far: Fired Tannenbaum, hired Idzik. Fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, hired Marty Mornhinweg. Promoted Dennis Thurman to defensive coordinator. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff retired.

Key free agents: S Yeremiah Bell, DL Mike DeVito, WR Braylon Edwards, K Nick Folk, RB Shonn Greene, TE Dustin Keller, S LaRon Landry, G Brandon Moore, G Matt Slauson, LB Bryan Thomas.

First round draft position: No. 9.

Draft picks by round: One in each round.


- Under a GM who can't be as obsessed with free agency as Tannenbaum was, the Jets will begin building through the draft. With a major crop of starters hitting the open market, New York will establish a foundation of young talent and entry-level contracts to replace departing veterans who were too expensive. With the money they'll free up by releasing Bart Scott, Jason Smith and Calvin Pace, they'll have a little room under the cap to sign a major-contributing veteran or two, but the Jets will be young the next two years. That might be a good thing, as New York desperately needs to bolster its pass rush.

- Gang Green's first order of business is to create a legitimate quarterback competition. Sanchez will be a Jet in 2013, but he won't be handed the job on a silver platter like in years past. Idzik will bring in a free agent at least capable of starting for a year as a stopgap, and the Jets have to take a swing on a quarterback in the draft -- regardless of round -- to try and develop.

- With Pettine out and Thurman being promoted, not a whole lot will change on that side of the ball from a scheme perspective. However, the offense will have a completely new look under Mornhinweg and his West Coast system. Not only does the quarterback have to fit, but the Jets need a decent pass-catching option out of the backfield. Shonn Greene has to be a goner, and while I like Bilal Powell on passing downs in pass protection and Joe McKnight's explosiveness, they'll need to add a versatile tailback to the mix.

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