Monday, May 01, 2006

Sophomoric and snide......

.....is much of the second day coverage by the print media of the Jets draft this weekend. Aside from a rather and balanced take by Newsday, Ken Berger, the collective assessments were two thumbs down. Sadly, Berger's story was sabotaged by the misleading headline on the online addition, "Solid draft, but no QB." when two actually were picked.
Gary Myers and Rich Cimini continued their assault on the Jets weekend work. Myers revelations of the Jets furious attempt to get the Lions ninth pick to get Matt Leinart only seemed to embolden his critisism:

Even so, passing on Leinart at No. 4 was a mistake. They could have rectified that by making the trade with Detroit. If the Jets had been able to squeeze the Falcons for their own No. 1 pick (15th) in the Abraham trade - they didn't get enough for him - they would have had enough ammunition to pull off the trade with Detroit. Ironically, the Broncos, who wound up with that Atlanta pick in the three-way Abraham deal, moved up from that spot to the Rams' No. 11 spot and took Cutler. The price: a third-round pick, No. 68.
Mike Tannenbaum confirmed the Jest effort this morning on Mike an Mike of ESPN. Myers later plays the history card and closes with this:

Fifteen years ago, the Jets desperately tried to trade up for Brett Favre. They couldn't get a deal done and Favre went one spot ahead of them to the Falcons. The Jets took Browning Nagle. If Leinart becomes an All-Pro, the Jets will regret passing on him and then not paying enough when they had a second chance.
Tannenbaum explained with a simple word the philosophy in taking two lineman in the first round. It was the word, "infrastructure." and its use speaks volumes to the manner in which Tannenbaum and Eric Mangini look upon the task which they are charged with on Long Island.
The Daily News headline which accompanies the Cimini column, "Jets Doing it Bills Way," sets up this take:

They went heavy on intangibles, stressing leadership, work ethic, all those goodies. To remind his scouts of the mantra, Mangini posted a sign in the draft room that lists the characteristics he wants in his players. They've attacked free agency with the same philosophy, signing mostly overachieving role players.
Why such an emphasis on character?
Why such an emphasis on character? A veteran football observer as Cimini should know better than to emphasize something so simplistic. But he continues:

The Jets' 10-player draft class includes former college captains and academic all-Americas. Of course, this isn't a training ground for the Future Business Leaders of America; it's a football team. Talent wins.
Yes, indeed. Yet this assumes much. In quarterbacks, Brad Smith and Kellen Clemens, the Jets clearly drafted players with talent and players who have proved they win. Leon Washington, the running back from Florida State has had big games against big-time competition. Nevermind that you definitely never want a lockeroom void of leadership. Teams in all sports always are looking to add players of character and shun players without it. Note how the Mets leaped at the chance to get Paul LoDuca, and how no teams drafted Marcus Vick.
Both Myers and Cimini have now signaled they will be looking to criticize the Jets in seasons to come when opportunity presents itself after any subpar game at quarterback or when Curtis Martin shows signs of being over 30.
Just maybe among the four quarterbacks in camp one can emerge as one who delivers play-off games on the road in a hostile environment. And just maybe D'Brickashaw Ferguson protects the blindside of Jet quarterbacks all by himself while allowing them to run left again.
Other Observations:It really encouraging that Chad Pennigton has been throwing since March 1st. This indicates whatever soft tissue was damaged has indeed healed........It appears the Jets discovered Ohio State linebacker, Anthony Shlegel when they were scouting eventual 5th pick, AJ Hawk........From Berger's story today comes the tidbit that the Jets had Clemens arm strength ranked second only to Jay Cutler's but ahead of both Vince Young and Leinart.

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