It's been a spring to remember for fans of Gang Green around the nation. This offseason the Jets added a plethora of new players with the hope they will spur the franchise back into postseason contention. After a virtual implosion last year and controversy pervading the locker room, New York's front office has stated that 2011 is in the rearview and it's onward and upward to the 2012 season. What follows is a report card highlighting the Jets best and worst moves of the offseason period.
The best move of the offseason came at the NFL Draft. With their first two selections, the Jets drafted players that not only are going to make an immediate impact with the team, but might be beloved by fans of Gang Green for years to come. First round selection Quinton Coples (North Carolina) is going to be counted on for his versatility and athletic ability. Not only can Coples play at linebacker, but Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine foresees Coples bringing an added punch to the defensive line. His size and speed will terrorize opposing quarterbacks and make them very uncomfortable in the pocket. In addition to Coples, the Jets drafted WR Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech) with their second-round selection, giving them a receiver to compliment Santonio Holmes. Hill, also expected to start Week 1, will be tough to cover, especially in the red zone. His 6-foot-4 frame makes him a prime target for quarterbacks Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez.
Ironically, Gang Green's most questionable move was also the one many fans are most anxiously anticipating, the arrival of Tim Tebow. The immensely popular quarterback was acquired by the Jets earlier this offseason for a fourth-round pick. Tebow led the 1-4 Broncos to an 8-8 record, a season which saw them win the AFC West divisional title. Furthermore, he toppled the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wildcard round of the 2011 playoffs as Demarius Thomas hauled in an 80-yard game-winning touchdown in overtime. While Mark Sanchez has been given the starting job for Week 1, it's a distinct possibility that fans will be chanting for Tebow to come into the game once Sanchez throws his first interception. Having arguably the world's most popular quarterback as his backup could be detrimental to Sanchez; putting added pressure on him to do well. Time will tell if Sanchez will be able to rise above the pressure and improve from a season ago, a campaign which saw him throw seven interceptions in the final three games of the season.
Overall Offseason Grade: B-