Jets sideline is dead - no emotion, no fire

If you want to read about ghosts, past December collapses and "same old Jets" nonsense, you can leave this editorial right now. I will leave that childish stuff to other people.

The Jets problems over the last month have nothing to do with that garbage.

From a football standpoint, here are some of the problems.

I will start with the fact that Brett Favre clearly hates playing in wintry weather. And he obviously realized that himself last off-season when he initially wanted to go to Minnesota (nine dome games a year including at Detroit) or warm weather Tampa Bay.

The older you get, the more difficult cold weather is to deal with. Why do you think so many people retire to Florida and Arizona?

Favre hasn't played well in a month. Aside from the winter problems, another reason for this is his body feels awful right now. It's from a combination of his age, taking a lot of hits and no off-season program.

But there are a lot more problems aside from Favre's inconsistent play. Don't make him the scapegoat.

Hey, that deep post he threw to Laveranues Coles late in the game was an amazing pass. The receiver couldn't come down with it.

There have been a lot of great plays from Favre mixed in with throws he would want back.

You know what I think the biggest Jets problem is – a dead sideline, a team devoid of emotion.

Every time I look through my binoculars from the press box to the Jets sidelines, it looks like a wake.

And this never seems to change.

The coach is a stoic gum-chewing statue, and his demeanor seems to set the tone for the entire sideline - there is no energy, no fire.

Mangini can't change who is he is. He's a low-key coach, who isn't going to deliver fire-and-brimstone speeches.

But with that being the case, he needs to have more fiery assistants (like Rob Ryan), and a few Joey Porter/Ray Lewis type leaders to make up for this.

Sometimes you get the feeling that Mangini has so many rules, that players are afraid to be animated, be themselves, perhaps thinking they might get fined for some kind of violation.

Maybe this even impacts the coaches. You might have forgotten this, but Bryan Cox is on the Jets staff. It seems like Mangini has been able to do what no other coach was ever able to do – silence Bryan Cox.

Maybe it's time for Mangini to unleash Cox, let him be his old firebrand self. Let him address the team once in a while. The Jets have their own Porter/Lewis type personality, why don't they use him more? Give him more power – a more important position than assistant defensive line coach.

Another problem is that Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum are too tightly wound, and this trickles down to the team. Eric and Mike have tremendous work ethics. They are working their tails off trying to build a championship team, but they have to mellow out a little. Their up-tight demeanors and myriad of rules are impacting the whole building in Florham Park. People walk around on egg shells.

Getting back to personnel, another huge issue is that Kris Jenkins is playing hurt. His hip is worse than we realize. The last two weeks a pair of backup centers won their battles with him. A healthy Jenkins dominates these two cats.

Jenkins is the "straw that stirs the drink" of this defense, and was a huge part of the 8-3 start. After hurting his hip in San Francisco, he has played like a journeyman nose tackle, and this has impacted the entire defense.

And while on the topic of the Front Seven, the lack of a consistent pass rush is a huge problem. The Seattle Seahawks are starting five backup offensive linemen and the Jets had no sacks. That is quite an indictment of the pass rush.

Calvin Pace is a rock solid player, but he needs to be teamed with a scary edge pass rusher on the other side. Pace is a 7-8 sack guy.

So these are some of the reasons for the Jets struggles over the last month.

It has nothing to do with ghosts, past Decembers and "Same Old Jets."

People that want to buy into that abject stupidity, knock yourselves out.


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