Things have not been going swimmingly this preseason for the New York Jets.
This was not a week I was looking forward to re-living on the show.
From the offensive struggles in the Redskins game to the Calvin Pace injury, to the lack of news on the Darrelle Revis front (except for the rumors that there was news)...the regular season can't come soon enough.
Although games that count frighten me a little right now too.
Let's start with the games that count - I was happy to hear Rex Ryan say early in the show that three of the Jets' toughest games this year are their first three. I think it's great that he's thinking about that - because I've been thinking about those Ravens and Patriots games for a long time. I get worried how much people will gang up on the Jets when they lose one of those games - because I think they probably will lose one of them (my bet is the Ravens). In typical Rex Ryan fashion, he only spoke about the Jets winning all three games (the third is against Miami) and sending a message to the league...but I'm glad at least the team is aware of how difficult those games are.
*Speaking of what Rex Ryan says - part of why I love him so much is that I feel like he always says the right thing - exactly what I want to hear him say, at least. That speech in the hotel (now that I think about it, why were they in a hotel? Do they stay in hotels the nights before home games too?) was another great one, about how the team needs other leaders besides him. Apparently Mike Westhoff thinks like me, too, because he liked the speech as well.
*We kind of got a look at some of the underbelly of the Jets this week, and there was some stuff I didn't like:
-I don't like the message it sends that Jason Taylor does so much separate from the team. Why the special treatment? Why can't he take a bus to Hofstra like everyone else? And then, if you're given those privileges, make the heck sure you are on time. (I was at the first game at the New Meadowlands Stadium before Taylor was. No joke.)
-Mark Sanchez. Those quarterback meetings look like a lot of fun. Everyone seems like they have a sense of humor, it looks like a good time...BUT...is Mark Sanchez an 8-year-old? He can't organize his papers, but he knows how to adjust a computer's desktop background. And I will say this - I don't care who you are, or how wet-erase the markers are - I would not tolerate anyone drawing on pictures of my children. Then, Brian Schottenheimer tells Sanchez to lighten the guys up on their final drive in the pre-season game, and that looked extremely hard for Sanchez to do. He needs to figure out how to lighten up. The immature behavior - and in addition to the drawing beards on other people's kids I throw in how down on himself he gets when things don't go his way - needs to change too.
*Wow. Heavy on the Kellen Clemens this week, huh? I have said this before, and it's not his fault, but I don't like him. I hold it against him that the Jets ran Chad Pennington out of town by giving Kellen Clemens every chance to take the starting job. He never did. (The voice-over in this episode, though, did refer to Clemens: "Once considered the Jets quarterback of the future..." Not by me.) Anyway, that's too bad for Kevin O'Connell that Clemens beat him out for a job...and the way Mike Tannenbaum informed him - we just think Kellen did a better than you - ouch. (Incidentally, it's a little telling that Clemens took the pay cut now rather than see if other teams would pick him up, no?)
*I forgot to comment on the Laveranues Coles situation - though he was cut this week, the Jets will try to re-sign him in Week 2, when the entire season's contract isn't guaranteed. It sounds from the conversations on the show that both parties will be interested in a reunion. Meanwhile, it was shocking that Rex Ryan was near speechless when Tannenbaum asked him to weigh in on the Tony Richardson/Laveranues Coles roster spot decision. He clearly did not want to get into it because of how much he likes both players.
*The Jets took advantage of Revis being in the news to make themselves look good again in these negotiations. In referring to the rumors, the Jets were saying, "Hope they're right"....in other words, 'We still want you, Revis, why don't you want us?"
*Two lines of the night: I loved that Nick Mangold kidded Albert Haynesworth: "Looking spry out there with all that conditioning." And Haynesworth laughed. I feel like that was a pretty gutsy comment by Mangold.
And then there was Rex Ryan, yelling at a Redskins defender (I'm not sure who it was): "You can't tackle nobody - that's why my brother got rid of you!" Harsh. Unnecessarily harsh.
*Justin's got the original 'Hard Knocks' review at Sports Crackle Pop! This was a good episode - I'll bet he has lots to add.