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News » New York Jets Inside Slant 2008-08-28


New York Jets Inside Slant 2008-08-28


New York Jets Inside Slant 2008-08-28
When the Jets began practicing this summer, all eyes were on two quarterbacks. Now only one is getting attention, and he wasn't even on the roster when training camp began.


Brett Favre came to the Jets in a surprising trade on Aug. 6, and suddenly the team's main focus shifted from the in-progress starting quarterback battle between Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens to the anointing of Favre as the starter. That, and a crash course to try to get him up to speed after 16 years of him running the offense in Green Bay, which had a somewhat different system.

Thus far, the results have been somewhat mixed. Favre still has his trademark strong arm, as evidenced on a 49-yard throw in the third preseason game against the Giants in which wideout Jerricho Cotchery easily reached the end zone.

But the play didn't count for a touchdown because of an illegal formation caused by tight end Bubba Franks, who shifted too late. That points out a dichotomy between Favre, who has played in a West Coast-based system that didn't use a lot of motion and shifting, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who believes strongly in different formations, shifts and motion before the snap.

Favre has made it clear he would prefer less shifting and motion, unless a particular opponent might be particularly vulnerable to it. So it will be interesting to see if he and Schottenheimer can find common ground. Also, will Favre be the efficient quarterback he was for most of 2007? He finished that season with 28 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

Or will he revert to his reckless ways of 2005? That was when he threw for 20 touchdowns but with 29 picks, a career-high for him and the worst in the NFL that season. One can almost picture coach Eric Mangini doing one of his slow burns after a Favre interception into double or triple coverage.

Schottenheimer is smart enough and adaptable enough to find common ground with Favre, if he hasn't already. Yet it still won't be easy for Favre to play in a different system after doing things one way for so long.

The defense made all of its major acquisitions months before that, and so far, they seem to have helped. Kris Jenkins, acquired from Carolina via trade, is a quintessential space-eating, blocker-occupying nose tackle, despite the fact he played in a 4-3 with the Panthers. And outside linebacker Calvin Pace appears to be a perfect fit in the 3-4, having the ability to rush the passer and drop into coverage when necessary. The defense should be improved, mainly because the proper pieces for the 3-4 finally are in place.

By acquiring Pace, left guard Alan Faneca and right tackle Damien Woody via free agency and Jenkins in a trade (he then was quickly signed to a new contract), the Jets spent more than $140 million on new players in the offseason. And with the acquisition of Favre, it's quite obvious they want to win now.

They should be able to do just that, but standing last year's 4-12 record on its head and going to 12-4 seems unlikely, especially considering they still reside in the same division with New England. Positive steps are likely, but a championship doesn't seem to be within reach unless the Jets get hot at the right time, just as the co-tenants of their stadium did last winter.

COACHING: Eric Mangini, 3rd year, 3rd with Jets (14-18).

REMEMBERING: 2007 record: 4-12 (3rd in AFC East).

PREDICTING: 2008 regular-season record: 9-7 (2nd in AFC East); lose in AFC wild-card round.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 28, 2008

Abram Elam Name: Abram Elam
#27
Position: S
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Kent State
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