Many Jets fans were understandably livid on May 15th when the team fired General Manager Mike Maccagnan after they let him guide the team through free agency and the draft. Think about all the frustrating moments in Jets history like the AFC Championship game losses, bad draft picks, along with other ownership and management snafus and I don’t think there was anything that summed up the dysfunction as much as what took place during the off-season.
You could certainly make the argument that Maccagnan should have been fired at the same time as Head Coach Todd Bowles, or at the latest shortly after the hiring of new Head Coach Adam Gase when it was clear that Gase and Maccagnan were not on the same page. Owner Christopher Johnson took a lot of heat for the timing of Maccagnan’s firing and at the time, it was warranted. However, at the end of the day, Johnson needs to be applauded for the conviction he had to make the move.
He had seen enough of the bad dynamic between Maccagnan and Gase and had heard enough from those around the league who had also grown frustration with Maccagnan. At the end of the day, in a sort of ass-backwards (pardon my French) kind of way, Johnson and the Jets got it right because Maccagnan needed to go and the hiring of new General Manager Joe Douglas was a home run. There is now a strong connection between the Head Coach and General Manager, there is harmony in the organization, and there is excitement around the team.
Especially among the fans who have endured a lot of heartache over the year and are ready to explode over the thought of a team that is headed in the right direction towards competing for a Super Bowl. There is true reason for optimism with a franchise quarterback Sam Darnold under the guidance of what many feel is the brilliant offensive mind of Gase. You add running back Le’Veon Bell, one of the best running backs in the league, free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley, and first round pick Quinnen Williams and there are a lot of good vibes among Jets fans heading into Sunday’s season opener against the Bills at MetLife Stadium.
But, as any Jets fan would tell you, any optimism must be guarded because there’s been optimism before.
Remember 1999, the year after losing to Denver in the AFC Championship Game? That was supposed to be the year the Jets went to the Super Bowl, but quarterback Vinnie Testaverde suffered a torn Achilles in the season opener.
Remember 1980 when Jimmy “The Greek” picked the Jets to go to the Super Bowl and they finished 4-12?
Remember 1986 when the Jets started out 10-1, then finished 10-6, won a playoff game but then that was it?
Remember how good things were with Rex Ryan in 2009 and 2010 going to back to back AFC Championship Games and then…
Well you get the point.
History will tell you that good things don’t generally happen to the Jets, but maybe things are about to change. There are good football people running the show and the roster is as good as it’s been in years. There’s also been change on the business side that seems to add to the general good feeling at One Jets Drive. The pieces for a good foundation are in place so perhaps Jets fans will be doing a lot of smiling this season.
Oh, I forgot one question….do we think this new kicker is any good?