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Monday, October 22, 2007

Genius or Madman?

I'd like to thank the New York Jets for ending their season nice and early... gives me plenty of time to concentrate on hoops...

But while we're charting the demise of the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets, I'd like to ask one question...

Please don't take this as heresy, Jets fans, but if Eric Mangini is so freakin' smart, why can't he come up with a defense in which his two big-ticket first-round draft pick keystones aren't liabilities?

Even when they were winning last season, the Jets' run defense was atrocious. People blamed the fact that DT Dewayne Robertson and MLB Jonathan Vilma aren't ideal fits for Mangini's preferred 3-4.

So here's my question...

Isn't it the job of the coach to play a system that maximizes the strengths of his players?

Laurence Frank wouldn't put Jason Kidd in the triangle offense and let Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson initiate plays from the wing... well, not for long, anyway. Terry Francona wouldn't ask Manny Ramirez to slap singles through the first-base hole or bunt runners over... or ask Big Papi to steal second.

So why does Mangini get a free pass for asking these guys to play a 3-4?

Most of the key players on the Jets defense were drafted when Herm Edwards was running the show, and playing a 4-3 "Cover Two" base D. Vilma and Robertson are well-suited to that system. They're both small for a 3-4... which makes the Jets very vulnerable up the middle... as evidenced by the fact that they made Kenny freakin' Watson look like Emmitt Smith yesterday.

Would Bill Belichick stick with a defense if he didn't have the right players for it?

C'mon, coach. You need to do better. (I hope.)


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