Jets

Silverman: Forget ‘Cowardly’ Talk, Tannenbaum Responsible For Jets’ Mess

Mike Tannenbaum (credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Mike Tannenbaum (credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images)

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By Steve Silverman
» More Columns

It really has nothing to do with the opinion of Rex Ryan’s players concerning Tim Tebow.

Ryan may want to make this an issue about how real men stand up and don’t hide behind anonymous quotes. He may throw around words like “cowardly” to show that he’s an old-school guy who will defend his players and that he’s got their back.

But he’s missing the point.

The real point of the Jets is that they are in the process of blowing an opportunity to have a great season. The real point is that they started letting this opportunity slip through their fingers when the 2011 season ended and general manager Mike Tannenbaum started preparing the roster for the 2012 season.

Tannenbaum has done a poor job of giving Ryan and his staff of assistant coaches a talented enough roster to compete this year.

He has made poor decisions in the player procurement department. Whatever notion he had to acquire Tim Tebow should have been a fleeting thought in his brain.

He never should have brought it up in a meeting and he never should have acted on it. He should have let it pass and simply forgotten about it.

Tebow may have had a series of miracle finishes last year for the Broncos – one of them at the expense of the Jets – but he doesn’t do many things that you want a quarterback to do.

The most important thing any quarterback can do is throw the ball accurately. The Jets already had a quarterback in Mark Sanchez who had a hard time putting the ball on the money. Tebow is even less accurate than Sanchez and he had given no indications that he will ever improve in that area.

Tebow takes too long to get rid of the ball. Defensive backs in the NFL are much too good at their job to allow a quarterback to have a long wind-up before he gets rid of the ball. Dan Marino set the standard for a quick release and nobody has ever been able to top him when it came to recognizing where he was going to throw the ball.

It’s a race between Tebow and Pittsburgh’s Byron Leftwich to see who takes longer to get rid of the ball. Leftwich will put it on the money after his long windup and he has quite a bit more velocity than Tebow.

But bringing in Tebow is far from Tannenbaum’s only mistake. Adding free-agent wide receiver Chaz Schillens was not a major upgrade.

Then there was April’s draft. Defensive end Quinton Coples was the team’s top pick and he has not been an impact player. He has started two games, he has 17 tackles and he has 2.0 sacks. Deacon Jones he is not.

Stephen Hill is not doing a Larry Fitzgerald impression at the wide receiver position. He has been targeted 34 times this season and he has caught 14 passes. He has less than 200 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He is not an impact player.

How about third-round pick DeMario Davis? The Inside backer from Arkansas State has contributed 21 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Does the name Josh Bush ring a bell? Bell was selected in the sixth round as a safety out of Wake Forest. He has seven tackles this season.

The Jets had a significant weakness on the offensive side of the ball going into the draft but three of their first four picks were defensive players. That shows a lack of awareness.

Tannenbaum has given Ryan a substandard group of players to work with.

The Jets played in back-to-back AFC championship games in 2009 and 2010. They have gone backwards since then.

There’s a significant talent gap between the Jets and the top teams in the AFC. They won’t reverse that trend until they get a much more competent general manager who gives the coaching staff talented players.

Time for Tannenbaum to go? Be heard in the comments below…