Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday Morning Cornerback

They say that the two most important positions in football are quarterback and cornerback.  And you could argue that, of the two, it's easier to win with a mediocre quarterback than a mediocre cornerback.  You can surround an average quarterback with offensive stars and just let him "manage" the game.  You can surround an average cornerback with stars and he's still out on his own island.  There is no place to hide from people like, say, Aaron Rogers or Eli's Brother or the One who Must Not Be Named.  And when that happens, you're toast.

So, thus begins the weekly segment Here At The Year titled Monday Morning Cornerback.

Did you see those Jets?  They might be the best team in football.  Or might have been, if they'd had the gumption, the insight, the humility to pay Darrelle Revis fair-market money this year.

Surely you remember, old friend, that in the off-season Revis was in limbo, looking for a team, and had professed an inclination to return to the Jets.  Which would have been a great idea because even if every Jet cornerback on the training camp roster had remained healthy, which they didn't, they were still a mediocre group.  Unlike Revis, who is surely one of the top two or three at his position.

But somewhere in the Jets bunker, somebody -- Woody Johnson, John Idzik, Rex Ryan -- decided to pass on Revis.  Even though they were substantially under the salary cap.  Which they still are.  So he went to the Pats.  Ouch twice.

Terrible decision.  Particularly since the Jets now face a six-game string of above average to excellent quarterbacks.

And speaking of quarterbacks, wouldn't it be fun if my boy Geno Smith has really turned a corner?  There's room to think this might be true.  He played well the last four games of last year, had a strong off-season (the anti-Johnny Football, if you will) and looked extremely good yesterday.  His one interception felt to me like the downside of an indomitable spirit, not ineptitude.  His two fumbles were less pleasing, but hey, shit happens.

So, to sum, if the Jets really do now have a good quarterback (not to be confused with great), that's the last piece of the offensive puzzle.  Since the skill positions are otherwise excellent.  And the front seven of the defense is top five -- easy.  All good.  Except there's a real possibility that the cornerbacks are going to get repeatedly torched and the best case scenario will be taken off the table.

As the Superbowl Nazi might say, "No Superbowl for you!"



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