Maybe, all Schottenheimers seize up under playoff pressure in the NFL’s version of a Pavlov’s dog response.
It’s easy to poke fun at Schotty, the fact he was once considered a top-tier NFL head coaching candidate and the Jets as a whole of course, but as Rex Ryan shouts into another offseason there are some real issues with his very merry bunch.
Now that visualizing the confetti being on their side in the AFC championship didn’t work, Ryan (as gifted a motivator as he is) probably needs to come up with a more concrete difference maker. One that doesn’t center around burying a game ball from that January evening in Pittsburgh under more concrete.
No one is suggesting that the Jets’ window is closing. But things change awfully fast in the NFL. Whether you’re ready for it to or not. Just ask Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Two AFC championship appearances, no matter how ahead of schedule they may seem, don’t guarantee any more. Teams tend to get only so many opportunities in sports. Use them up, miss a few, and you’re sitting there like the 1986 Mets or the 1985 Chicago Bears, wondering why you only won once. Of course, Ryan’s Jets have to actually still get a title to even be in that position.
Sometimes the most entertaining teams of all time have a way of missing their assumed destinies.
Mark Sanchez could turn into the Hall of Fame quarterback that Ryan expects. Or at least into an outstanding quarterback — for Sanchez to live up to the Rex talk, he’d have to be better than Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas combined.
Or Sanchez could just end up being a more charismatic version of Trent Dilfer.
Believers in Ryan’s “Play Like a Jet” way go far beyond his locker room. He’s loved by many important national NFL media voices. While at an event last week for a National Alzheimer’s Center he’s launching in Houston, Jim Nantz couldn’t help talk a little Jets on the side.
“We’re coming off one of the biggest and most impressive upsets I think Phil [Simms] and I have ever called,” Nantz told me of the Jets’ turnaround toppling of the mighty Patriots. “The Jets are obviously a team on the come.
“They’ll be making noise in the league for years.”
Nantz who’s called 44 Patriots games, by his own count, since 2002, obviously imagines a similar run of CBS love for the Jets. But why is everyone so sure titles will follow the cameras?
–Chris Baldwin covers the sports media for Metro.
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