In business as in football, success hinges on the smallest of details that can send your company to a productive and profitable year, or have it come crashing down into Chapter 11. CEO’s understand the importance of seeing the “big picture”, not letting emotions, and perhaps old philosophies of doing business, get in the way of sound decision making. Leaders cast aside ego and past accolades for the good of the team. They understand the changing dynamics and the outside forces that are looking to overtake them and adjust their operations accordingly.
I’m not sure the leadership of the New York Jets sees the “big picture”. Since taking over in 2009, Rex Ryan has compiled a 28-20 record, two playoff appearances, and a trip to the 2009 AFC Championship. Many might see this as an admirable achievement for a man in his first NFL head coaching stint. But a closer look shows an organization clinging to an outdated road map and a philosophy stubbornly forged out of family ties heading into the 2012 Jets Training Camp.
Seven of twelve playoff participants in 2011 were in the top 10 in Offensive Pass Efficiency, 8 of 12 were top 10 in Offensive Pass Success Rate. The two most significant statistical predictors of winning in the National Football league rank the Jets 25th and 18th respectively, just about where they finished the season….mediocre. Prudent business leaders would study charts, look at figures, and come up with an alternative plan to help offset the weaknesses showing in critical areas of competition that are impacting overall success.
Yet Ryan & General Manager Mike Tannenbaum continue to pour resources into the X’s, and not enough into the O’s, because “Defense wins championships”. That doesn’t appear to have changed entering this year’s rendition of Jets Training Camp.
Since selecting QB Mark Sanchez with the 5th overall pick in 2009, the JETS front office has done very little by way of the draft to surround him with playmakers. Sure, 3rd round pick RB Shonn Green has accumulated a little over 2300 yards in 3 seasons (1 as a starter), and don’t forget the recent commitment to WR Stephen Hill in the 2nd round of this year’s draft (considered a project by many). Four years of drafting under Ryan’s regime has yielded WR Jeremy Kerley as the only other offensive player with any significant contribution.
The JETS continue to pile on the defensive players; 1st rounder DB Kyle Wilson in 2010, 1st rounder DT Muhammad Wilkerson in 2011, 1st rounder Quinton Coples in 2012, 3rd rounders DL Kenrick Ellis (2011) and OLB Demario Davis (2012). JETS fans will argue Tannenbaum turned in the cards on another 4 RB’s, 2 WR’s, 3 OL’s and a QB. The highest of that group, 2010 2nd round OL Vladimir Ducasse, has yet to even break into the starting lineup.
Sanchez hasn’t developed close to where he should be for the investment made. To improve the two most critical categories in today’s professional football game, the JETS added backup QB Tim Tebow (one of a handful of starters below Sanchez in OPE), WR Chaz Schilens (pedestrian career numbers), and journeyman OT Stephon Heyer (1 season as full-time starter). These few additions supplement TE Dustin Keller (team’s leading receiver in 2011) and the inconsistency of WR Santonio Holmes.
Looks nice on paper
The JETS defense remains top 10 in all five of the defensive statistical categories predicting team success, while the two Super Bowl participants (New York Giants and New England Patriots) were both outside looking in with every predictor but Defensive Interception Rate (Pats ranked 7th). However New England was ranked 2/2, while NYG was ranked 4/5 in Pass Efficiency and Pass Success Rate – go figure.
Stockholders (fans) of this corporation (aka NY JETS) should be very wary of future forecasts (wins) based on performance indicators (stat predictors). 2012 is not a good time to “go green” and I’d look to SELL any interest I had in this venture prior to the start of Jets Training Camp.
The 2000 Baltimore Ravens were an anomaly; focus on the “big picture”.