I guess it's just that kind of season.
The Jets placed Jonathan Vilma on IR with a knee injury. What type of knee injury? Which knee is it? What type of treatment will he receive? Who the hell knows. One thing is for sure, the former Pro Bowler won't suit up again for Gang Green this season and may have played his final game in the Green and White.
There was speculation that Vilma could be traded after this season since he's struggled in Eric Mangini's 3-4 scheme and his contract expires at the end of 2008. That was before the injury.
Vilma burst onto the scene in 2004. He finished with 108 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 picks and a TD and was awarded AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. In 2005, Vilma "unofficially" led the league with 187 tackles and was named to the Pro Bowl. He fought himself at times in the new system in 2006, but still totaled over 100 tackles and became the first Jet to record over 100 tackles in his first three seasons since Kyle Clifton ('84-'86).
Rookie David Harris will take Vilma's place on Sunday against the Bills.
If I was a betting man, I'd say Vilma's time on the Jets is limited. I doubt the Jets can trade Vilma in the off-season now with the injury (especially since the nature of it is still unknown), but even if they kept him I wouldn't bet on Vilma re-upping with the Gotham Green after his contract runs out. Why would he stay in a system that isn't suited for him? Some people may say that football is football and if a guy can play it doesn't matter what type of system he's in. Maybe. But sometimes you can put players in better situations in order to get the most out of their talent. But hey, what the hell do I know?
Speaking of talent, I guess Chad Pennington has none. Pennington flipped three touchdown passes in last Sunday's debacle in Cincy, but the media and the fans were still screaming for his head. I'm honestly so tired of this storyline, but it just won't go away. I don't understand how Pennington has become such a pariah in New York. True, he's struggled at times this season, but it's not like he's having an awful year:
1211 yards passing, 67.6% completion percentage, 9 TD passes (1 rushing TD), 7 INT, 88.6 QB rating.
How does someone go from being the unquestioned leader on offense one season to dead weight the next? I don't know. Is it the losing? Hey, I don't like the losses either, but if:
a) the Jets D showed up every now and again and
b) if the running game was a little more consistent and
c) if Mike Nugent made a few more field goals
then maybe the Jets would have split their last four games instead of losing four in a row. Yeah, I know -- woulda, coulda, shoulda -- but that's my point. There are many reasons the Jets are 1-6 right now.
Also, this idea of putting Kellen Clemens out there to "see what he can do" doesn't make sense to me. If (or when) Mangini gives the job to Clemens -- the job is his. There will be no going back to Pennington. Clemens will be the starter. The Jets aren't going to draft another QB in the early rounds. They aren't going to pick up a big-name free agent. They aren't going to trade for a veteran starter. Clemens will be the guy. Maybe that's what the media and Jet fans want, but don't say you just want to see what he has. Unless Clemens throws 12 interceptions in a game or fumbles every snap from center, he's going to get every opportunity to succeed (or fail).
Then the fans and media will have to find someone else to blame.
Anyway, in case you forgot, the Jets play the Bills on Sunday at the Meadowlands. Let's see if the defense makes Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards look like a future Hall of Famer again. Here's a preview from a rival's point of view.
Also in Jet Land, the team announced a 12-year naming rights deal for their new facility in Florham Park. Yes, naming rights are being given to practice facilities. Gang Green is set to move into their new digs next year. Who cares? Well, once they move to the new joint, the team will finally practice in the same state where they play their home games. How's that for a novel idea? The Jets now practice in Long Island, which was fine and dandy when they were playing in Queens, but they've been in New Jersey since 1984. Also, I happen to live in the same county as the new place.
Maybe I can work myself into a position of power over there.
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