Rumors of Changes Around the Jets Have Been Exaggerated

The disappointments of 2011 haven't done much to change the way the Jets do business

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Ryan's way still includes plenty of big talk.

    If you thought the Jets were going to be chastened by their 8-8 season, you might want to think again.

    The Jets have shown time and time again this offseason that it is business as usual around the team. This is only partially about Tim Tebow, but we might as well start there.

    Tebow's acquisition could have been part of a bigger offseason attempt to change the makeup of a team that disappointed everyone last season, but it didn't turn out that way. Instead the Jets ignored some glaring needs in favor of trading a draft pick to take a luxury item who will almost certainly create more problems than he solves.

    Some teams would avoid that by being conscious of the way they talk about the backup quarterback, but the Jets can't really help themselves on that front. Darrelle Revis spent some time talking about what a born leader Tebow is and making clear that Mark Sanchez doesn't measure up without ever mentioning Sanchez's name.

    "Some people have it, some guys don’t.  It’s the passion within, wanting to be a leader, wanting to win. You see it all the time, eating lunch, walking down the hallway. You see it."

    A lack of support isn't Sanchez's biggest problem. The Jets have given him plenty of rope, but it doesn't help that his teammates don't shy away from publicly listing the things that he isn't capable of doing. Not thinking about the consequences of words comes from the top.

    Just listen to offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo talk about Wayne Hunter. Hunter might have been the worst offensive tackle in all of football last season, which didn't stop DeGuglielmo from doing his best Rex Ryan impression while talking about his physique and how great he's going to be in 2012.

    "One of the things that excited me most about this job was Wayne Hunter," DeGuglielmo said. "The last thing that I would ever want to see happen is not have Wayne Hunter as the right tackle. He’s big. He's athletic. He's aggressive. He's a smart guy. He practices at top speed. He practices physical. He pays attention to detail. Everything you give him to do on the field. He does it. He does it naturally."

    If all the Jets played half as well as the Jets coaches have built them up to be during Ryan's tenure, the team would never lose a game. The problem is the Jets spend so much time talking about how great they are that they never seem to actually realize that they need to get much better.

    Whether it is Hunter, Sanchez, Shonn Greene or Eric Smith, the Jets make a habit out of building myths about players on their roster that reality simply doesn't bear out. After the crushing failure of last season, it would stand to reason Ryan and company would put the talk on lock down even if their main worry was how it would look if they didn't live up to the hype.

    But that's not the case. The Jets are doubling down on what got them here and that's a pretty good way to wind up losing your shirt.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.