The Jets Sticking With What Got Them Here - NBC New York

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The Jets Sticking With What Got Them Here

Matt Cavanaugh's return signals more of the same for the Jets.



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    The Jets are trying to build a better Sanchez by sticking with what they already have.

    A big part of the reason why the Giants are Super Bowl champions is patience.

    They stuck with Tom Coughlin through intense fan dissatisfaction with his performance, they stuck with their roster in the offseason through defections and injuries and they had an unfaltering belief in what they were doing despite a four-game losing streak in the middle of the season.

    The Jets seem to be taking a page from that book as their offseason gets underway.

    Matt Cavanaugh will be back as quarterbacks coach in 2012 even though Brian Schottenheimer is gone as offensive coordinator and Cavanaugh mentored Mark Sanchez to a season that everyone under the sun has deemed a crashing disappointment.

    There might not have been a better option on the market, but keeping Cavanaugh continues a theme of sticking with what the Jets have even though the year ended in dismal fashion.

    They guaranteed tackle Wayne Hunter's contract after a poor year and Santonio Holmes' deal also became guaranteed through 2013 last week when a deadline for ditching him passed without any move from the Jets.

    All of that follows affirmations from Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum that they plan to make things work with the players already on hand.

    It would be nice to think that all of those choices were made simply because the Jets believed in what they had on hand, but things aren't that simple.

    The structure of deals given to Holmes, Bart Scott and others have the Jets hard up against the salary cap without much choice other than sticking with what is already on hand or facing cap hell for years to come.

    What's more, they seem to be missing another one of the lessons that the Giants gave the football world. Former Giants receiver Amani Toomer said in an interview during Super Bowl week that one of the best moves the team made was getting rid of Jeremy Shockey after the 2007-08 title run because of the way he undermined Eli Manning at every turn.

    Holmes has done the same thing to Sanchez, although he has been tweeting up a storm in an effort to make it seem like everything is hunky dory in Jets camp. If the Jets are going to stick with Sanchez -- and it seems they will instead of tilting at the windmill named Peyton Manning -- it would make sense to put him in an optimal position to succeed next season and in the future.

    Getting rid of Holmes and hurting the cap in the process isn't necessarily the best way to make that happen. But it would be nice to see anyone associated with the team step up with a bit more full-throated support for the quarterback.

    Perhaps that's what the Cavanaugh decision is meant to be. Bringing back the man who helped oversee the wreck of last season definitely nudges the needle in the direction of belief that Sanchez can make a better showing of himself in 2012.

    It would also be nice to see the quarterback do that for himself. He needs to take total ownership of the offense if the team is going to avoid the infighting and finger pointing that helped sink the season.

    All of the Giants' patience would have been for naught if not for Eli stepping up and making every play that the team needed him to make this season. It is hard to imagine the Jets seeing anything close to the same result without the same kind of performance from Sanchez.

    Only then will we know if their patience is a virtue or if it was just one more vice for a team overstuffed with them.

    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.

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