I'm not here to write another thread and complain about Gene taking guys from small schools in the draft. Would I prefer taking proven talent from BCS programs?...of course. I think the majority of us would. The bigger problem with Gene is his insistence on taking guys with perfect conduct and integrity. I am a believer of a mix of personalities. This is what makes leaders and causes the team to bond together. I'm not insinuating we should go out and get TO or Randy Moss. TO and Moss have more than character issues. TO is a locker room cancer and Randy only plays when he feels like it. That's way beyond conduct and integrity. My point is that this is football, not a monastery. We could use some guys that cause a stir here and there. It keeps the players on their toes.
We all know that the Jags WR's are probably the worst WR unit in the NFL today. This is no secret. Everyone except the Jags FO sees this. Who has the power to do something about it...only Gene. To fix the main problem we first need to identify what are the WR's weaknesses and what strengths they possess. The Jags have Mike Thomas as the number 1. Mike Thomas should be in the slot. He is not a number one or two guy. To prove it, his biggest play was when last week against the Saints...in the slot on a slant/screen play. He is very poor on deep routes and does not adjust to the ball in the air very well. He shows no leaping ability. I think a big reason David failed in the vertical passing game was simply because he was trying to throw to Thomas. Thomas is lost on the deep pass plays. Jason Hill is actually pretty good on vertical routes. He gets open deep. He should be running many more verticals instead of curls and short posts. The other Wr's on our squad possess combinations of those guys, too. Cecil Shorts proved last week on 4th down he's not the best at going up and getting the ball. In fact, none of the Jags Wr's possess that talent. It's been obvious to me that we do not have anyone that adjusts to the ball in the air on deep routes or attacks the ball on outs and over the middle. Translation, we need a big body, aggressive, possession WR.
Right now there is some talent out on the market at bigger WR's that are better options that what we are dealing with now. Again, forget about TO or Randy Moss. How about a young WR with all the upside in the world in Dwayne Jarret? However, Gene would never look at him because of his past arrests ie conduct issues. He has a couple DUI's but he wasn't a locker room cancer. He actually gained a starting job last season before he was arrested on the 2nd DUI. Jarret is a big body WR that the Jags are lacking. He could be a great possession guy to move the chains. Koetter himself just mentioned this week that the Jags offense's biggest problem is converting on 3rd down. Well here ya go! It sure would have been nice last week to throw that 4th down pass on the Jags 1st drive to a big body like Jarrett. Instead we watched Jason Hill get shielded out of the way from grabbing the ball and it's a turnover on downs.
Who are some other big big body WR's still available? Limas Sweed and Patrick Turner are out there. These guys were all world in high school and very productive college players on the big stage at Texas and USC. Turner looked very good in the Jets preseason games. Sweed was cut from the Steelers but they have Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Hines Ward is there possession guy and Mike Wallace is the deep threat. Limas didn't fit in there. Call these guys in for tryouts already.
Back to Gene. It's now painfully obvious his talent evaluation of the Jag's WR's was way off this season. We had the opportunity to get proven WR talent in Free Agency. Except we ended up with nothing. Why, because the majority of the guys we could've gotten have conduct issues. Again, not big character flaws or cancerous attitudes but conduct issues. Let see here, Braylon Edwards was signed for LESS than we are paying Mike Thomas. He would immediately be our number one guy. Except Edwards has had some run-ins with the law. Edwards is a really good WR no matter what any Jets fan claims. Plaxico Burress was a free agent. He's one of the best possession WR's in NFL history, except he was in prison. Santonio Holmes was a free agent. We likely never had a chance but Gene still would never touch a guy known for smoking a lil marijuana now and then. How about Brandon Tate? He would be the biggest threat on our offense right now. At the very least he would be a HUGE upgrade returning punts over Cecil Shorts. Nope, he's not a Gene guy because he's been involved in an NCAA scandal. To top it off , there are the no problem guys that we still did not pursue... Malcolm Floyd, Sidney Rice, James Jones, Steve Breaston, Steve Smith, and even Laurent Robinson who I used to surf with in Melbourne, FL. Yes, I said surf. This season is a catastrophic whiff in which should change our slogan to "In Gene We Question."