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Redrum_69
09-11-2007, 02:04 PM
http://www.nysun.com/article/6977

Time To Put The Spotlight On Edwards
By WALLACE MATTHEWS
December 30, 2004

First, there was the Teflon frying pan. Next came the Teflon Don. Now, we've got the Teflon Coach.

Will anything ever stick to Herman Edwards?

For the third time in Edwards's four-year tenure, the Jets need a win in the final week of the season to avoid total disaster. However, unlike the 2001 and 2002 seasons, there is absolutely no excuse for Club Ed to be in this position in 2004.

They started out 5-0, have gone 5-5 since, and on Sunday face the St. Louis Rams, a team that needs to win every bit as much as Gang Green does, and in fact, more so. The Jets could conceivably back into the postseason if the Bills and Broncos lose, but the Rams absolutely, positively have to win.

Rarely has a must-win game for the Jets been more primed to turn into a devastating loss. If that happens, if the formerly 5-0, AFC East-leading Jets turn into the 10-6 playoff shutout Jets. The question is, upon whom will the fall upon this year? Upon whom should it fall?

As usual around the Jets, there will be no shortage of culprits. As always, offensive coordinator Paul Hackett is Public Enemy no. 1. Golden Boy Chad Pennington, his luster tarnished by missteps on the field and off, has surprisingly moved up to no. 2. By virtue of his season-ending knee injury, John Abraham is no. 3.

Clock management specialist Dick Curl, defensive backs Reggie Tongue and Terrell Buckley, tight end Anthony Becht, wide receiver Santana Moss, punter Toby Gowin, and place-kicker Doug Brien have all had their turn under the hot lights. Last year's culprit was defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, who was fired and replaced by Donnie Henderson.

All of them have presented strong credentials for induction into the Hall of Blame. But one candidate remains unmentioned and un-nominated.

When will it be Herm Edwards's turn?

Despite having won just one playoff game in four years, Edwards has somehow attained a Joe Torre-like status around here. Not even Bill Parcells, winner of two Super Bowls with the Giants and a coach who somehow took a Jets team led by Vinny Testaverde to the AFC championship game, was as bulletproof as Edwards seems to be.

The question is, why?

Certainly, Edwards is popular with the local media, in spite of the silly fight he picked with the press following the Jets' 13-6 loss to the New England Patriots in October, when the coach whose catchphrase is "You play to win the game," suddenly seemed quite content with a loss, since it was "close."

But the truth is, had Edwards done his job better in just one specific game this season - the 20-17 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10 - it might well be the Jets who could be resting players this weekend while waiting for the playoffs to begin.

In that game, all of the coaching shortcomings that have plagued Edwards's tenure were on display, in neon. The poor clock management. The misuse of timeouts. The panic on the sidelines late in the game. The inexcusable penalties at the worst possible time - has any NFL team been flagged for having 12 men on the field more times than the Jets in the Herm Edwards era?

Worst of all, of course, was the now-infamous halfback option pass, the one that Lamont Jordan threw to the wrong team late in the second quarter with the Jets on the Baltimore 17-yard line. That turned into a Ravens touchdown from which the Jets never recovered.

The next day, plenty of fingers were pointed - at Hackett, for calling the play; at Jordan, for throwing the pass; and at Quincy Carter, for having the nerve to be the backup quarterback in whom Edwards clearly had no faith.

But any play that is called by Hackett up in the booth must go through the headset of Herm Edwards before it is passed on to the quarterback. Clearly, Edwards signed off on the play. What is not clear is how he was once again given a free pass while players and members of his staff took their lashings.

Just as mysterious is how Edwards's supposed great strength, that of being a motivator, could have so utterly failed him in the key points of this Jets' season.

In their three biggest games of the year - two with New England, one with Pittsburgh - the Jets responded with their least inspiring performances. What does that say about motivation?

And what does it say about preparation when, in a league where conventional wisdom dictates that it is exceedingly difficult to beat a team twice in the same season, the Jets were much worse in their rematch with the Patriots - at home, no less - than they were in the first game?

This is not a call to fire Edwards - after all, he is signed through the 2007 season, and certainly Hackett's, and perhaps GM Terry Bradway's, numbers will come up first - but it is a call to take a closer look at the way in which coaching, or more correctly, mis-coaching, has put the Jets in a spot they never should have found themselves in.

This Sunday, they are going into the frying pan of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, and they could well get burned.

But not Herm Edwards. Nothing sticks to the Teflon Coach. Not yet, anyway.

Extra Point
09-11-2007, 02:07 PM
Nothing sticks to Herm, but we're stuck with him.

Crashride
09-11-2007, 02:12 PM
more negativity? what day of the week do people start looking foward to the next game again?

Redrum_69
09-11-2007, 02:15 PM
more negativity? what day of the week do people start looking foward to the next game again?


Thats my contribution for the day.

I just thought it was interesting that Edwards used that same catch phrase for the Jets as he did for the Chiefs last year.

beach tribe
09-11-2007, 02:16 PM
more negativity? what day of the week do people start looking foward to the next game again?
Today

Extra Point
09-11-2007, 02:20 PM
I look forward to the next game as soon as the last one is played. With optimism tempered by the Chiefs' lack of management.

Zouk
09-11-2007, 03:11 PM
The year after this extremely insightful article was published the Jets were a kick away from the AFC Championship Game even though their QB was playing with a torn rotator cuff.