COMMENTARY | Rex Ryan is starting to look a lot like ex-New York Rangers coach John Tortorella at his position on the New York Jets' sideline -- you can't rest on your laurels forever.
Unlike Tortorella, Ryan doesn't have a league championship on his resume, and if he doesn't clear up the blemishes at the Jets' QB position in short order, he probably never will.
The fact that Peyton Manning is playing in Denver and Carson Palmer in Arizona goes to show us that the rest of the NFL doesn't have a clue, either. Granted, much of it has to do with easing pressure on salary caps, but, in Mark Sanchez' case, this is an almost-was who has nearly become a never-was.
Even superstars in sports who hit the nadir of their careers find it nearly impossible to resurge in a final blaze of glory. It seems impossible that Sanchez will be the exception to the rule. Thinking Geno Smith is going to be the next Michael Vick or RG III is laughable.
Perhaps it's time for the NY Jets to reach back to their glory days in finding a way out of their quandary. Joe Willie Namath is the only true legend in the team's history -- noted not only for perhaps being the greatest quarterback of all time (winning a Super Bowl and spending his entire career on a second-rate team), but also having unparalleled leadership and inspirational qualities as well as a prodigious ability for reading defenses and adapting to unforeseen changes on the field under game conditions. If anyone says that those kind of skills can't be passed on to another player, well, tell it to John Elway, who has looked forward to mentoring the great Peyton Manning himself.
Obviously, Broadway Joe's post-career life (to say nothing of his playing days) has been speckled by drinking problems, but most people will agree that lots of this can be chalked up to retirement-phase depression. Getting back in the spotlight and helping the Jets to another Super Bowl title would be a miracle cure. He's got the personality to excel as a QB coach, and the wealth of knowledge to make even the most narcissistic players realize they've hit the motherlode.
Even for the defense, wouldn't it be nice to have Joe Namath give you some tips on how and why the opposing QB is picking you apart?
Obviously, it'll take a lot more than Broadway Joe to resurrect a team putting its hopes on Sanchez and Smith. Yet, if the Jets can sign a promising young QB with a strong arm, running ability, courage under fire and leadership skills, a season under the wing of the Greatest of Them All may keep Rex Ryan off the unemployment line in 2014.
John Reinhard Dizon watched Broadway Joe Namath lead the NY Jets to victory at Super Bowl III and has been covering the Jets for four decades. He is a published author, and his sports novel "Raiders" has been submitted for publication in 2014.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- New York Jets
- John Tortorella
- Peyton Manning
- the Jets
- Rex Ryan
- Broadway Joe
- Mark Sanchez