Over the years the fans of the New York Jets have been called many things : passionate, loyal, diehard, fiery, obnoxious, and vocal. You show me a fan of Gang Green, I can show you a person that can instantly provide you with a one hour lecture on the reasons why the Jets have not won a Super Bowl in almost 50 years. The passion and pride of the Green and White faithful is admirable for the most part, but also tends to have a negative impact on the team as well…especially when it comes to the quarterback position.
Is patience a virtue?
It is no secret that the New York Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for what seems to be like an eternity. The names and faces continue to change but the results are always the same: not “the guy”. But the biggest question is: would the fan base ever allow the patience to develop “their guy”?
Every offseason the fans become enamored with young signal callers, begging the team to select one to build their team around. Shortly after a young player is chosen the following process ensues:
A – a list of better options created and the questioning of the front office and decision makers.
B – a list of flaws identified and things the young player must do to become an elite franchise quarterback.
C- a timeline established when it will be make or break for the young signal caller.
And this is all before the first mini-camp session.
You can make a legitimate argument that the pressure cooker that the fan base puts their young quarterbacks in is a contributing factor to why most of the quarterbacks will not succeed. Now, I am not saying that the fan base has run the next Tom Brady out of town, but at the same time I am not sure the environment around the team is conducive for success.
Take Bryce Petty for example. The fourth round pick in the 2015 draft has started a handful games and has already been written off. The notion of a learning curve in the NFL not to mention that he is in another offense with new receivers is not a consideration. 181 pass attempts was a big enough sample for some Jets fans to deem Bryce a bust.
Christian Hackenberg the second round pick in the 2016 draft has been written off without even taking an NFL snap. No trial by fire, no chance to see if he can elevate his game under the bright lights. Nothing. 0 pass attempts, 0 chance.
Welcome to the Jets, now win
Now Jets fans want the team to draft Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, or Sam Darnold. If the aforementioned Petty and Hackenberg were ridiculously scrutinized after a very limited sampling, could you imagine the pressure and expectations on a first round draft pick? Especially after the Mark Sanchez experience.
It is one thing to preach patience and rebuilding. It is another thing to practice what you preach. At this point the only thing that Jets fans are accomplishing is assisting the media with creating a very difficult environment for any young quarterback to flourish. Knowing this I would not at all be surprised to see the New York Jets sign a veteran free agent quarterback this offseason (Cousins, Taylor, Smith etc) to become their starter. Then, of course, the expectations become Super Bowl or Bust within two years.