About half way through the show my Twitter timeline was filled with ridiculous Jets fans.
Hysteria broke out. Take this tweet for example: “Slauson and Ducasse are going to get Sanchez killed.”
Tweets were coming a mile a minute. The same fans that cheered Vladimir on all preseason, basically giving him the starting left guard job, had changed their tune to something more like, “Ducasse can’t play for crap.”
I immediately thought to myself that these people need to get a hold of themselves.
And then it really began.
In typical Jets fan fashion, the lamenting the loss of Alan Faneca comments couldn’t be contained any longer. Once again the overreaction gene that seemingly every Jets fan is born with reared its ugly face.
Consider this your brown paper bag and relax.
Hard Knocks is a television show. It’s meant to draw viewers in and make them worry. I really would hope that anyone that calls themselves a true fan of the team would take the events highlighted in the show with a grain of salt.
A big part of the storyline Wednesday night was the battle between Ducasse and Slauson for the spot protecting Sanchez’s blind side. It only took three clips of both guys’ missed blocks in the Washington game to send Jets nation to the ledge.
To start with, jumping ship on two young and very skilled players and instead mourning the loss of a rapidly declining veteran is just plain silly.
Faneca was a great player, a productive run blocker, and a locker room leader. But the fact is he was rapidly declining. His pass blocking skills were inadequate at best. Go back and watch film of last season. Faneca’s problems in pass protection were easily hidden sandwiched between a Pro Bowl Center in Nick Mangold and big boy tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
I don’t know about you but I don’t exactly miss a player when a respected writer covering his new team refers to him as “a declining player that cannot protect well,” as was the case recently during Arizona Cardinals camp.
I can’t help but want to call some fans hypocrites, the same fans who have been crying for the Jets to give Darrelle Revis all the money in the world, as well as sign Mangold and linebacker David Harris, are the same ones bashing the organization for saving money by letting Faneca go.
Let’s all go back to that November game against Miami. The Jets are down 5 with three minutes remaining, but marched all the way down to the Dolphins’ 10. Randy Starks then sacked Sanchez for a seven-yard loss on third down and the Jets went on to suffer their second loss to their hated AFC East rivals of the season.
Let’s just say that if Hard Knocks was aired after that clip, Jets fans would’ve been begging for Faneca to be cut.
The bottom line is Jets fans need to show a big dose of patience to get through the Slausson/Ducasse growing pains.
Ducasse has improved more physically than mentally in the short time he’s been here. Please remember he played tackle at UMass and is transitioning to guard. Isn’t it a little much to ask that he be at the same level as a 12-year veteran who has made countless trips to Hawaii?
If you want to complain about someone, Slauson deserves some criticism. He played behind Faneca for a year and has played four full seasons under coach Bill Callahan. Slauson is more familiar with the position and needs to step up big time. I truly believe he will.
It’s an anxiety filled year for all of us. But rethinking every decision made this offseason without looking at the big picture is just plain ridiculous. At some point you have to see the moves for what they truly are. As a fan of the team you owe it to them to take more into consideration than just some edited Hard Knocks clips.
It's a good thing HBO didn’t show Damien Woody backpedaling and losing his balance during the Washington game. My guess is the vast majority of you would immediately want to see him getting his walking papers as well.
Take a deep breath, people. Believe it or not, there are still 16 games to play.