|Dopey Sheldon Richardson truly looking like a dope.|
Defensive end Sheldon Richardson thinks the Jets are going to be the best team in the NFL next season, and God only knows why he thinks that.
Per Steve DelVecchio of larrybrownsports.com:
“We strongly feel like we’re going to be the top defense in the league — and top team in the league, not just defense,” the Pro Bowl defensive end said Monday, per Dom Cosentino of NJ.com. “Offensively and defensively, we made moves that I feel like that progressed this team forward, and I feel like Jet Nation feels the same way.”
Jet Nation? What a joke. To his credit, though, the Jets are absolutely better on paper with all the acquisitions they've made this off-season. By this point, I don't think we need to revisit them. And Todd Bowles, a defensive genius, is now their head coach.
They will be a tough out if they can stay healthy, but there's one really, really big problem here - they still have an issue at quarterback. It's either going to be Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Do either of them scare you? Probably not.
“Now we can actually go, as a group, [what we were] trying to do in previous years, we can do that now,” Richardson added. “This is going to be a great season. I strongly feel like this is going to be a great season for us.”
Basically what he's saying is that he knows they still have quarterback issues but that their newly revamped defense should be able to make up for whatever deficiencies Smith or Fitzpatrick have.
Smith showed flashes last year that might convince some people that he's got the tools to turn into a really good signal caller in this league, but too often he has thrown unnecessary interceptions or just flat out missed receivers on plays he had to have. He is a very, very poor man's Russell Wilson, and that's not really a compliment.
Some of those issues could be solved with the addition of Brandon Marshall, a true No. 1 receiver with good speed and size. But even he might not be enough. Richardson also seems to forget that the Dolphins and Bills both got better on paper as well, and of course the Patriots are still the top dog until someone knocks them off.
The Jets, like the Dolphins, spent a lot of money to try and "win now," but you can very rarely win anything in this league with average to sub-par quarterbacking. I know it's happened before, but it doesn't happen often. In a division where Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are still around, it seems like even more of a daunting task.
Furthermore, spending tons of money to try and win immediately even if you have a good collection of players already, doesn't always work. Ask the Yankees of the last few years, or the 2011 Red Sox. How about the "dream team" the Eagles had a few years ago? It's a bold strategy that sometimes has no benefits.
That being said, at least on paper, AFC East will not be a joke this year. It could just be the toughest division in football. What remains to be seen is how significant the Jets, Bills and Dolphins' improvements are. Until then, we know who still owns the division.
P.S. - that "Nation" thing only works with two teams: the Red Sox and the Raiders. It just sounds stupid anywhere else.
Follow me on Twitter - @JesseGaunce
For more of my articles, click here.