NEW YORK, NY – Almost forty years have passed since Joe Namath walked with the steadiness of a newborn colt, and onto the gridiron as quarterback for the New York Jets. As incredulous as it may seem – since the NFL became a pass-friendly game in the mid-1980’s of 4.000 yard QB’s – is Joe Willie’s still standing career franchise passing yardage marks.
Considering Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford will finally pass long-time yardage holders Sid Luckman and Bobby Layne – respectively as franchise leaders – early this year, the Jets history shows a preponderance of poo-poo under center making for the sorriest of NFL franchises.
The Jets have little competition to a decades-old signal-calling stats leader. The Chiefs Len Dawson pre-dates Namath’s distinction by one year. Fran Tarkenton excuses the Vikings (deep sigh Angry Ward) place in this dubious club because Fran The Man Tarkenton wrote the NFL passing record book until Marino blew ’em all up. The Jets opted for Ken O’Brien in the 1983 NFL Draft, one pick before Miami plucked Dan Marino and kept a futility of unimpressively selecting twelve quarterbacks beginning with the aforementioned O’Brien. Here’s a look at the Jets Dirty Dozen:
1991: Browning Nagle, who sounds like a cooking activity, was selected #34 overall a serviceable career in the league whether as a starter or at worst a long-time backup for some team is expected. Neither held true as the Louisville standout last three years with the J-E-T-S and was done by 1996.
1992: Jeff Blake had some nice years… with the Bengals… and threw a deadly accurate deep ball who I had on my fantasy squad longer than the one year the Jets had his services figuring wrongly Nagle was the shat. Upon retirement in 2005, this guy turned into the longest NFL-tenured QB the Jets have ever drafted.
1994: Glen Foley… In trouble and aware of it, the Jets asked Jesus for help when selecting the former Golden Domer. The seventh-rounder wound up having a game or two he’ll be able to brag about to the grandkids but was gone by ’99 and off the Jets in ’98.
1997: Kellen Clemens. Who?
2000: Chad Pennington? What appeared to be a home run at #18 overall, he was on the way to Namath’s records before injuries made his Jets tenure a stand-up triple. Eight years on the Jets roster, some on the DL, and eleven years make him the anti-Jet and that’s a good thing.
2003: Brooks Bollinger was on our teams, eight years, and a UFL stint.
2006: Brad Smith is still toiling in the league somewhere.
2006: Kellen Clemens If memory serves correct, like Nagle and Foley this strapping dude from Oregon was drafted by Angry Ward in our pool and did just as well as the other two. Seven year vet, five with Gang Green.
2008 & 2011: Ainge & McElroy sounds like a law firm. One and the same. Crap.
2009: Paid a King’s ransom to draft Senor Hairband. How’s that working out now, what with an unimpressive Geno Smith ready to become the Jets most recent QB bust, while breathing down Sanchez’s neck for the starting job.
Somebody wake up the front office and tell the front office they’re on the clock again for an NFL quarterback.
Our starting Monday Morning QB, West Coast Craig, demain.