Bassett over at Jets Blog emailed me earlier this week and proposed a five question exchange, and I happily accepted. His answers to my questions
should be up over there at his blog shortly are here and you'll find his answers to mine below:
Jets Blog: It's impossible to say whether Clemens is the answer or not yet, but he'll get some good tests before the end of the season, starting with the Redskins defense. I will say that Pennington was not the team's biggest problem, but at this point, the Jets need to evaluate their options. I do think that Clemens has a bright future, but we can't judge based on what he's done in the Baltimore game in the 4th quarter ... the defenders were playing prevent. During the 2006 Draft, Clemens shot up many boards and was considered the first option of the second-tier QBs. All the same, he's a younger Pennington type with a better arm for long throws. People question if he can transition from a collegiate run & shoot QB though.
HH: On Mike and Mike, Greeny just called Herm Edwards the midseason coach of the year. I find this preposterous, but I don't know as much about Herm as you, as a Jets fan, would. Do you miss him? Did Mangini earn enough good faith among the faithful with last year's 10-6 record to survive a 1-7 start?
JB: I don't miss Herm at all. I don't miss his poor attention to detail, to his over-reliance on veterans, to his relaxed attitude to preparation. The biggest difference is, that his players liked him. With Mangini it's more of a begrudging respect thing.
HH: Better receiver: Santana Moss or Coles?
JB: I guess it depends on who is throwing the ball. Moss wasn't suited to play with Pennington, but overall, I'd have to say Coles. His ability to make truly tough catches in the face of oncoming defenders is amazing. Coles was basically the running back in terms of moving the chains in 2006 (since the Jets didn't really have one), he made this team go for Pennington.
HH: Were he to become eligible tomorrow, would Curtis Martin get in the Hall of Fame? Ever? Should he? (BONUS: Will you acknowledge that Joe Namath does not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?)
JB: Curtis Martin embodies everything that you would want a Hall of Famer to be, minus the championship ring. HOF voters are a fickle bunch, and a lot of it ... unfortunately, it seems comes down to championships [EDIT note: Sometimes not so much; Art Monk won championships]. I think that Curtis Martin will get into the HOF ... the voters seem to like him, but I don't think it will be on his first pass.
As a Jets fan, I can't objectively answer the question about Namath. Among Jets fans, there is basically no arguing that he was the greatest Jet since he brought home the Superbowl win. He didn't have a statistically amazing career, but his team beat the juggernaut of his day to win the championship, and Namath's style was a big reason to the NFL becoming appointment television. Clearly football is a team sport though, and his induction represents more of what he and his teammates accomplished together.
HH: Who is the best player on the New York Jets that Redskins fans haven't heard of?
JB: I have answered some other players (like S Kerry Rhodes in week's past) but I would have to say the Jets' second round draft pick ... Inside Linebacker David Harris. In his first start, as replacement to signal caller Jonathan Vilma last week against the Bills, Harris was credited with 17 tackles a handful of which were for loss. I'd expect to see more Guards pulling this week (especially Kendall who is excellent at this) to meet Harris in the hole, but all the same, expect Betts and Portis to have their work cut out for them against this true 3-4 style Inside Linebacker.