The end of 2008 season perturbed many Jets fans. It's easy to look at Brett Favre's nine interceptions and point to that as the main reason for the team's failures.
But that only explains the offense.
What happened to the defense that was an elite run-stopping unit for 11 weeks? As badly as Favre played, it wasn't his fault that the defense turned feeble at the end of the year.
Eric Mangini took the fall for each side's shortcomings, but his firing was a public relations nightmare in the sense that they said absolutely nothing negative about him neither in the press conference nor in the days to come.
There was obviously a lot more underneath the surface. Some of it has risen, such as Thomas Jones and an anonymous Jet's frustrated quotes about Brett Favre. However, all the players were positive and seemed sad that Mangini was gone, leaving many, including myself, to wonder if Mangini took the fall for Favre.
Finally, we have a reason for his firing.
I present to you, from the Journal News, Jane McManus's Jets blog.
Sirius NFL Radio Jets reporter Lisa Zimmerman did some reporting in the wake of Eric Mangini’s firing, and several players and two high-placed Jets staffers told her that after the loss to the Denver Broncos, Mangini panicked.
She reported on air that Mangini tore up the defensive schemes that the team had been using and installed a new set that defensive players weren’t comfortable with. Despite objecting, the players were told they were to learn the new system.
Several pointed to problems in the secondary given the way the Jets rotated defensive backs with S Kerry Rhodes and CB Darrelle Revis. The communication problems, she reported, extended to the offense and even within the coaching staff itself.
The unsuccessful tinkering and internal problems would explain why Mangini was fired immediately after the loss to Miami, when Brett Favre’s interceptions seemed a large part of the problem.
This would be the first legitimate, on-field reason for his firing. If this is true, it's very disappointing because I thought Eric Mangini was a level-headed coach. If anything, I thought he was too level-headed, playing too much by the percentages, and not adjusting the way he should have. It turns out that he might have made too drastic an adjustment.
However, it comes as no surprise that communication was an issue with the Mangini Jets. Pete Kendall and Chris Baker took turns complaining about that in the past two offseasons. Mangini tried so hard to cut off communication with the media and have his players and coaches create non-answers to the media that it permeated into the locker room.
It also helps explain why the team has had no identity and why the defense seemed to be late getting into position (if they got there at all) on many plays, especially down the stretch.
Very, very interesting. Hopefully more information leaks out in the coming weeks because we as Jets fans want answers!