New York Jets draft picks Joe Douglas
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The fictional New York Jets apocalypse, spread by fans and media members alike, comes out as clean as possible on the other side.

Robby Sabo

The New York Jets, the organization that crawled through 500 yards of crap and came out clean the other end. The Jets, the team that crawled through nearly a half-mile of crap-smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, is suddenly sitting pretty.

The Jets, the team who everybody wants to slap with the familiar laughingstock label, is now smelling as wonderfully as any big-boy entity in the National Football League.

Officially introducing Joe Douglas as the newest general manager, fully relenting final say over personnel, cemented such a sparkling football status.

Douglas, 36, is a former offensive lineman who’s sure not to neglect the big heavies like Mike Maccagnan did, selecting just three in 34 total draft picks. The GM is in-house, the quarterback-whispering head coach is employed, and, oh yeah … the young signal-caller who possesses All-Pro abilities is fully in tow. Douglas recognizes the leg-up in the situation.

“He’s an exciting piece,” Douglas said of Sam Darnold, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.

It wasn’t too long ago fans and beat reporters alike were thrashing the organization. The untimely firing of Mike Maccagnan led to a delusional whirlwind of hate, ripe to be torn apart by smarter football people just weeks later. Words such as “garbage organization, laughingstock and Same Old Jets” hit headlines across the nation.

ESNY, on the other hand, saw the value in the firing. The Jets deserved credit all along.

Naturally, Maccagnan should have been gone long ago, at the very latest hand-in-hand with Todd Bowles. But making the right decision at the worst time—even if Adam Gase detailed the error of their ways—represents the better move.

Now, for the first time in what feels like decades, the bosses are all on the same page.

Remember, from Mike Tannenbaum to Rex Ryan, John Idzik to Bowles and Mikey Mac, none of these guys enjoyed a working relationship prior to their Florham Park arrival. It’s a rough way to enter a relationship in such a hardened, cutthroat business.

Douglas and Gase are familiar with one another. Working in Chicago with the Bears back in 2015 prompted Douglas’s name to serve as the frontrunner for the Jets GM job the entire time. Within a hierarchical structure in place that puts the GM and HC on the same plane, both reporting to Christopher Johnson, the owner, unfamiliarity yields terrible results.

This specific organization setup allows for backchannels and the potential for backstabbing when things aren’t completely agreed upon. The same possibilities are present when no one man is responsible as the final call over personnel.

“A Jets decision” is great in theory, but this is big-boy life. With careers firmly on the line, bitter disagreements are a definite reality of life in the NFL.

Credit the Jets for allowing Douglas the final say over personnel. Credit the Jets for doubling the asking price ($1.5 million a year to $3 million over six years) in snagging their man.

Unlike a Maccagnan or an Idzik, Douglas’s pedigree and clout reach far throughout the league that plays for pay.

“I was able to spend a lot of time with Christopher,” Douglas said, via Randy Lange of the Jets official website. “Just being with him, seeing his passion for this team, his authenticity, his genuine nature, and having known Adam before, it just seemed like this is a great fit, this is going to be a great fit for us.”

Unlike the recent strategy that seemed to touch on talent alone, which, at times, also completely disregarded character, Douglas looks at the intrinsic value of the football player.

“I think the No. 1 trait is resiliency,” he said. “I think most of the time when you see a Super Bowl team, you remember the confetti, you remember the Super Bowl trophy being held up and the pictures, whether it’s Ray Lewis and Trent Dilfer, Joe Flacco, then Nick Foles, so that’s a lasting memory.

‘”But I think what people don’t realize is the adversity those three teams went through. From Baltimore not scoring an offensive touchdown the entire month of October [2000] and how that could’ve ripped the team apart but it actually made the team closer. From all the adversity for the 2012 Ravens, Art Modell’s passing away, losing Ray Lewis at midseason, losing our offensive coordinator, going through a three-game losing streak. And of course the adversity the 2017 Eagles faced with losing an NFL MVP candidate in Carson Wentz toward the end of the season.

“The common denominator was all three of those teams had an opportunity to wilt, to just pack up and go home. But the bond and the brotherhood that they all shared, it just pushed them to greater heights. So the ability to overcome adversity, that’s definitely a common denominator.”

Never did the Jets organization reach the level of laughingstock this offseason. A simple surprise to beat reporters (who all thought Maccagnan’s job was as safe as a baby in a crib) turned into a fictional apocalypse readymade for rabid content consumption.

Hilariously enough, the Adam Gase conquer job and blindsiding of good-guy Mike Maccagnan has turned into Andy Dufresne’s final push past the Shawshank Prison walls. The only difference is the New York Jets weren’t imprisoned during this so-called laughingstock offseason.

They were jailed during the four seasons under the previous leadership that didn’t abide by the tried and tested championship rules that built teams with character in mind and a from-the-trenches out mentality in tow.

Finally, June 2019, the New York Jets are free and ready to build a life the correct way.

Joe Douglas, G.M. Joe T-Shirt
Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]