The painful reality Jets fans don’t want to hear

Maybe Christopher Johnson should rent a plane this week and fly it over Manhattan with a banner that reads, “This is going to take a while.”

No, Jets fans don’t want to hear it.

They want a quick fix and the easiest answer is always to fire the coach. Adam Gase has not given fans reason to believe. But the issues with the Jets run deep and will not be solved by just one move. This team needs a major rebuild that is only just beginning.

There is a reason Joe Douglas held out for a six-year contract when the team hired him in June. He looked at the Jets roster and knew this is not going to be fixed with one or two draft classes. Right now, the team has a star safety in Jamal Adams, a stud linebacker when healthy in C.J. Mosley and a young quarterback who has shown potential in Sam Darnold. Beyond that, everything is a question mark.

Jets fans’ lack of patience is understandable. This is the ninth straight season without a playoff appearance. The last time they had a home playoff game on Jan. 4, 2003, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook did not even exist. The last Super Bowl appearance came six months before man landed on the moon.

It’s been a long time since Jets fans could feel really good about this team.

They have lived through John Idzik’s failed rebuild and the two failed Mike Maccagnan rebuilds. Now, they are being asked to live through the Douglas rebuild. It’s a lot. But they have to deal with it.

This roster is a mess. The offensive line needs a total overhaul. They need help at wide receiver. They need an edge rusher. They need cornerbacks.

All you have to do is look back at those previous rebuilds to see why the Jets are where they are.

Idzik replaced Mike Tannenbaum in 2013 and began stripping down the remains of a roster that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games.

He drafted 19 players in his two years in charge. Only two (Brian Winters, Quincy Enunwa) remain on the team. He compounded drafting mistakes with doing very little in free agency and signing some bad-character guys like Mike Goodson and Dimitri Patterson.

Maccagnan took over in 2015 and immediately threw around a lot of money on older players to win now. It almost worked. The Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Ryan Fitzpatrick Jets went 10-6 but collapsed in the last week of the season against the Bills to keep the playoff drought alive.

After a disastrous 2016, Maccagnan set out on a proper rebuild and tore down the roster. Maccagnan landed some good players such as Adams and Darnold but he also made too many terrible picks. From 2015-17 he drafted 22 players and only five remain on the roster. Maccagnan also made major mistakes in free agency with Revis, Muhammad Wilkerson and Trumaine Johnson.

So now, the Jets fans turn their lonely eyes to you, Joe Douglas. He arrived with a reputation for finding talent. Now, he has to prove it.

It is impossible to judge Douglas yet. The signing of Ryan Kalil in August has not worked. The trade for Alex Lewis has. But those are minor moves in the grand scheme of things. Douglas’ body of work truly begins in a few months when he starts remaking this roster.

Jets fans have less patience than a 6-year-old right now. They don’t want to hear this message but you have no choice.

This is going to take a while.

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