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Don’t make a big deal about this . . .
We talked last week about how some people will make a big deal about former Jets playing in the Super Bowl.
You saw stories on how former Jets, like cornerback Mo Claiborne and linebacker Darron Lee were on the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that represented the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Update. They were both inactive for the Super Bowl.
So what did those stories last week about two former Jets in the Super Bowl really mean? They didn’t dress for the game.
And in both cases, the Jets made the right decision moving on.
That brings us to former Jets nose Mike Pennel. who had a tipped pass on a third down play in the first quarter (forcing the 49ers’ first field goal) and he also had a QB hit. He also had four tackles in the AFC Championship game against Tennessee.
Some people might say, “Why did the Jets let him walk – they need defensive tackles?”
Once again, they did the right thing here.
Pennel spent two years with the Jets, in 2017-18. He signed a three-year contract on March 16, 2018, but the Jets released him the following off-season.
Yes, Pennel did some good things for the Chiefs in the playoffs. No doubt.
But with the Jets, his motor was wildly inconsistent. There were too many plays in green where he was easily handled by one blocker. No way this 6-4, 345-pound powerhouse should have been handled so easily in 2018 by one blocker on too many occasions.
And keep in mind, he signed with the New England Patriots in the 2019 off-season, but didn’t make it to the first game, getting cut at the end of camp.
He basically sat at home for two months before being signed by the Chiefs in late October after they suffered some injuries on the defensive line.
Chiefs defensive line coach Brendan Daly did a nice job of lighting a fire under Pennel.
Pennel needs to be coached hard to keep that motor running at all times, and the Chiefs did a nice job of doing this.
Not sure the Jets did. He took too many downs off with Gang Green. Remember, he was also let go by the Green Bay Packers during his NFL career. So two teams aside from the Jets moved on from the big guy.
Perhaps the light bulb finally came in Kansas City.
But the Jets did nothing wrong in their handling of Claiborne, Lee and Pennel.
By the way former Jets draft pick, RB back Elijah McGuire, will get a ring as a member of the Chiefs’ practice squad.
Look, the Jets player personnel department needs to do a better job moving forward if this organization wants to become a playoff contender.
But none of these players that participated in the Super Bowl were examples of the Jets letting go difference-makers.
The one big problem with those former Jets associated with the Chiefs was the Jets’ former GM reaching for Lee in the draft, an undersized LB who didn’t fit the Jets’ scheme.
February 4, 2020
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