“We respect Eric for what he’s done, but we want to build on the successful foundation that he’s laid” said New York Jets owner Woody Johnson earlier today, a curious choice of words to describe the 3 year tenure of just-fired head coach Eric Mangini (above), he of the 23-26 record and going 1-4 down the stretch (including Sunday’s 24-17 Favre-wrapped gift to Miami).   Despite splashing out on free agents and contract extensions during the offseason, Gang Green are consigned to many months of Benigno howling, though not nearly as much as if they’d kept Mangini on board.

Curiously, GM Mike Tannenbaum retains his title, despite his role (along with that of Mangini) in bringing Brett Favre to the Swamp (and conversely, giving Chad Pennington —- the ’08 Comeback Player Of The Year? — a new lease on life with an AFC East rival).  Favre lead the NFL with 22 INT’s and the former Packer icon’s poor performances were as big a factor as any in in the Jets’ failure to make the postseason.  That Johnson and Tanenbaum profess to wanting Favre’s return in 2009 is nothing short of baffling.