A lot of heat is given to this guy pictured to the right. Mike Tannenbaum has come under fire lately, as the Jets season has begun to unravel. It’s understandable, you can make the argument that this roster has gotten progressively worse since the 2010 AFC Championship game. The roster lacks in talent, especially on the offensive side of the football, and the general manager is always going to come under fire for that. But, what if it isn’t Mike?
Note: This is just speculation as I have no inside knowlege on this, just putting forth a potential theory.
Look at your core of Jets that were here when the Jets went to back to back championship games. Here are some names that come to mind: David Harris, Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jerrico Cotchery, Brandon Moore, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, and Shonn Greene. There are more, but we will look at that handful of players. Other than Mark and Shonn, what do the rest of these players have in common? They were not brought here during the Tannenbaum/Ryan era. It takes a couple of years for a roster to turn over. So, to really be Rex Ryan’s roster, we had to wait and see what we had in 2011 and 2012.
So we look at the roster now, and what names do we see? Sanchez, Greene, Slauson, Hunter/Howard, Kyle Wilson, Joe McKnight, Mo Wilkerson, Kenrick Ellis, Clyde Gates, Konrad Reuland, Jason Smith, Vladimir Ducasse, and John Conner (for all of 2011 and some of 2012) just to name a few. Can we say that this roster is not exactly sparkling? You could make the argument that Mark Sanchez is being given the task of winning witha group of practice squad of teammates.
So, who do we blame? We can blame the general manager, which makes sense. With the title of general manager comes at least the implied responsibility of being in charge of personnel decisions. He would certainly be the first name you would think of. But, think about it another way. I think we can all agree that the quality of acquisitions changed, correct? The Jets were having great drafts, with guys like Revis, Mangold, ..etc, and bringing in players like Braylon Edwards, and Thomas Jones. Then, the player decisions went drastically south. The decisions on draftees have been curious, and other than LaDainian Tomlinson, wo was the last influential free agent the Jets have brought in. When a drastic change has occurred, you have to look at what changed. The general manager has not changed. Who has changed?
The coach, that is what has changed. What if Rex has a bigger say in personnel than any of us have realized. Think about it. Nobody is a fan of Tanny, but let’s be logical. He’s the same guy that drafted Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis. A lot of people think that Eric Mangini had more to do with those picks. OK, fine. Then, by extension, one can infer that Rex Ryan had more to do with bad personnel choices than we realize. Unless Mike Tannenbaum forgot how to look at football players, he’s the same guy. He didn’t forget what makes a good football player.
What did change, is a voice in Mike’s ear, the voice of the head coach. Maybe it’s Rex that is making the bad decisions and influencing Mike.
Like I said, I don’t know this, it’s a theory. It could be.