Is the GM Search Getting Away from Woody Johnson Already?

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Jan 8, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson reviews the 2012 season and address changes for 2013 at the New York Jets Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Could Rex Ryan be the reason, behind the scenes, that candidates are deciding to go elsewhere? During yesterday’s press conference, Woody Johnson confirmed that keeping the coach is a requirement of the candidates:

That was. I believe in Rex. In head coaches, I’m part of that search and (believe) the relationship with the head coach and the owner is critical. The relationship with the head coach and the GM is also critical and that’s why Rex is part of this and he’ll get to know the general manager.

He went on to say that he has not heard any resistance to this during the interview process, but who knows if that is how the candidates truly feel? I mean, you could understand their point. If they are getting the chance to be in the position of power within the organization, as far as putting together a roster, they would want their own coach to implement their vision. Why would they want to be forced to keep the previous head coach? From their position, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is the argument that has started to surface amongst the Jets fans, and it is a valid one. Woody’s loyalty to Rex is admirable, but may cost him a legitimate outside candidate.

Then, towards the end of the day yesterday, we hear more rumors, and not ones that any Jets fan wanted to hear. The rumor is that assistant general manager Scott Cohen is gaining some steam as the potential replacement. Now THAT will set the Jets fans ablaze, and really show that the search got out of hand. It will show that Woody didn’t mean a lot of what he said during his press conference yesterday.

What do I mean? Well, Woody wouldn’t talk a lot about specifics when asked what he is looking for in a replacement, but here is what he did have to say on the subject:

We’re looking at somebody that can guide us to the next level of success and really change the dynamic in a way that yields more consistent success on the field. In terms of specific characteristics, I can’t get into that yet. All I can say is that the people we’re talking to, the candidates we’re talking to, are exceptionally good and each one of them bring something different, as well as internal candidates. So I’m very encouraged by what I’m seeing so far.

“…change the dynamic”. Note those words carefully. Woody says they want someone to change the dynamic. How the heck can you do that if you hire a guy that is already here??? What??! It’s not even logical. If you are going to sell your fans on change, and then bring in more of the same, you are kicking your fans in the teeth, and they won’t stand for it.

The last few days may all have just been posturing between the Jets and Tom Gamble, and he is their guy after all. If not, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hughes better have a plan B. This situation has the signs of getting away from the Jets, and if they don’t have a plan B, it will be a fail to end all fails.

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Tags: New York Jets Woody Johnson

  • John Szeligowski Jr.

    Even though Woody keeping Rex is a consideration for a new GM taking the job or not, I get the feeling I’ve seen this before; the Jets can’t seem to make up their minds and are left with (or make) the least desirable choice. It’s probably because our Jetsies have had the potential in the past to be successful only for them to make one or two bad enough choices to really stick it to themselves or only get so far. I’m hoping that all this is just posturing until after the Rooney Rule interview and then they can say what they want; that would make sense. But what also makes sense is that Woody is wavering just long enough to make it seem he lost all better choices than Scott Cohen. This, of course, would be the predictable Jets move. This choice in GM can be a pivotal moment in modern Jets history because it will either show the fan base that they are serious or are looking to save money and willing to sacrifice success for it. The truth is none of us truly know if Scott Cohen will be any worse than Tannenbaum, but some of the other choices out there are clearly a more defined step in a professional direction.

    • $41324269

      True John. For all we know Scott Cohen might be a great choice, but nobody is going to see it that way.

  • Eric Morgan

    Seems to be going well – lots of candidates, which is what you want, and the search firm doing this is the best. Woody will have a lot to choose from – we’ll have to wait and see which one he wants.

    • $41324269

      Very true. I just hope they aren’t losing people by forcing Rex on them.