Does Rex Ryan Really Have All the Power with the New York Jets?

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Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets coach Rex Ryan speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets always do things a little bit different, don’t they?

Most teams hire a general manager, and then a coach. Not the Jets. They change general managers, but making keeping the coach a CONDITION of employment. Pretty weird, huh? Backwards. That’s just how our team acts.

But, there is one thing going on with the Jets that is not backwards. There is a perception out there about the Jets’ power structure that needs to be brought back to Earth. It’s a perception of how things work with the New York Jets that absolutely isn’t true.

The perception, started most strongly by Mike Francesa here in New York but stated by other parties as well, is that Rex Ryan holds all the power inside the Jets’ headquarters. The perception is, and was before John Idzik was hired, that any player that Rex Ryan wants, Rex Ryan gets. It’s the idea that the general manager, either Mike Tannenbaum before or John Idzik now, is a figure-head, with no real power.

Let’s set something straight here and now. THIS COULDN’T BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

My evidence is not from the grandstanding that the Jets have done. Not withstanding all of the “the buck stops with me” comments that Mike Tannenbaum has made over the years, because Mike Tannenbaum said a lot of things through the years that none of us believed. We are going to actually look AWAY from statements that Mike Tannenbaum has made, and look at other evidence to prove that Rex is not the commanding voice.

Several months ago, I speculated as to whether or not there was a growing rift between Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan.  A lot of people disagreed with my speculation there, but there was evidence even back then that was undeniable, and showed that Rex didn’t always get what he wanted.  Take a look at this quote from an interview with Sports Illustrated regarding Stephen Hill:

“Well, nothing told me he would (contribute),” Ryan told Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. “Nothing. When I saw the tape (of his collegiate play) I was concerned. But (Jets general manager) Mike Tannenbaum and (senior personnel executive) Terry Bradway and all our scouts were adamant about this guy. They were adamant that this guy can do it.

Yes, Rex Ryan is always a bit tongue and cheek when he does an interview. But, in this case, he never wavers from the point that he didn’t want Stephen Hill in that spot.

So, Rex doesn’t ALWAYS get who he wants. Turn the page, and we will talk about the current situation.

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