Jul 28, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan talks with general manager John Idzik following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Can Rex Ryan and John Idzik Really Work Together?

Ever since John Idzik was hired as the general manager by the New York Jets, all of the right things have been said. Rex talks about how he and Idzik are “shoulder to shoulder” about the issues regarding the team. Idzik has talked about how great it has been to work with Rex Ryan.

But what is it like, really? I think there are some clues when you look at the recent press conferences.

I don’t have any inside knowledge on this, it is just my opinion based on what I have seen in Rex’s press conferences. I just wanted to lead with that first, before I go on. That being said……

For one, Rex is clearly not comfortable up there anymore. It doesn’t have to do with the tough questions. Rex had a lot of tough questions to answer in 2011 and 2012. Questions about the QB, about Holmes, and many other topics were fair game in those two years. Through it all, Rex never looked as uncomfortable as he has in the last few press conferences.

The difference? A new general manager.

Now, take a look at the answers that have been given, especially about the Sanchez injury. Doesn’t it feel like we are back to the days of Eric Mangini? The answers are directly reminiscent of those days. It’s such a stark change from Rex’s first four years, you have to wonder why. I am not saying that the team has to give us all of the information that we want. I am not saying we are entitled.

What I am saying, is that the difference has been so stark, and so fast, that the instinct is to wonder why. The answer is John Idzik.

And the coach is clearly not comfortable with the new way. Listen to him today, we have the press conference from yesterday posted here at the Jet Press. He is obviously using his “media bridges”, from his training sessions with the team. His answers feel, at least to me, so rehearsed that they could be taking place in a Broadway play in New York. It’s rehearsed, it’s measured, and is nowhere NEAR the old Rex.

And it is evidence of behind the scenes problems.

Heck, the player that is actually injured, is not allowed to talk about his injury, or even talk about whether or not he needs rehab for it! That type of change is so staggering, the only thing to do is wonder why. None of it is wrong. The Jets are entitled to do things how they want. It’s just very different.

John Idik is the reason. Rex Ryan does not seem comfortable with the new way of doing things. Some have used the word “neutered”, when describing how Rex sounds. I am not going to go that far, but clearly this situation is brand new to him.

If Idzik is making him, and all of the people around him, uncomfortable with how they are handling press conferences, it is not a stretch to think that the working relationship is not as perfect as they make it seem. That wouldn’t be surprising, as John was stuck with Rex, as we know. But, if Rex is being dictated as to how to speak, Rex isn’t going to like that.

If that is happening, what else is happening behind closed doors with these two? Is it really the “shoulder to shoulder” decision-making that coach speaks of? I don’t know, but I am not so sure that it is. If it isn’t, it will make 2013 all the more difficult for everyone.

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Tags: John Idzik New York Jets Rex Ryan

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