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

  • Bennny K

    Great points, you can also look at Idzick as sharing his professionalism with Rex. I love Rex but I don’t need him to divulge any info that can be used by the other teams as an advantage or any comments to be used by the media to spin a new article. Rex is immature when it comes to speaking and that doesn’t bode well for the organization or him self. If Rex can learn the way from Idzick it will be better for himself and the Jets. He may not be as funny or brash but I would trade that for a coach who is well composed and articulate any day.

    • TheJetPress

      I see that side too Benny. I think maybe a happy medium would be good

      • Bennny K

        I agree, it almost seems like he’s moping up there sometimes.

        • TheJetPress

          Like he doesn’t want to be there anymore

    • matr dontelli iii

      Hey bennny, has your email account been getting spammed to death since we commented on that stupid female manish mehta’s column last week? My spam has increased like ten fold since that day!

      • Bennny K

        Hey Matr,

        I haven’t really noticed, I never check my spam I just delete it every couple of days.

        • matr dontelli iii

          For some reason half my discus mail winds up in my spam box. The other half in my inbox. That’s really the only reason I check the spam

  • Kenneth Hayes

    Face it the circus has left town and Ryan will benefit from it.

    • TheJetPress

      I hope he does, ultimately.

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  • matr dontelli iii

    I am really concerned with what the media are trying to do to this team. They have an agenda which does not include insight and this includes cimini. Any points he gained with me after you said he was a decent guy have been lost with his incessant sniping. They want Rex out of town, they dislike this team and the national media listens to the local clowns and repeats is like a lyrebird. The football viewing public do not think before repeating what they hear on espn. the daily news is so entrenched in their anti-rex campaign that today’s front page attacks the NJ Governor calling him ‘fatso’, for calling out mehta, a national enquirer type headline for sure. rex needs to learn to answer the question and say “that’s your answer. Are there any questions relating to anything else?” and he needs to do it quick.

    • TheJetPress

      It’s rough with the NY media. I have no problem with you including Rich. I can like the guy, it doesn’t mean I agree with everything he says.

  • Frank Antonelli

    I think Rex is finally seeing the media for what they truly are, namely, the enemy. He is starting to devise a defensive strategy for his pressers much like he devises a strategy for his defense. Whether Idzik has been the spark or not it is long overdue. He has made it far to easy for the media to create headlines. The comment about Geno being brutal was a prime example.

    I was proud of how Rex handled the media on Monday. He basically answered the questions without actually answering the questions. I hope this continues and the media is forced to actually do their work and comment on the quality of football that is being played versus creating and then reporting on a so called “circus”.

    • TheJetPress

      I can understand all that …I just think Rex looks depressed

      • Frank Antonelli

        Well he’s 2 for 2 in pressers. I think the tone is intentional. He’s either learned or been coached to no matter what they throw at you just respond in the same calm slightly depressed manner! It’s working. Basically he’s telling the media clowns that you’re now getting the type of answers you so richly deserve!

        • TheJetPress

          That’s true. I just worry about how depressed he seems. He doesn’t sound like a guy that wants it here anymore. I hope that is done on purpose, and act, because it’s sad if that is how he feels.

  • Paul Newbold

    I’ll stick to Idzik. He came into the organization with many problems to fix. The personnel department was a wreck, a team divided in the locker room, and very little cap space to work with. He inherited a head coach, and a media circus stemming from the Tebow debacle. From almost day 1 he started cleaning house in the front office, replacing them with his people. He watched as the face of the team changed, allowing veterans to leave via free agency. He made some small free agency moves and a trade. By many reports he had a solid draft, and in doing so changed the team face to his liking. From where I stand Idzik is on a mission to make this his team. He’s annoyed the media by limiting access across the board, but in doing so, he has begun to change the Jets PR department. He’s carefully chosen his words to the press, and the words he has used have been brief. I believe he expects the same from his staff and players. I think he’s been a good addition for the organization, and he surely views this team as his. What will happen next season to the head coach he inherited? Only time will tell, but guaranteed this is no “shoulder to shoulder” deal.

    • TheJetPress

      No way they are shoulder to shoulder as Rex says. No way

  • matr dontelli iii

    And now freeman has been cut! I don’t know what they’ve got in mind in the event nick gets hurt but I don’t like this move. I’ve been a big idzik supporter since his first press conference but I think he’s getting a little cocky. It’s a bit too soon to start thinking you’re Teflon John! I didn’t care for the Hayden smith cut but I could accept that. Braylon I can understand and McKnight. They’d better hope either mangold plays sixteen games or freeman clears waivers and winds up on the practice squad or this could come back to haunt them. Freeman could have been cheap insurance for a few years until mangold starts to slow down, and then slide into his spot

    • TheJetPress

      I agree, I am not a big fan of the move to drop Freeman. It’s a shame they had to drop Hayden Smith, but I agree it’s understandable, as is McKnight and Braylon. I guess we had better give John some time to get this ship in the right direction.