In this new regime of keeping things close to the vest, it’s not that often we get the chance to hear from general manager John Idzik. So, when he takes the time to talk to the media, everyone takes a moment to listen. One topic on everyone’s mind, when questioning John Idzik, is head coach Rex Ryan’s future. Here is what he had to say about assessing Rex through nine games:
I think Rex, it’s not only for the regular season the first nine weeks, again, this dates back to when I first came here, I think he’s done very well. It’s been great working with Rex and his staff. Here’s another guy that not only am I new, we changed some faces on our personnel staff as we went through free agency and the draft, and then post draft. We’ve changed quite a number of faces on the coaching staff, three new coordinators. (We have) five new coaches, I believe, on offense, a couple new coaches on defense, special teams, every phase. Rex has pulled it all together. He’s our leader. Then once you look at what we’ve done on our roster, same thing. You have seen it. We’ve had a lot of new faces, lot of new starters, lot of new guys coming in midstream during those nine weeks. And they’re productive in a short period of time. That’s a tribute to Rex, it’s a tribute to our staff. It’s a tribute to Marty (Mornhinweg), DT (Dennis Thurman), Ben (Kotwica), our coordinators, all the guys on the staff. It’s worked extremely well so far.
Here is the comment that everyone is talking about, when he was asked about Rex’s future:
Again, we’re living in the moment. Especially when you’re in the regular season, as you have witnessed so far, each week is precious, each game is precious. The one thing this league teaches you is that if you skip a beat, you’ll pay. We’re just too competitive of a league. So we, meaning myself, our staff, Rex, his staff, the players, we’re trying to remain disciplined in living in the moment and not getting too far ahead of ourselves. But in terms of my working relationship with Rex, again, it’s been a joy to work with Rex.
Despite that comment, do not read into that. Barring a complete collapse in the second half, I don’t see any reason why John Idzik would fire Rex Ryan. It just wouldn’t make any sense.
Idzik isn’t stupid. He can understand that the coach has the support of the players. He might not have wanted to keep his coach when he got here, but now that he is here, all he has talked about is the great working relationship. These guys are working well together.
The telling point is when he says that Rex is “our leader”. That he “has pulled it all together”. John Idzik knows that Rex is getting the job done as the head coach for this team. He knows that nobody is a better fit that Rex is.
Then, why won’t he commit to Rex for the future? Because THEY NEVER MAKE THESE COMMITMENTS IN-SEASON! Woody Johnson has made it a practice to not talk about contracts during the season, a practice which he enforced through previous general manager Mike Tannenbaum, and now through John Idzik.
For all we know, Idzik wants to commit to Rex, and Woody said no. The fact that he is “living in the moment” is not a referendum on Rex’s performance. Rex has gotten far more out of this team than anyone expected, and John Idzik knows it. Don’t read too far into his comments about living in the moment. I think Rex will be living a lot of moments in Green and White going forward.