John Idzik: Why I Have Complete Faith in His New York Jets’ Plan

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Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This one was prompted by a regular reader of the Jet Press, hopefully he will recognize that it’s him when he sees this. I will leave him anonymous since I never asked to use his name, but he is a regular reader and commenter on the site, so he knows how I write, so he is as good of an authority as any to have an opinion on the site.

The other day, he left a comment on the site, where he speculated that my faith in John Idzik was blinding me. This reader, being such a regular commenter, got me thinking. Is he right? Am I blinded by my faith in John Idzik? So I thought about the last two years, and what John Idzik has done over those two years, and I realized I am not blinded by faith. My faith is real. And here is why I have such strong faith in John Idzik.

To date, he has not made any discernible mistakes.

First of all, the work with the salary cap is nothing short of magical, taking the team from almost $30 million over the salary cap, to at one point, nearly $40 million under the salary cap. That’s a great way to set the team up to be successful.

John Idzik’s first draft was wonderful, yielding him the defensive rookie of the year in Sheldon Richardson, starting cornerback Dee Milliner, quarterback Geno Smith, the eventual starting left guard Brian Winters, and the starting fullback in Tommy Bohanon.

His first draft, and five starters come out of it. John Idzik did pretty good there, wouldn’t you say?

Let’s look at some acquistions now from last season:

John Idzik did quite well with these moves, considering that he had absolutely no money to work with to make the moves.  The players on this list, while healthy, made a positive impact on this team.  Isn’t that John Idzik’s job, to make acquisitions that make the team better?

You might say, what about Mike Goodson and David Garrard?  They both added very little to the team.  One had legal troubles, and the other was never healthy enough to get on the field.

That would be true, these moves were unsuccessful.  However, there is no real move that the Jets SHOULD have made instead.  That, and these moves didn’t kill the team either.  The Jets didn’t end up 8-8 because of Goodson or Garrard.  Therefore, these moves don’t equate to a major black mark on John Idzik’s record as the general manager here.

We look at 2014 on the next page.

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  • Jtomas ski

    My biggest beef with the media and many critical fans is the constant hand wringing over everything. Idzik has been quite clear that his plan is to build the team through the draft. You do not accomplish this in one year. Nor 2. This is a 3-5 year plan at minimum. All the great teams and former champions are built this way. You don’t need faith in idzik, but, you better hope he has employed the best talent scouts available.
    The reality is we are rebuilding, not just a team, but a franchise which will be able to compete year to year regardless of which free agent comes or goes.
    This is how Green Bay is able to compete every year and win the big one at least once a decade and same with the Giants.
    This is how we will become a winning franchise like the Steelers.
    So stop whinning, and enjoy the ride for once. The media gets paid to be idiots, but we as fans can support the team and watch with excitement this new chapter in our team’s history.

    • Alan Schechter

      Very well said.

    • RONBO19

      i get where you are coming from and loyalty is a great thing. I truly value it but loyalty must be earned. You need to make decisions that inspire loyalty and so far I’ve seen nothing but an off season plan designed by another person (no longer with the team) that he implemented last off season, a pretty mediocre draft (with one notable exception!) and an off season of squandered opportunity to accelerate the upgrading of this roster. So we hired a salary cap guy who to this point has done little to upgrade the talent on this roster ! So i was just wondering what it is that inspires your faith in this guy?

    • Isidor Babejic

      props on this one! with all the respect, people are exaggerating so easily … last draft could have been better but when milliner explodes, and i hear them predicting that, i am waiting for your arguments here my dear loyal fans! for me idzik is a ice cold poker player who is calculating risks and who only wants this team to dominate, i think many of you would have made the mistake throwing money in this free agency out of the window and all of this only for … short term success!

  • Speaksnow

    I believe in Idzik, but…. It hasn’t been all roses. A couple of those 5 rookie starters shouldn’t have been starting! As a matter of fact, only Richardson had any real success. Milliner came on at the end, but the jury is still out. Rex pulled a rabbit out of his reduced ass (both in size and roster talent). Hopefully Idzik’s plan doesn’t take so long that it gets sexy Rexy fired.

  • Paul Newbold

    I’m glad you have “Complete Faith”. I like yourself like Idzik and many of the moves he made last season. The Richardson pick had most of us shaking our heads initially, but turned out to be a brilliant move. The Ivory and Goodson acquisitions I didn’t like at the time and still question. Goodson turned out to be a disaster and Ivory continued his injury woes. Last year, he did an amazing job with the limited of resources available!
    Then we move to his second year. This is where he began to loose me. He has the resources in hand, a fairly respectful FA class for the team needs, and we’ve come away with virtually nothing. Besides an upgraded back up quarterback, and one upgrade for talent-less wide receiver group. These value signings as you call them do little to improve the team if they can’t stay healthy! We saw that with Gerrard, Winslow,Barnes, Goodson and to some extent Ivory last season. Then you got guys like Quigley, Nelson, and Sudfeld…are these the fuys that are going to help us get to the play offs any time soon? Landry? Reed?
    I understand having faith in your GM and hoping for the best. I’m hoping for the best, but as a fan I’m not “completely” sold on Idzik. This upcoming draft will speak volumes on the direction this team will take in the future. Of Course if the guy spoke even a little to the fan base…it might ease some of the annual Jet Anxiety!

    • Alan Schechter

      Fair points Paul. I’m just a bit more optimistic on the lesser signings.

      Did you recognize that you were the reader I was referring to in the article by the way?

    • RONBO19

      Almost none of those moves were his.Yes he pulled the trigger but every one of those moves were planned by Mike Tannenbaum.

      • Paul Newbold

        Like I’ve been saying….I’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Its getting increasingly harder to do these days. The moves that were made were “no brainers” any way. MrT. Pidzk, hell even Mickey Mouse could have figured out what to do to fix those contracts! His personnel decisions are the concern, and the only record we have, is the ones from last season, and in my eyes they were less then spectacular!

        • AC

          Idzik probably doesn’t make the Richardson choice without Rex there either. And Milliner I have high hopes for but like everyone else said here, the other guys were default starters due to a lack of talent. Including Geno! I liked the Geno pick and I still like Geno but he obviously needs work and now Idzik brings a guy in who Rex may be forced to start which can’t be good for Geno’s development. Actually I just don’t like the Vick signing at all, I would have rather spent the 5 million to bring back Cro. There weren’t a ton of veteran backups available, understood, but do you really want to see Michael Vick starting week 1 which is a definite possibility? I like David Nelson, I think he gets no props, he is a very tall receiver with good hands who made some clutch catches last year. But unless we get the right WR in the draft, an instant difference maker, the receiving corp isn’t looking great either. Patterson, who knows? And to echo everyone else, Idzik just does not have the kind of track record we can judge yet. He wasn’t the single personnel decision maker in Seattle. This article lost me when you brought up Brian Winters as an achievement. I would say he lost us games. Geno faced heavy pressure up the middle mostly right through Winters.

  • RONBO19

    Alan, I could not possibly disagree more with absolute everything you said here! First of all, to give Idzik the credit fort last years off season purge of over priced under achievers is totally 100% false. Both Mark Cannizaro of the NY Post and Rich Cimmini of the Daley News both published detailed articles of how GM Mike Tannenbaum planned to deal with the salary cap issues the Jets were facing at that time. This was long before anybody here ever heard of John Idzik and Randy Lange on the Jets own blog predicted the same exact moves that were eventually implemented by Idzik. My next issue is with what you refer to as Idzik’s “wonderful ” Draft? Are you kidding? Drafting in the #8 position he drafted one starter who would have started on almost any team.(Richardson) His other first round pick Milliner had to be highly questionable as he was coming off his 9th surgerical procedure and would be unable to practice until the start of training camp.In the long run this pick may eventually work out but as of now the jury is very much still out on him.Ditto Geno who has a looooong way to go before anybody confuses him with being an NFL QB! Brian Winters and Tommy Bohanon were the worst players rated at their positions and on any other team would not have been starters so to say we had 5 starters from this draft is mis- leading at best! Sorry Alan but if you want to drink the Idzik kool-aid be my guest but between the above stuff and his dismal showing in this years free agency I dont get your faith in this guy? Hey, I’m rooting for him but he’s shown nothing so far!

    • Alan Schechter

      You are entitled Ron, I appreciate the other point of view. I don’t think it’s Idzik “kool-aid”, but we can’t judge the guy yet. Let his plan go through to fruition.

    • Dustin Schrank

      You nailed it the pieces where already in place to fix the cap number Mike T. said so his self shortly after Idzik took over and those 5 starters would not have all been starters if the Jets had actual talent at those positions, I like Richardson and millner, I think millner has crazy athletic ability that cant be taught. Geno was a good pickup for round 2 because hes still a viable backup and possibly starter quality in the future, the rest of the draft IDK drafting a DT to play OL…… hows that workin out?