Jets GM John Idzik: Truly A Mad Scientist?

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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

Jets GM John Idzik has had a somewhat……..well……….. timid off-season, if you will.  If you ask, some people would tell you that it has only been “timid” in the eyes of the impatient, success starving and sometimes ignorant group of Jets fans and that’s seemingly OK if you take for it is, part of the process.  It’s a process that includes one GM that has decided to utilize and stand by a certain “method.”

Method: “a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular discipline or art.”

Seems Idzik is mad, but if you look closely, like really closely, like “squinting your eyes while moving your head closer” closely, there seem to be a method to this madness.  John Idzik might seem mad, but not in the way that warrants concern, but in my opinion, in a way that warrants intrigue and eyebrow raising curiosity.   I’m not getting a “mad with power” feeling from him, as much as I’m getting a “mad with a firm and unmovable method” sentiment from him.  Seems Idzik is dead set on sticking with this “method” and I for one may not fully understand it, but I applaud it.  Without going into details, lets just say that the Jets previous GM, though he had some success as the Jets GM, didn’t really utilize a method of any kind.  Can we all agree on that?

For the most part, John Idzik, whether you agree or disagree with what he’s done thus far, has had his moves or  non-moves if you will, questioned, debated, tossed around, slandered and praised ad nauseum.  Methods aren’t perfect, they aren’t supposed to be.  They don’t always yield the results wanted and they are always up for debate from those that are for and against.  They are meant to maintain order, structure and stability to maintain long-term success for whatever you’re utilizing the method for.  It’s just the way it works, the way it will always work and John Idzik appears to be utilizing a method that is not only hard to decipher, but it has become a polarizing issue within JetNation, yet it’s one that when you step back and examine it logically, makes sense and provides a sense of hope for the Jets long-term success.  Here’s what Idzik has done the past two off seasons;

Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates after defeating the Miami Dolphins 20-7 at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

- Traded Darrelle Revis

- Drafted the top rated DT and DROY in the 2013 NFL Draft in Sheldon Richardson

- Drated the consensus top rated QB in Geno Smith

- Drafted the consensus top rated CB in Dee Milliner

- Traded for RB Chris Ivory.

- Signed Kellen Winslow

- Signed Ed Reed

- Signed David Nelson

- Released Mark Sanchez

- Signed the WR that led the league in deep passes (catches) last season in Eric Decker

- Signed FA RB Chris Johnson to a two-year, $8 mil deal


These are the notable moves made by Idzik in the past two seasons.  What do these moves tell you? Not much, aside from the fact that you have a GM that doesn’t like sitting idly twiddling his thumbs.  The method is not something that you can put your finger on.  It’s not something that you’ll see a pattern start to form within.  A method can’t be touched or seen, it’s almost like faith, you have to believe that its working even though you can’t put your hands on it.

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  • Jtomas ski

    I disagree with your premise. I keep reading about this “high praise” Idzik is receiving.
    Especially from beat writers and disappointed Jet fans. Please for the sake of argument, please post some proof of this rampant praise. It doesn’t exist. The only thing that does is repeated hand winging and I could show you literally 1009 articles discussing his cheapness etc.
    In the words of Yoda, “annoying this sh*t is”
    Why is this such an obsession? Can we not just let the guy do his job for a little while before crowning him anything? Cheese and rice this fan base is dumb. Or at least the ones who put their nonsense online.

    • SeanLDurham

      Then you actually agree with me. I don’t see this “high” praise either, I only see the bashing, but apparently I’m “oblivious” to it because it’s out there and I’m just missing it. The “high praise” comment is to maintain balance and fairness so to speak, but you are correct.

  • ovanjye

    BEST said he hasn’t done as expected. And even if you built trough the draft, its not by having 6 picks from round 5 on… Considering all he has done. I say we have waited this long to win, so give him to more years before we judge him. But the fact that we are impatient, is all true we haven’t one in 45 years, so patience is thin. What I cannot explain is that he has not used all the salary cap money. I know we have too budget for the draft. But we need too spend just a little more. Like take a flyer on Miles Austin!!!! We need a break away receiver. Yet we were looking at Rice.. Don’t get it. Anyway we will see if it all pays off in 2 years and we win or it’s more of the same nonsense………

    • Isidor Babejic

      why use all the salary cap when its clear that we have no chance to win the super bowl this year

  • Paul Newbold

    As a Jet fan, I’d have to take offense to being labeled “ignorant” or “stupid”. New York Jet fans are long suffering fans, yes we’re outspoken, yeah we’re critical, and yes we’re extremely opinionated! It is my experience after spending many years as a season ticket holder at Shea stadium however, that Jet fans know football!! Don’t let our passion for everything Green and White fool you!! Jet fans are a passionate, critical bunch, we’re New Yorkers…loud, boisterous, and opinionated! We’re also an impatient bunch…but that doesn’t come from ignorance or stupidity..its been bred into us by an organization that has repeadetly disappointed us all for decades! John Idzik won’t get an “exemption” from this bunch! His every move will be debated, critiqued,and scrutinized by the fan base, and by the NY media. Welcome to NY John!! It’s a hot bed of controversy and you’ve been put in the hot seat!

    • SeanLDurham

      Paul taking offense to that is your choice, but I’ve run across my fair share of ignorant Jets fans…. If you can find the word “stupid” anywhere in the piece I would be glad if you can point that out for me. Thanks.
      The quote was “sometimes ignorant group of Jets fans.” That “group” may not include you, but lets not act like the idiots wanting Idzik fired aren’t out there. Lets not act like the fans that want him to spend the money because its there isn’t out there. They are not only out there, but they are loud and they are plenty.

      Need not take offense if it doesn’t apply to you……

      • Paul Newbold

        Sorry if I used “stupid” as I believe the word was “dumb” and it was in a comment not your piece. Just for the record, I know some of the comments can get way too far out there, but I don’t think its ignorance so much as it is a passion. Let’s face it Jet fans are a fickle bunch! It was never my intent to dispute anything you wrote in the piece, its just my nature to jump to the defense of my fellow Jet fans! Idzik will be ok in the long run I think, I don’t agree with some of his moves this year, but we’ll wait and see how it works out. Being the GM of the New York Jets can’t be an easy job…but its the job he chose to take, so I don’t think Idzik is asking for any kind of reprieve from the media or the fans. Keep the pieces coming please!

  • SteveMiller

    Nice article, the only thing I would reverse is.

    “The overall goal for John Idzik should be to win the Superbowl and maintain some level of consistent, long-term success”.
    Long term success shows how good an organization is while a not quite so great team can get hot and win the SB like the Giants did. Regarding Idzik I think it also shows how secure he is when he kept Rex. Unless that was an order from Woody.Most GM’s would want their own guy and would make a change regardless and use the “we didn’t make the playoffs excuse” to do it.
    Also every fan base on every team has smart and stupid fans so I wouldn’t take any offense unless I was one of the stupid ones. Of course everyone’s definition of what a stupid fan is would be different.

  • RONBO19

    Sean, I’m sure you wont remember me but I have complemented you on several pieces you have done on the Jets and as I have said in the past, you are my favorite Jet blogger. Frankly, as for Idzik, I remain skeptical. I do agree with 90% of your post but as 61 year old and a 50+ year die-hard Jet fan (and a 38 year season ticket holder) I have come to a point in my life where I feel the need to speak my mind.
    Like a lot of athletes ,coaches, sports writers,owners, ect,ect in this town, Mr.Idzik has placed himself in harms way by accepting the task of bringing a winner to a championship starved franchise. So yes, the very nature of his position is polarizing. Yes, he has been criticized for some of his decisions as most Jet fans were hoping he would take advantage of the abundance of corner backs and safety’s that were available in this years free agent class that could have at least potentially shortened the time it will take to build a winning team. With the amount of cap room available this was obviously disappointing so the fact he received flack for not adequately addressing it is understandable. On the other hand, idzik has been credited by many for his deft handling of last off season’s free agency period where he avoided the mistakes of the previous G.M. when he allowed a lot of underachievers and injury prone players past their prime leave rather than to resign them. The ironic thing about that is that in reality, Idzik simply went through with the exact plan out lined by Randy Lange of Randy’s Radar on the Jets own site. In his article Randy discussed the exact moves Tannenbaum had planned to execute which all came to fruition after woody replaced Tanny with Idzik.
    And finally, in view of Idzik’s up and down (mostly down at this point) draft last year you have to admit, while yes it is too early to praise or criticize his over all performance it is not too early to at least question his decisions as a lot of those decisions are indeed highly questionable?

  • Frank Antonelli

    Where is your inside information that Tavon Austin was the top player on the Jets board???? Milliner and Richardson were in the top 4. That leaves only 2 other spots. I highly doubt that Idzik had the diminutive Austin rated that highly. His lack of production at the NFL level proves that his detractors were probably correct about his ability to succeed at the next level. Unless you can substantiate your statement about Austin being the top rated player on Idzik’s board I think you should retract that statement especially if you are basing that information on what the clown media have said. I HIGHLY DOUBT that it is accurate. I don’t believe he was even in the top 10 on Idzik’s board.

    P.S. I do however agree with your assessment of Jet fans in general. The hypocrisy of some Jet fans knows no bounds. When some other teams take the same patient approach to free agency they are hailed as smart and shrewd. The Jets finally take the same approach and they are viewed as missing out and blowing free agency after a week. Let’s hope that Idzik ignores all the hypocrisy and sticks to his patient long term plan.
    There is no guarantee that it will work but the odds of it working are much greater than the free spending, draft pick trading ways of past Jet front office staff. Like Parcells said once you start listening to the fans you’ll soon find yourself sitting out with them in the stands.