Is There a Rift Between Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan?


Nov 25 2010; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum watches the team stretch prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan. The two faces of the Jets organization over the last three years, standing side by side. It has been well documented that these two have had a good working relationship. But if you look at recent comments, you wonder if that is starting to change.

First, remember the interview that Rex did with Sports Illustrated, approximately a week ago, where Rex talked about how he did not want to choose Stephen Hill in the second round. Here is the quote to refresh your memory:

“Well, nothing told me he would (contribute),” Ryan told Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. “Nothing. When I saw the tape (of his collegiate play) I was concerned. But (Jets general manager) Mike Tannenbaum and (senior personnel executive) Terry Bradway and all our scouts were adamant about this guy. They were adamant that this guy can do it.

Yes, the interview was a bit tongue and cheek, as Rex Ryan often is. But, he never disputed the idea that this was not the choice that he wanted to make. He was overruled by Mike Tannenbaum and his staff.

By itself, not really anything to pay attention to, as coaches and GMs disagree about draft picks every year in every war room. But take a look at an exchange from yesterday on the next page.

Aug 30, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) and quarterback Tim Tebow (15) along the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jets 28-10. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Yesterday, Mike Tannenbaum went on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” show, and that this to say about how much playing time will belong to Mark Sanchez:

“But again, Mark’s going to be on the field for the lion’s share. You guys will see. His playing time will be 80-90 percent over the 16 games. He’s clearly our quarterback.”

Tannenbaum could have left it at “the lion’s share”, but he didn’t. He had to add a percentage to it.

At his after practice press conference, coach Ryan was asked about a percentage for the Wildcat, and he replied:

We are not going to put a percentage on it. At least I’m not going to.

Rex could have left it with the fact that they weren’t going to put a percentage on it. He didn’t have to add “At least I’m not going to”. That seemed like a shot at Tannenbaum’s earlier comments. Both scenarios together just make me wonder if they are having some tension in their relationship. If they win, it won’t matter. If they don’t, and they are having problems, it could rear its ugly head later in the season.