The Jets Must Stop the Organizational Leaks
By Alan Schechter
Nov. 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets have their problems that they need to rectify before 2013. They have the quarterback situation to figure out. They need to square away having a bell-cow running back. They still need speed at the outside linebacker position. Those are just the roster issues, don’t forget about the front office issues, coordinators, GM, …etc. They have all of that. But, they have a much bigger problem on their hands. It is a problem that Woody Johnson must get out in front of now, before it’s too late. That problem is the leaks within the organization. They have to stop.
This has been going on all season long, and it must stop. It started early, when Gary Myers had “sources” that said that Tim Tebow would ask to be traded. Later on, there were the sources that talked about that Tim Tebow was a “terrible” quarterback. Then, we had the quarterback decision that came up, following the Cardinals game. “Sources” advised how high powered members of the Jets organization was leaning in who should start.
It didn’t stop there.
We had the rumors about Tim Tebow asking to not be used in “Wildcat” situations, after being passed over as the starter for McElroy. I admittedly jumped to conclusions on that one, as Tebow denied it, but did admit to some things he did say. Then, we have the most recent situation. Manish Mehta again released a story, citing “sources”, that said that Rex Ryan would rather be fired if Woody Johnson isn’t willing to invest in rebuilding the offense. Ryan denied the story vehemently, and expressed his displeasure at the reporter for not putting the denial in his report. Understandable.
As far as the rumors themselves, the reality is probably somewhere in the middle on each one of these stories. Something WAS probably said. In Rex’s case for example, a reporter mentioned that Rex made his comment in jest. The likely scenario is that in each one of these cases, something was said, and then was twisted to fit the story that the source wanted, and that the reporter wanted to spin. But that doesn’t matter. Something was said. And that is the problem. This organization is leaking faster than a bottle of water turned upside down with the cap off.
Woody, you have to stop this now. If you don’t, none of the roster issues mentioned above will matter.
Turn the page and we will talk more about it.
Oct 8, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets coach Woody Johnson attends the game against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. The Texans defeated the Jets 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Note to Woody, whatever changes you make come Monday, you had better get out in front of these leaks going forward. It may not sound like a big issue, but it is. Remember the old Bugs Bunny cartoons? At least, I think they were Bugs Bunny. Remember the ones where there would be a leak of water, so Bugs would plug it with a finger? There would be another, and so he plugged it with another finger. But the problem was, nobody fixed the structure that was leaking. The leaks kept coming, and sooner or later, Bugs ran out of appendages to plug with, and the leaks took over.
Same thing in an organization. The longer the leaks are tolerated, the more will come. Yes, each leak will be “plugged” up by a denial. But, without fixing the structure, the leaks are tolerated, so there will be more, and more, and more, until they aren’t able to be plugged up. The team will be so overflown with leaks, the structure of the entire ship will fall apart, and they will fall into anarchy.
That is why Woody Johnson must stop this now.
Why are the leaks such a big deal? They break down the structure of an organization. If anyone who wants to can just drop information to the press whenever they like, the structure is corrupted. Information must come from the person that this information is about, period. If a source within the organization can drop hints about Rex Ryan whenever he/she wants, it takes credibility away from Ryan’s position. How does Rex maintain credibility as the head coach, if anyone can go around telling people what he thinks, or doesn’t think? How can anyone? That is how the structure, with the cartoon metaphor, breaks down. The more then happen, the weaker the structure.
Same for the players, even the one I want out, Tim Tebow. If people are going to drop what they feel is the truth, whenever they like, how can anyone preserve their reputation? How about their standing amongst their teammates? The answer is, they can’t, and it’s not healthy.
How can anyone feel comfortable doing their job in this scenario as well? If the “walls have ears”, as they say, how can you feel comfortable within those walls? Say you went to work, and then in a week, your boss called you into a closed door meeting. They confront you with a statement, brought to them by an anonymous source. Would you feel comfortable going to work? Safe? Of course not. How could you?
That is why Woody Johnson must step in. This is HIS team. He owns this team, he is responsible for the organizational structure. He has to seal these leaks up fast. Otherwise, the roster needs will not matter one bit. The structure of the organization will be forever weakened, to the point of no return.
Fix it Woody, Now.