More Thoughts on the Mike Tannenbaum Firing


Dec 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum (left) and head coach Rex Ryan before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the relationship pictured to the right has come to an end. Mike Tannenbaum is out as the general manager of the New York Jets, and Rex Ryan is staying on as head coach. It was a move that we all knew was coming. Big changes needed to be made, as the Jets failed to reach the playoffs for the second year in a row. Woody, for what it’s worth, has not been afraid to make the big change, and he sensed that the talent on this roster was its undoing. Therefore, Mike had to go.

With Mike out the door for the final time, let’s not forget the good that he did for this team. He has to get a lot of credit for the championship runs for 2010-2011. I know a lot of people give Eric Mangini credit for the talent evaluation, but fact is that Mike was the GM, he has to get some credit for making the picks. His first draft as GM yielded Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson. We can all agree that there is no way we are in championship games without those two players. His second draft gave us David Harris and some guy named Revis. Those are pretty good picks too, wouldn’t you say?

Even his later drafts were not all misses. When healthy, 2008 draft pick Dustin Keller was a huge asset to the offense. He was hurt for most of 2012, but a healthy Dustin Keller was major to the passing game. Don’t forget 2011, which brought us Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, two guys that both came on quite strong this year. Ellis is going to be a talented force on the defensive line, and Wilkerson is set to be a perennial Pro Bowler. Don’t forget Quinton Coples, who although didn’t have a lot of sacks, still led the team .

Mike Tannenbaum’s time here was not all bad.

Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; St Louis Rams defensive end Vernon Gholston (70) on the sidelines in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

However, in the NFL, it’s a “what have you done for me lately” business, and Mike has fallen short of late. The guy to the right is one of the biggest fails of his tenure. Vernon Gholston. I don’t really need to say more about the guy. Was going to be the guy to tear apart offensive lines, but he couldn’t learn the plays, so he is gone. He also picked a fullback on his coaches say-so, John Conner, who could not stick with the team in 2012. There have also been some questionable picks that the jury is still out on, such as Stephen Hill, and Vladimir Ducasse.

There were also the issues of depth that did him in. The issues last year on the offensive line when Nick Mangold went down were undeniable, but the Jets had no depth. In 2012, yes the Jets found Austin Howard, but we should all be relieved that the group stayed healthy, as there really was not much depth behind the starters. And this year, we all know the issues. Specifically the offensive issues. They were lacking in playmakers after Santonio Holmes went down. There were opportunities to help in season and Mike didn’t, so he is gone.

But remember, it doesn’t stop here. The GM choice is going to be crucial. Rex Ryan has been retained for next year, so far. Will the Jets be able to find a GM that will be able to accept that? Will a new GM insist on selecting their own coach? Rex will have to be a part of this process, as Rex will have to be able to be on the same page as the new general manager. This search must be handled with care, as it will determine the immediate future of the franchise.

The changes coming to the offense are crucial too. Will Rex continue with the “Ground and Pound” philosophy, or will a change be imposed on him by a new offensive coordinator? If they stick with “Ground and Pound”, will the new GM be able to build an offense in that mold?

Good start today, but a lot more work has to be done. A lot of crucial work. Stay tuned.