Is Mike Pettine Safe?


Aug 15, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks with the defensive unit during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday is rapidly approaching, and seems like it will be a big day for the New York Jets. We will finally get the chance to hear from owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan. We can hear where they are at coming out of the 2012 season, and we can look ahead. Will there be a general manager in place? Possibly, but we don’t know that for sure. There certainly may be a signing imminent by the time they hit the microphones tomorrow.

We know that there are big changes coming. Assuming Rex Ryan does coach the team in 2013, we know that the offensive side of the football is going to look very different. For all we know, the entire offensive staff could be dismissed. But what about the defense? More specifically, what about Mike Pettine? Is he safe? Should he be safe?

On the one hand, he has been by Rex’s side forever. He worked closely with Rex in Baltimore, and Mike was the first coach that Rex brought with him to New York, and he handed him the keys to the defense. He has been here the entire time, and does handle some of the playcalling. The facts are the facts, and the defense has been varying degrees of great over the last four years. As well as it played this year, despite the Revis injury, is unbelieveable, and Pettine deserves a portion of the credit for leading this bunch.

But, we know that he is simply implementing Rex Ryan’s defense. It’s his calls, his system..etc. Mike just handles a portion of the teaching, and a portion of the playcalls. He handles all of the day to day grunt work with the unit, but that grunt work is implementing Rex’s system. You could certainly make the argument that Mike is expendable. Furthermore, there is another reason why he is expendable, assuming it’s true. Word is that he is the “anonymous” source that feeds info to the media. A while back, there was a story that he was known as the source, but not fired. Instead, he was given a phone that could be monitored by the team so they knew who he was talking to.

If he, in fact, is still the source of leaks, there is no reason to keep him around. Any new general manager is going to want to end this nonsense as fast as they can, maybe even making this a priority after being named to the job. If they know he is the guy, he will be gone.

Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It’s Rex Ryan’s defense anyway.