From a New GM…ACCOUNTABILITY PLEASE!!
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
In just a few hours from now, we are going to hear from our owner, Woody Johnson, and from our head coach, Rex Ryan, marking the first time we have heard them speak since the end of the football season. We can hear them finally put a bow on the season, and get a glimpse to what the pair is thinking about as we head to the offseason. One thing we WON’T know, however, barring a late move on the Jets part, is who the GM is going to be. We might know it soon, but not quite yet, which will limit what we will be able to find out the team’s direction.
It got me thinking about the new GM. Whether it’s Tom Gamble, Dave Caldwell, or some other candidate that comes out to the front, my feeling is the same. We can talk all day long about what we want this GM to do as far as the roster is concerned. How will he handle the quarterback situation? What will his first draft class look like? How will he and coach Ryan build this coaching staff? We could go on and on. But, there is something more important than any of that. There is something that this organization has been lacking for a long time, and something a new man needs to bring with him. That something?
Accountability. It is an absolute need, from the top to the bottom of this organization. How do I mean? Really since Mike Tannenbaum was named the general manager, there has been a culture of scapegoating around the building. There has been the feeling that one special move, one splash is all that it would take to fix the team. Start it back at the end of 2007. The Jets finished Eric Mangini’s second season 4-12. Instead of this football team manning up and improving, they made one big move. Brett Favre. Forget that Chad Pennington actually did man up, and had his hardest working off season that year to actually get better. Nope, they felt that one move would change the whole thing. Chad was scapegoated, and in walked “Broadway Brett”. How’d that work out? They missed the playoffs again, Brett Favre used the Jets, and it cost Mangini his job.
Dec 18, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer along the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jets 45-19. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Then, the Rex Ryan era begins, and two straight title game trips commence. Great times are happening again through the world of the New York Jets. Then, 2011. We miss the playoffs once again. If you think about it, a blow up of ANYTHING really wasn’t needed. The Jets were 8-5 before losing the final three games. Overall, the offense didn’t have a terrible year, finishing 13th in the league in scoring that year. But, it wasn’t more consistent play the offense needed, we needed a new direction! Scapegoat time once again. Out goes Brian Schottenheimer, and in comes the clone of Rex Ryan, Tony Sparano. How did that work?
Practically the same offense that Mr. Schotty had at his disposal, dropped to a whopping 28th in the league in scoring in 2012. The regression of the offense was obvious to Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. They couldn’t throw the ball, for most of the season they couldn’t run the ball either. The quarterback couldn’t find an open receiver with two hands and a flash light, and the running back couldn’t find a hole with a GPS. Otherwise, the offense had a fine 2012.
So, the knee jerk? The scapegoat? Matt Cavanaugh. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The guy deserves to be out the door, and it should have been done months ago. It almost appears at times that he is teaching Mark Sanchez to be bad, he has to go. It might even be too late to resurrect this quarterback. The offensive coordinator likely will be out the door as well. This too is a move that is necessary, but it also is a scapegoat of a move. Changing the leadership, once again, to get the offense moving.
We need to commit to getting better, not just knee jerk, scapegoat reactions. We need a guy that is going to step into the room, know what the problems are, and make them better. Not taking one guy out of his position, and making a radical change to get attention and spark the team. Consistent accountability for the problems, so they can be solved.
That’s what I want from my new general manager, whoever it ends up being. Accountability.
That’s all I want.