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JETSerious: Role of New GM & How Mike Tannen-Bombed It

By JETSerious
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Before I get into an explanation about the title, I want to tackle a couple of quotes that stood out to me today…

ESPN (Radio)

Skip Bayless on ESPN radio, referring to Stephen A’s quote…

”This is Woody Johnson’s way of saying ‘Tebow was my fault. I pushed it on Rex. He failed because of it so now I owe Rex, not only another year, but to (let him) help pick the next GM.”

While I don’t always agree with Stephen A Smith, I can’t argue with his point here.

YES (TV)

Mike Francesa:

“If they (Jets) just failed in that scenario, why repeat it?”

He’s talking about the new GM, and how he’ll be in the same spot as Mike Tannenbaum… meaning if Woody’s team fails, Rex will stay and the GM will go.

Here’s my problem with it:

Francesa fails to mention that Mike Tannenbaum was in control, making the final say in personnel decisions. He’s a cap and numbers guy!  That’s why he got the ax! Not because he was in the middle of a Ryan-Johnson sandwich! Tannenbaum couldn’t provide Rex with the weapons that were needed on offense… and it was obvious all year.

Francesa went on to say that Rex Ryan gave his stamp of approval on every draft pick.

Adam Schein will help clarify…

Francesa is just using Rex as a scapegoat, in defense of his Parcells guy, Mike Tannenbaum.

Tannenbaum had the reigns when it came to making personnel transactions.

The next GM needs to have a respectable history, in player scouting and personnel decisions. With Woody and Rex in place, they’re only missing their 1/3.

Foundation:

Woody and Rex are a team. They want someone to take Tannenbaum’s old role… the role of collecting talent and handpicking players that fit the scheme.

There are 3 things that are consistent here:

  1. Rex will coach.
  2. Woody will get his publicity.
  3. The GM will build the team.

Yeah, Rex will have a say in personnel decisions, just like he does in the GM search… But he doesn’t get the final word. Woody Johnson notices the consistencies in the list above. That’s why he started talking about the organizational goals in the press conference; of becoming a stable and consistent franchise. Once they find the right guy to make these important decisions, they’ll have their foundation set.

So who gets the ax if this foundation falls apart? The GM you (Francesca) say? No. It’s the weakest link.

This time it was Tannenbaum… because of his inability to build a team with talent and depth.

Next time around, it could be head coach that is the problem. That would mean Rex would get the ax, right?

Exactly.

As much as Woody loves Rex, if the head coach is the reason for another franchise depression, he will feel the flames from his family, friends, and Jets Nation… especially if his reputation is trampled on through the media. Woody Johnson loves the headlines, but if he becomes the Jerry Jones of the New York Jets (making personnel, coaching, and draft day decisions) he will quickly emerge as the most hated man in New York and New Jersey. I believe he is aware of this, as well.

Let me explain… About a week ago, Woody Johnson came out with a statement saying, “We will have a firm guide us to our next general manager”.

If you pay attention to the NFL, The Dallas Cowboys, or Jerry Jones, you’d know that the Billionaire owner (Jones) would never seek help on a Cowboy issue. He’d rather grab a tissue.

This is why he is viewed around the league as an owner who is too involved in his franchise.

Now this next point may surprise you, but just take it in, before judging whether you agree/disagree.

Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan aren’t as dumb as their reputation through the media would suggest. Say what u want about them (regarding PSLs with Woody and his publicity fetish, not to mention Rex Ryan’s foot fetish) but these two are who they are. While remaining confident, they also notice failure when it’s staring them in the face. And Mike Tannenbaum was that failure.

Please take the jump to page 2! We will take a close look at how Mike Tannen-Bombed it…

Draft

  • Vernon Gholston (’08)
  • Mark Sanchez (’09)
  • Kyle Wilson (’10)

Each in the 1st round.

  • Vladamir Ducasse (’10)
  • Stephen Hill (’11)

Both 2nd rounders.

These are bad draft picks. Stephen Hill has plenty of time to grow but he’s the only legitimate exception. Vernon Gholston will go down as an all-time bust. He also has a lazy eye, apparently.

To give Tannenbaum credit, he did draft  the likes of D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, David Harris…but it’s too unpredictable with this guy.

The issue that Jets Nation had with Mike Tannenbaum was that… he never added depth. Free agents like Darren Sproles could’ve been signed, and depth could’ve been added late in the draft. For the Jets to part ways with a player like Terrance Ganaway, who the Jets needed for depth, is unacceptable.

A good General Manager would know better.

The 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds of the draft are where good franchises build depth…. which brings me to the next topic….

Depth

Tannenbaum failed to add depth at virtually every offensive position. I think that sums it up, right?

Trades

“Trader Mike” got his name from the blockbuster trades he was constantly making. Acquiring Brett Favre, Kris Jenkins, and trading up in the draft for Darrelle Revis are just to name a few.

It was exciting, but unfortunately inconsistent.

Trading away fan favorite Leon Washington was a bad move. He was the heart and soul of this offense, at one point. For him to get treated the way he did was an embarrassment to the fan base… or me at least. Leon bounced back from his injury and made the Pro Bowl as a returner. Joe McKnight has done us well on Special Teams, but as a leader? I don’t think so. Leon Washington made everybody around him better, by playing his heart out.

Trading away Kerry Rhodes wasn’t any better. There was no one to fill the void… except Eric Smith. He’s notorious for getting beat downfield by athletic tight ends. Landry was a great pick up, but we traded Rhodes just after 2009…years before Landry jumped into the picture.

Traded/Allowed Veterans to Walk

  • Thomas Jones
  • Alan Faneca
  • Shaun Ellis
  • Damien Woody
  • Leon Washington
  • Tony Richardson
  • Kris Jenkins
  • Jerricho Cotchery
  • Brad Smith
  • Jimmy Leonhard

Although some of these players haven’t produced as of late, or retired, the reason I bring them up is for one reason…. Team Chemistry.

Who did Mr. T. expect to take over once the leaders had left? The players in the Jets locker room had a great amount of respect for these veterans.

Mike Tannenbaum misjudged the importance of leadership and team chemistry.

Arrogance

Tanny chose not to address glaring needs at WR, OL, and OLB (prior to and during) the 2012 season. He chose to sign Jason Hill off the street (dropping a pass below) and plead his case for starting Wayne Hunter, which is absurd.

When it got out of hand, he shipped Hunter to STL. leading to a Jet-Nation-celebration. It was a brilliant move if we got a piece of gum for Hunter. Austin Howard did his part, temporarily, filling a hole in the foundation… left by a Tannen-Bomb.

Mr. T never got the pass rushing OLB that fits Ryan’s 34 defense. Mo Wilkerson and Quinton Coples have been great and will be for years to come, but the Jets are back to where they started. The Vernon Gholston pick couldn’t have gone worse, and we’re STILL trying to recover….. again… a Gholston hole from a Tannen-bomb.

You see, every time Tannen-bombed it, another piece was missing from the puzzle.  Trading Rhodes, drafting Gholston, and failing to draft RB replacements for Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, or LT set us back.

The list can go on and on.

It’s the body of work.

Mike Tannenbaum showed me from 2009-2012 that he looks good standing on the ground and the Jets are winning…but when he falls and the Jets are losing, he can’t get back up. He stays down.

In other words, he has no resilience. I suppose you could say the same for Sanchez, but that’s why I believe in what Rex is doing. The impression I got from him in yesterday’s press conference is that… he wants his football team to reflect his personality. It’s a cultural mechanism for Rex. It worked in 2009 and 2010, going 4-2 in the postseason. He just needs the orginization as a whole to be confident and believe.

Mark, on the other hand, lost his confidence.

Rex makes it clear that he will never doubt himself. If Mark Sanchez can’t get his head straight and his confidence back, Rex will be changing the number on his tattoo, because they simply cannot coexist.

My intention is not to bash Mark Sanchez or Mike Tannenbaum, but rather point out their inconsistencies. Their failure to overcome adversity has been detrimental to this organization. That’s why Tannenbaum had to go. As for Mark Sanchez?

That remains to be seen…

Thanks for reading!

And be sure to Follow @JETSerious on Twitter!

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