Under the Circumstances, Finding an OC Right Now is the Right Move


Jan 8, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson (right) and head coach Rex Ryan (left) review the 2012 season and address changes for 2013 at the New York Jets Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Remember when we were kids, and we would do our math problems, and the teacher would make us show our work? That was because even if we got the wrong answer, the teacher could give us partial credit based on the methods we used to get there. Why is that relevant right now? Because the way the Jets are handling things right now would be exactly the same thing.

The Jets have moved ahead with Rex Ryan at the helm, and searching for a general manager. We have heard that keeping Rex has been a pre-requisite for any general manager candidates, and that Rex will be involved in the selection process for that position. Is that the right thing to do, give your head coach the power to assist in picking his own boss? Probably not. A lot of people, myself included, see the significant possibility of this ending in disaster. But, that is what Woody and the Jets decided to do, so we move ahead.

The Jets also need an offensive coordinator. The Jets are moving ahead on that search as well, which is also causing a lot of people to talk, mostly negatively. People are surprised that the Jets are moving ahead with that search, without a general manager in place. It’s a valid point, a general manager is going to have some say in the staff for the coach, and they should be making those types of choices together. I agree, it is certainly unusual, and not the norm. Don’t let that bother you though, not much of what the Jets do is normal. But seriously, getting back to this issue of whether or not the Jets should be choosing an offensive coordinator without a GM in place. Normally I would agree this is a bad idea, but in this situation, it is absolutely the right move.

Why? It goes back to the situation with our math problems. The metaphorical “answer” in this case, is moving ahead with a coach, but no general manager. The odds are against this working out, there have been far more examples of this not working than there have been of it working. That being said though, we talk about “showing our work”, and we talk about the offensive coordinator. Turn the page and I will explain.

Jan 8, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reviews the 2012 season and address changes for 2013 at the New York Jets Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

For all intents and purposes, Rex Ryan has been given the key to the city here. He has been given the power of being the coach going forward, and taking part in picking the general manager. Woody answered the question about whether or not Rex would be involved in the selection process with a “yes”. Not only is the general manager required to keep Rex, Rex will be taking part in their selection. Think about that for a minute. Rex will have a hand in choosing his boss. Wouldn’t we all like that? It would be nice.

That being said, Rex has holes on his own staff to fill, with the offensive coordinator being the biggest example. The coordinators and coaches are actually staff members that report to Rex. Remember that, and consider this: If Rex is being given power to help choose his boss, why wouldn’t he be given power to choose his own staff? It actually makes no sense. If he is part of the general manager process, but has to wait to pick his own staff, you are sending a mixed message. The message was that “Rex is our guy”. How does Woody go with that message, if he doesn’t let him begin his search for an offensive coordinator? Forgetting the fact that if they wait too long some candidates they like might be gone.

So here is your analogy. The answer of Rex getting all the power is wrong. But, showing your work, by letting Rex go pick an offensive coordinator is absolutely the right move. Not only is it right, it makes complete sense with the message being sent out. See? With the right work, they get the wrong answer, just like when we were kids.