New York Jets’ New Silent Treatment Works, Until it Doesn’t


JJul 28, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan (left) and general manager John Idzik talk following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a new day in New York, with the arrival of John Idzik. First of all, there are no more leaks from the inner sanctum. The media, for the most part, is finding out the information at the same time that we do. What a welcome change? Under the past administration, we basically knew when anyone went to the bathroom, so a little bit of mystery has been nice.

As the preseason has moved along, we have learned a new element to the John Idzik system. The silent treatment. The Jets don’t give out any information at all, until they absolutely have to. Joe McKnight had a “head injury”. Mark Sanchez has a “shoulder injury”. We will find out Mark’s status on Wednesday when the official injury report comes out. We might not find out the starting quarterback until the day of the game.

It’s a very Belichick way of doing things. On its face, it’s also a welcome change. The Jets certainly don’t “owe” the media or us, information before they are prepared to supply it. The Jets are a business, an organization, and they have every right to be on top of, and to control, when information is released.

So it works for now. But here is the thing, we don’t notice this as much from New England. It doesn’t draw any attention anymore. Why is that? It’s because the Patriots, as much as we hate them, do a heck of a lot of WINNING. It’s passed off because, “It’s Belichick, he can do what he wants”. You don’t get a whole lot of criticism on how things are handled if you are winning.

But if you AREN’T winning, the criticism will come. We all know that it is John Idzik behind this change in philosophy. So, if the Jets don’t start winning, the criticism will come about this. The Jets will be called “arrogant” for speaking the media this way, if success doesn’t come from the new strategy. And the head that everyone will want is John Idzik’s.

How do I know this? Because it happened before.

Remember this guy? At one time, we called him the “Mangenious”, coach Eric Mangini. He came on the scene to replace Herman “Play to Win the Game” Edwards. Eric was cut right from the Bill Belichick cloth, as we all know. That cloth included the vow of silence, if you remember. Eric wouldn’t reveal ANYTHING during press conferences. They all came and went, with vague answer, after vague answer, after vague answer. Remember when Jon Vilma couldn’t even confirm which arm was injured?

But, initially Eric was successful. We made the playoffs in his first season. Nobody cared what he said, or didn’t say, during press conferences. The Jets were winning. Who cares about press conferences? We were in the playoffs. The Jets were on the right track, surely everything was perfect!

But then, the Jets started losing. The two final years of Eric’s term, the Jets were out of the playoffs. Remember how we all reacted? We were all sick of Eric. How dare he be so silent? Who does he think he is? Bill Belichick? Come on now, why are they so quiet?

The point is, we couldn’t run Eric out-of-town fast enough. We were tired of him, and his Bill-like attitude. That is why we embraced Rex so much, for being fun and open. We couldn’t handle the silence, because it wasn’t working.

So, it has happened before. The silence is very effective, and is within the team’s rights of course. As long as they are successful. If they aren’t successful, it gets old very quickly. But this time it will be the GM we want out the door, not the coach.