Is John Idzik Responsible for the New York Jets’ Loss to the Tennessee Titans?
Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik during warmups before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
As I watched this game Sunday, I turned it off. Came back, turned it back on. Every play irritated the hell out of me. I had one overwhelming thought throughout the course of the night. I blame John Idzik. Of course when you’re a fan you have to point the finger at someone, but in this case I just can’t seem to shake this feeling. I wrote a blog back in July about waiting to say how much better than Mike Tannenbaum the new GM Idzik would be. We all said Tannenbaum was terrible because of the salary cap issues the Jets had, even though 95% of what Idzik did, were just moves Tannenbaum was expected to make anyway. Things like releasing Jason Smith, Eric Smith, Bryan Thomas, etc. When the salary cap was lopped from 22 million over to 10 million under Idzik was suddenly a great GM for making standard moves. I wrote just for these things alone, does not a good GM make.
Sunday came and I just feel bad for the Jets defense. I feel bad for Rex Ryan. I feel bad for Mark Sanchez. Everywhere that Idzik has imprinted on this team, it seems to be a loss and not a gain. In the 1st round of the draft, I wrote back in March the Jets needed to draft a guard, and a player that can man the position. Players I wrote about were Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, and Larry Warford all who I saw as 1st or 2nd round upgrades to Ducasse. My personal favorite was Warford. All three of those players are starting, even though Cooper suffered a freak injury for the Cardinals. Idzik instead chose to draft a guy in Brian Winters who is neither a starter nor an option in the 3rd round, and signed a player in Stephen Peterman who didn’t even make it past the first cut down date. Ducasse meanwhile, is letting traffic through like a toll both worker on the NJ Turnpike. I will not call Winters a flop, but he was a clear downgrade over the three rookies I mentioned, one of whom the Jets could have drafted in round two(but I’ll get to that later). Instead of drafting one player to actually play the position well, he brought in three by draft or signing, and none are exceptionally good. Idzik is 0-1.
Round two, when the Jets could have gotten the aforementioned lineman to start and block, they chose to get Geno Smith. The idea that a “real QB competition” was needed suddenly merited Geno Smith being the answer to the Jets at QB. Not getting a line, or actual quality skill players to score, it was instead let’s grab another QB. Thus began the Geno Smith vs. Mark Sanchez debate. At the time there were THREE quarterbacks all getting bundled together. They were Ryan Nassib who was quickly rising up boards, Geno Smith who was sliding down the board, and Matt Barkley who people didn’t want because he was from USC. Rather than sit and wait for one to fall, and still fulfill the requirement to get some “real competition” for Sanchez, Idzik went with Geno Smith to add more headlines, but less actual help at generating starters on the field like I don’t know, the aforementioned o-lineman.
Sep 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) stopped for a loss first play from scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Next up was the Chris Ivory trade. You can check my blog history and I wrote that this was not a good move. Chris Ivory is not a bad back, and people like him because he is exciting and he runs hard, but he has never EVER stayed healthy. Through his college career he missed too many games, through his New Orleans career he missed a ton of games. And this is all playing as a rotational back as well, not as a featured runner. That move hasn’t paid off, as I don’t expect Ivory to play in more than 11 or 12 games this year, or any year, that’s just his average. Coincidentally, in the 4th round the Jets could have gotten a QB named Ryan Nassib who about 50% of analysts were stating was better than Geno Smith due to his IQ, quick release, and ability to read a defense pre snap. 4th round trade was a waste in my book. Especially when there are backs like Ahmad Bradshaw, Beanie Wells, or Michael Turner who all could have been the power back and contributed more than the 72 yards Ivory has for the season. They also wouldn’t have required a draft pick to get. Idzik is 0-2 now in my book.
Last thing I’m going to talk about is a quarterback competition which I fully believe was forced on Rex Ryan. No matter what, “It’s still an open competition” is what I’ve heard throughout the summer and preseason. Idzik was saying it about every position including the quarterback position since he was hired, and I have to hear this from the head coach as well. All’s well and good with competition, but when Geno Smith is clearly not ready to be a starter, that doesn’t mean put him out there because Idzik made a knee jerk choice in drafting him. As a result, Sanchez is on IR, and Geno Smith is handing games away one turnover at a time. He is on pace for a 44 turnover season, a few weeks ago, I asked if he turns the ball over 40 times will people still crap on Mark Sanchez for turnovers? Well, it looks like this is coming true.
John Idzik so far has poor drafting, poor signing, and poor trades all in one season. Couple that, by trying to force “his” quarterback onto the field and everyone loses. He has filled the team with depth, which is code for he has filled it with players that won’t play and won’t start. Here’s hoping that Mike Goodson will prove me wrong and not be another hand-picked Idzik job sitting on the bench for “depth”, rather than a guy that can actually play on the field.