John Idzik’s Weakness Exposed During Early New York Jets Games


Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver

Alshon Jeffery

(17) is tackled by New York Jets free safety

Antonio Allen

(39) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I am a fan of the John Idzik way. I have bought into the concept of “sustainable success”, and Idzik has turned me into a believer. The Jets have a good nucleus of players to succeed, and overall, John Idzik has done a good job at turning over the New York Jets roster.

But, recent games have taught us one thing. The John Idzik theory has a problem. John Idzik is stubborn.

The Jets have a lack of depth at cornerback, and at wide receiver. That falls squarely on the shoulders of general manager John Idzik.

Using the draft as a “life line” is actually brilliant. We have talked many times about this, how important the draft is. The most successful teams in this league have many draft picks. The teams that trade away a lot of draft picks, and do it often, are not able to sustain progress. Drafting players brings them into your system, they grow with your team, and the nucleus of the team grows together.

But, you have to be able to adapt. I am not saying that Idzik should have predicted Dee Milliner getting hurt, or Dexter McDougle sustaining a season ending injury. I am certainly not saying that Idzik should have been able to see the Dimitri Patterson saga before it happened. Freak occurrences happen all the time, and nobody can predict the future.

The problem is the lack of a contingency plan. With these three issues, the roster looks very similar to 2013, only missing Antonio Cromartie. That is just not good enough.

When your top healthy cornerback never played cornerback in his life prior to this season, something isn’t right folks. Antonio Allen has done the best job that he can. Fact is, he has gotten beaten by some good wide receivers. This is not all Antonio Allen’s fault. He has had to work against Jordy Nelson and Alshon Jeffery, among others, as of late. Allen is a talented football player, but he has never played the position. It’s not all his fault.

Quarterbacks have completed over 60% of the passes thrown in Allen’s direction. The passer rating against him is 80.7, not bad, but not great either. Allen has given up the fifth most yards of any cornerback in the league with 205 yards. When coach Rex Ryan, who like him or not is a great defensive mind, believes that this is the top cornerback on his roster, it’s a problem. That is not on coach Ryan. That is on John Idzik.

By the way, the passer rating against opposite side cornerback Darrin Walls is 117.6.

Folks, this is not good.

Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears free safety

Chris Conte

(47) and cornerback

Isaiah Frey

(31) stop New York Jets wide receiver

Eric Decker

(87) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Decker was the prized signing of 2014 free agency. He was by far the best wide receiver available, and John Idzik got his man. He set his price, brought the player in, and was able to sign Decker to a deal that worked out for both sides. Kudos to John Idzik for the move.

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But, what about behind him? Eric Decker is clearly hurt now, as he was not able to finish the game against the Bears due to his hamstring. Hopefully it is not serious, but it is clearly affecting him. How did things go Monday night without him? Well, other than Jeremy Kerley, the receivers were not getting separation from defenders, and Geno Smith felt like he had to force the ball in to make a play.

Sound familiar, folks? It should. It sounds a lot like 2013. I don’t think any of us want to see that movie again. Hated it the first time.

This problem again lies at the feet of John Idzik. He is responsible for this roster. I am not saying that he should start giving away all of his draft picks, Mike Tannenbaum style. I am saying that once in a while, he might have to trade a precious draft pick or two to help this team. They cannot just sit there and stay the course. When there is a problem they have to fix it. Idzik needs to not sit stubbornly by, sticking to his plan, without being able to adapt.

Even his precious Seahawks did not have ALL draft picks on their team.

John Idzik is, and will be, a good general manager. But if he can’t learn to adapt, Idzik will never be a great general manager.