The New York Jets Fix Must Start At The Top
Jan 31, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson attends the press conference for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at Rose Theater in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets organization is once again a mess. The team lacks starting quality talent for an NFL franchise, and the fan base is irate over a 1-5 start. Calls have come from many in the fan base for Rex Ryan’s firing, placing the blame on the six-year head coach. Still others are calling for John Idzik’s job, claiming a flawed record in free agency and a lack of viable talent from his draft strategies. The fan base seems to be getting it, the Jets organization needs to be fixed, and the fix needs to start from the top!
Woody Johnson has some very difficult decisions to make this year. He presently owns a 1-5 team, whose players lack significant talent to win consistently. He has an embattled head coach, which either the fan base loves or hates. He has a new GM that is catching the blame for a lackluster roster, and is being criticized for two drafts gone wrong. Johnson will need to make some sort of moves to “right the ship” after the season. Woody is an enigma, you never are quite sure which way he’ll go to fix the perceived problems. Two years ago, he fired Mike Tannebaum, while holding onto to his head coach. While this move is not unheard of, it is not the norm for NFL franchises. The move to retain Ryan while hiring Idzik was criticized at the time, and to date hasn’t worked out for him. Many have suggested that it’s likely he will let Ryan go and retain Idzik. Others have rumors of the exact opposite being the case, Idzik firing with Rex remaining. I think it’s a much deeper problem than that.
I believe the wise thing for Johnson to do is hire consultants to evaluate every management personnel in the franchise. The Jets problems don’t lie solely with either Rex Ryan or John Idzik, it’s just not that simple. Our coaching staff is suspect, Ryan hired this bunch, but it has become apparent that some of these guys lack the talent to develop young guys. Our scouting department is horrible; Idzik brought new faces in to head the scouting department, but it’s clear they must not be elite scouts, as the results of their efforts have produced little in terms of top-level talent. Johnson may be a successful business man in New York, but he’s proven he’s not a competent football owner. He’s missed on his last two GM hirings, and has failed to field a competitive team. So, swallow the ego Woody and allow someone to help fix this team.
Sep 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik reacts during the game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Raiders 19-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It’s my stance that John Idzik needs to be fired. The lack of talent on this football team is a direct result of two years of his flawed draft strategies, and his approach to free agency. I also believe Johnson isn’t qualified to pick his replacement alone, I believe he needs to hire someone to aid in the search. That search needs to include experienced GM’s with a background in personnel, not a contract guy. John Idzik needs to go, but more importantly, the Jet fan base deserves a competent GM with an eye for talent, not the bottom dollar. Fire Idzik on your own Woody, but ask for help in finding his replacement!
Rex Ryan needs to removed as the head coach of this team. I believe he’s been given long enough to develop as a head coach, and win consistently. It’s time to move on from the Ryan era. The new GM should be allowed to hire his own HC and staff without interference from ownership. The new HC, should be free to hire his own coaching staff, with no interference from the GM or ownership. The Jets require a house cleaning in the coaching department.
Clean out the scouting department! This group has been suspect for years, while Idzik did bring in some of his guys to shake up the scouting department, he failed to clean house. The Jets must somehow find the best scouts available, the lack of talent on this roster is solid proof that our scouts are not effectively finding the talent leading up to the draft. The Jets require talent to fix this roster, and it needs a professional group of scouts to evaluate it.
I see no way another GM steps into the position and accepts Rex Ryan as his head coach. I can’t see any way the Jets organization can afford to move ahead with John Idzik. The responsibility lies with ownership, Woody will need to act by season’s end. I would like to add one more option for Woody, though it may surprise many of my readers. The other option is this, keep John Idzik on as GM and allow him to manage the contracts and cap. While allowing Idzik to remain on board, retain Rex Ryan as HC. Give Rex complete autonomy over personnel decisions.
This idea may seem radical, but it just might work. Idzik proved in Seattle that his strength is managing contracts, so allow him to play to his strengths. We all know Rex is known for his defensive mind, he can see talent. Coupled with a top-notch scouting team, the offense can be improved as well. At least publicly, they claim to have built a good working relationship. Woody Johnson could retain both of “his boys” by simply rearranging their responsibilities. It might work, who knows? Would Woody Johnson consider it? Would John Idzik accept it? I think Rex Ryan would love it!
I personally think it’s time for a house cleaning. Start from scratch and move forward. Another rebuild of the roster is apparently needed once again. All eyes will be on Woody Johnson at the end of the season, he ultimately will choose the path this team takes going ahead. He has options, leave things as they are (doubtful), fire Rex Ryan(probable), fire John Idzik ( possible). My option was for discussion purposes, I’m not endorsing it! So you’ve heard my view, clean house. What do you think Woody Johnson will do? What would you do in his shoes? Let’s discuss it!