Rex Ryan, Not Woody Johnson, Needs to Change Things Up
Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager John Idzik (left) talks with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan (center) and Jets ownerWood
y Johnson before a game against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
At 1-6, the debate continues to heat up about the future of the two Jets’ head men, coach Rex Ryan, and general manager John Idzik. The losses have mounted, and so have the injuries, especially at the key position to Rex Ryan and his defense, cornerback. The Jets have become a far cry from what they were during the first two years of Rex Ryan’s tenure. Is this the end of the road for Rex Ryan? Is six years enough time?
You all know how I feel about Rex Ryan, and I still feel the same way. Despite the losses, the New York Jets play hard for coach Ryan. Look at how they played on Thursday night against the Patriots as a prime example. Despite entering the game at 1-5, and shorthanded at the cornerback spot, the Jets nearly won the football game. Look at the season so far, the Jets have been in every game except for the Chargers game. The head coach should receive credit for that. Ryan has done the best he can with the roster that he has.
What about John Idzik? He obviously didn’t give the Jets the depth they needed at the cornerback position. Ryan’s defense can’t function to the best of its ability without good corners. Heading into the Patriots game, he had only added Eric Decker to the wide receivers. Prior to the Percy Harvin move, Idzik was banking over $20 million is free salary cap space. Should John Idzik go?
Belive it or not, I say no as well. To a man, I don’t believe that Woody Johnson felt he would have a Super Bowl winner two years into John Idzik’s tenure. It does take time to turn over a roster. The Harvin trade shows us that he is willing to make a move that spends money. Like it or not, we have to give John Idzik more time.
So, what then? I say the house cleaning needs to come not from Woody Johnson, but from Rex Ryan. Key changes to his coaching staff will make a world of difference.
But, who should go?
MIKE DEVLIN: Offensive line coach Mike Devlin needs to be the first to go. Yes, the Jets can run the football effectively. The linemen can fire out and open holes for the backs. The pass blocking stinks, and the line has no discipline. That is why he needs to go.
First, the penalty issue. The Jets’ offensive line has been littered with penalties. The total is 17 penalties, an average of nearly three per game. That’s a problem. The other night against the Patriots, we had a red zone touchdown taken back on a holding penalty. It was far from the first momentum changing penalties called on the Jets’ offensive line.
Let’s talk about quarterback pressure. Geno Smith has spent a lot of time running for his life, and the numbers show it. The linemen have been credited with allowing 59 quarterback hurries, 16 quarterback hits, and four quarterback sacks. The only one with a positive PFF grade so far is Nick Mangold.
That is not just the players. It’s the positional coach. Time for Rex Ryan to make a change, and let Mike Devlin go.
Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal walks out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
SANJAY LAL: The second move Rex Ryan needs to make is to fire Sanjay Lal. I have said it before and I will say it again, Lal adds nothing. Since arriving to replace Henry Ellard as the wide receiver coach in 2012, he has added nothing.
Stephen Hill never got any better in his two plus years with the team. His catching technique never improved. Yes, the receivers are not the best group in the league, but they have had trouble getting separation from defensive backs over the last three years. The best receivers on the team have dropped passes. They run poor routes, often short of the first down marker on third down.
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Are they the most talented bunch in the sport? Of course not. They are better with Eric Decker and now Percy Harvin, but the group isn’t great. That is not on Sanjay Lal, but the fact that his crop of players doesn’t improve is. Time for Lal to go.
If Rex Ryan makes these changes, it will go a long way to improving the New York Jets. Woody doesn’t have to make big moves, Rex Ryan does.