New York Jets: In Defense of The John Idzik Way


The following article is based on certain rumors reported by others and conjectures recently made by me. I previously offered the hypothesis that John Idzik was trying to sabotage Rex Ryan, and recent rumors have indicated that maybe Idzik wanted Rex gone all along and was waiting for him to get fired. Rex Ryan was forced on Idzik; he was even part of the interview process. Generally the general manager’s job is to build a football team that can sustain success, to determine the type of players that are brought in and the system that would ensure their eventual success. A general manager’s job(ideally) is to build a sustainable successful franchise from the ground up.

Idzik was brought into a salary cap nightmare with a coaching staff and front office forced upon him. While this should have been a reason for distress among Jets fans it is irrelevant at this point, and while we criticized Idzik for not adding talent to this roster(myself included), maybe we overlooked the handicap he was given. Now I ponder, what if Idzik is doing his best right now to prove the incompetence of the people that were forced upon him? This includes the coaching staff and the scouts in the front office. Perhaps this is why Idzik didn’t delve into the free agent corner back market, to sabotage the head coach so he can bring in his own. Perhaps this is why Idzik didn’t trade away any draft picks, maybe he wanted the scouts to prove themselves finding diamonds in the rough or fail.

Dec 1, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan coaches against the Miami Dolphins during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 16-13. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jets Nation is divided on the future of Rex Ryan and his career in New York.  Some laud him for the back to back AFC championship games, while others now look at four unsuccessful seasons in a row. Rex Ryan succeeded on many levels when he first became the Jets head coach, he recognized the talent of the team and found ways to utilize them. Darrelle Revis became an important name not long after Rex Ryan’s first press conference as the Jets head coach when he stated “Oh, and by the way I think we might have one of the best cover corners in the NFL”. He utilized what was then a mighty offensive line to establish a running game and help out a rookie quarterback. However, while Rex Ryan has been regarded as a players coach, when he was given a good roster he did well, but when he was given a mediocre roster the team performed mediocre, now when he has been given a sub-par roster, the team has performed sub-par.

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws the ball in front of New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets drafts have been a mixed bag for several years now, from draft busts such as Vernon Gholston to potential perennial Pro Bowl players such as Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Unfortunately the misses far outweigh the hits so far, and furthermore, their tactics have been less and less effective over time. The same scouting staff who drafted Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson went on to draft Stephen Hill, Geno Smith, and Brian Winters. Perhaps they are out of touch with the times, not understanding what type of players are successful in the NFL today. Furthermore, this same staff was given twelve draft picks in this last year’s draft, a draft that might yield some of the most prolific wide receivers in the game for years to come. Of the Jets 12 draft picks, four are no longer with the team, two are on injured reserve and one is on the practice squad. One has been a consistent starter.

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The Jets woes are on more than one man, there has been a failure to perform on many levels from front office to coaching staff to players. So what if Idzik is trying to get people fired so he can bring in who he wants? What if Idzik doesn’t have faith in the scouting department and wants to rebuild it? What if Idzik has a different idea of how the coaching staff should look and wants the opportunity to build it with the people that would best suit his vision of a sustainably successful football team? What if Idzik just wants the same opportunity any new general manager would have when they join a new team?