Last year at this time, John Idzik was the general manager of the New York Jets and Rex Ryan was an embattled head coach. Many fans had already begun clamoring for Idzik’s job after a disappointing free agency period and a lackluster draft as well. The public relations department tried to put its best spin on things, but it was growing more apparent by the day that last year’s team wouldn’t provide much in the lines of being competitive.
Things have changed drastically since last year. Idzik is no longer part of the Jets and Rex Ryan has moved on to the Buffalo Bills. Instead, they have been replaced by general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles.
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Everything has seemingly changed overnight it would seem. Maccagnan went out in free agency and aggressively spent in the free agency market. In just a short period of time, he managed to entirely revamp the beleaguered Jets’ defensive secondary and add competition at nearly every position on the field.
Bowles comes to the Jets with a reputation as an aggressive defensive mind and a no-nonsense type of coach. His defensive skills have been highly touted but he also has indicated he will be involved in both sides of the ball as a new head coach.
Both men have already put their marks on this team, with Maccagnan revamping a long struggling Jets scouting department, and Bowles hiring his own coaching staff, including the hiring of well traveled veteran offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
I think it’s much more then just the changes in the faces that make up this Jet team though. This year they are beginning to take on the air of a different franchise. Owner Woody Johnson has found two men that know their job and have gotten things right since landing in NYC. The coaching staff appears to be top notch and the players at least from the early reports have taken to the new staff very well.
Things are changing around the Jets and that is a great things for fans. Competition has returned to the OTA’s and promises to heat up as the summer does as well. Last year’s incompetence has been replaced by talent ridden competition.
May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Fans have put behind the dismal 4-12 season of last year and are looking eagerly forward to what promises to be an exciting season for the Green and White. It’s very early on, but with both a successful free agency and draft behind them, murmurs of “play-off runs” can be heard concerning the Jets these days. Excitement has returned to much of the fan base even this “Jet Skeptic” has to admit things are looking more positive then negative for a nice change.
There are questions remaining to answer. There are plenty of competitions to play out yet. Injuries must be avoided and rookies and veterans must all prove their worth. It’s that time of year where most fan bases are excited for what could be the best season yet for their teams. Fans have good reason to be optimistic since talented competition is present at nearly every position which should produce the best of the best to start next season. What a difference a year can make!
The Jets are a team in transition, both for the players and the fans. A ton of new faces on the roster will mean positional groups will need to adjust to not only the new personnel, but the new schemes being installed as well. Fans are clearly transitioning to a different view of their recently embattled team. With a team undergoing so many transitions, it makes it hard to predict what this season will bring, but I think even the most skeptical of Jets fans would agree, this will be a much more watchable season than last year.