Right now, the world of the New York Jets is spiraling out of control in ways that couldn’t have been imagined in the Rex Ryan era; purported to be one of continued success and stability for an organization that has seriously lacked both of those things for the better part of 50 years.
Driven by a dysfunctional locker room and a bloodthirsty New York tabloid media, the perception of the Jets is such that everything is in flux and no one’s job is safe. Outside of Rex Ryan being the team’s head coach, what can be counted on for this team as 2012 get underway? It appears as though Tony Sparano and perhaps Todd Haley will be brought in to revamp the offense, while fans and – if the suddenly unprofessional and irresponsible Manish Mehta of the Daily News is to be believed – some players have called for Mark Sanchez to be replaced by Peyton Manning.
What really needs to happen? Cooler heads must prevail.
It’s time for Rex Ryan to call a press conference, diffuse some of this media-driven chaos, and most importantly get his players in line. Credit should go to Jim Leonhard and Nick Mangold, who have already come to Mark Sanchez’s defense on Twitter.
The Jets were a flawed bunch on both sides of the ball and their record reflected that. Rightfully, much of the blame fell on the quarterback because of the offense’s struggles at key moments during the season. But remember, the Jets were 8-8, not 2-14. Mark Sanchez threw 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, not 5 and 24.
The point is, things are bad for the Jets right now, but they’re not as catastrophic as they seem. Changes, particularly in offensive philosophy, needed to be made, and are being made (whether or not Sparano is the right move is another debate for another day).
Perhaps more importantly, a new leadership group must emerge for the Jets amongst the players themselves. Rex Ryan, Brian Schottenheimer and the rest of the coaches can only take so much blame for the Jets’ dysfunction. Players must police themselves, and guys like Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Sione Pouha, and most importantly, Mark Sanchez must become the ones who keep order, especially when things don’t go right.