There are plenty of bad football teams in the NFL this season. There are teams with worse records than the New York Jets despite having more talent. There are teams who have gotten blown out or been less competitive on a more frequent basis than the New York Jets. Regardless, it is hard to fathom another situation where the season ending will be greeted more happily than this organization and their fan-base.
Rex Ryan press conferences, once entertaining highlights throughout the week of winning seasons, have turned into bumbling, confusing explanations about quarterback depth charts and activation theories. Rex and the rest of the Jets staff is coaching like they don’t expect to be back next year. How else do you explain young players and rookies being glued to the bench in meaningless games? How else do you explain the complete discord between the staff, the front office and even the offense and defense?
The Jets franchise has devolved into “everybody save themselves” mode, as they all desperately try to shift blame and save their jobs. It is sickening to watch such a lack of organization, discipline and vision. As we have previously alluded to, there are no half measures when it comes to fixing these kinds of problems. They require a reevaluation of direction and a fresh set of eyes on the roster.
A clean break doesn’t mean bringing Bill Parcells back for a consulting role, since he has previous working relationships with Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway. Bring in somebody fresh and hungry to prove themselves as a personnel evaluator and General Manager. Mike Maccagnan from Houston was the right idea, just give him the freedom to do the job without Tannenbaum’s interference.
This organization desperately needs to move past the Tim Tebow circus sideshow act. It needs to move past Mark Sanchez who was set up to fail the previous two years and did just that in spectacular fashion. The old faces from the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship Game runs need to be sent packing: Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller and if possible Santonio Holmes among others. Rex Ryan might have to go as well, that needs to be strictly the call of the new General Manager. Right now, Rex doesn’t carry himself like somebody who believes he will back next year or even really wants to be back at all.
The Jets finish up their season in Buffalo this Sunday in a glorified exhibition game against another disappointing team from their division. Yet, the real entertainment will be in the following days. When will the end of season press conference be scheduled? Who will even run it? How many days until Tony Sparano is fired and who from the offensive staff will get the ax with him? It will be an active January of speculation and hopefully front office/coaching staff turnover from the Jets, likely supported by endless anonymous quote stories ran in the Daily News. The only hope is when the dust settles, there are more competent decision makers in place.
This is an obviously critical off-season for the Jets, where a cleaning up of the salary cap needs to take place while attempting to begin the process of starting to fill the numerous holes across the roster. The team will have a top 15 pick in the first round and a pick in every round after that. They cannot afford early round misses and need to find immediate contributors, likely on the offensive line, at outside linebacker and at running back. In free agency, they are going to have to hit with smart, low-cost deals.
The most important thing the Jets do this off-season will be finding a way to improve their self-scouting, which of course means getting people like Tannenbaum and Bradway away from decision making. No more mistaking Shonn Greene for a lead back. No more mistaking Wayne Hunter for a starting right tackle. Look at the roster, find the capable pieces and build around them, while cutting ties with the rest.