TOJ Roundtable – New York Jets Stay Or Go Edition

The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…

Who will the New York Jets let go during or after the season, not who you think they should let go, but who do you think is actually fired? 

Joe Caporoso – I think one of three things will happen and all have about equal probability as of now.

1 – Both Rex Ryan and John Idzik are back next season. This would be the post 2007 model when the team went 4-12 after an encouraging 2006 but retained their second year GM and kept the head coach (even though Eric Mangini was only in year two and Ryan is now in year six). As this excellent article from OTC highlighted, nothing Rex does these next 7 game should impact the view on his job security but it absolutely could, as we saw last season what a few ultimately meaningless wins over Cleveland and Oakland were able to do. If this occurs, somebody will have to be the scapegoat. I’d bet Marty Mornhinweg, David Lee and even Telfon Terry Bradway would be those scapegoats, as purging a few big names around the organization like that would help smooth over the PR around keeping both the GM and HC. If this occurred, I’d expect pre-2008 levels of spending and aggressiveness this offseason and a “get a veteran QB” at all costs approach. This would be Woody Johnson leaning on his consulting recommendation for Idzik and his personal feelings for Rex.

2 – Both Rex Ryan and John Idzik are fired – A full housecleaning. This becomes more likely if a “carte blanche” coach like Jim Harbaugh is actually in play. Harbaugh is a good enough coach, where you do what is necessary to get him, including cleaning out your whole front office and scouting department. Even without Harbaugh in the mix, the Jets could opt to go this route if things devolve into a 1-15/2-14 type situation and a few more “circus” like events occur in the final eight weeks of the season. This would be a relatively out of character move for Woody Johnson, who was generally patient with both Terry Bradway and Mike Tannenbaum at GM and has been patient with Ryan as the head coach. This move would stink a little bit of caving into public pressure but can be spun because of the uneven job Idzik has done, particularly this past offseason. A first round quarterback could be very much on the table here, as a new regime will want a new signal caller to build around.

3 – Rex Ryan is fired and John Idzik is kept – Johnson giving Idzik a chance to do the job with a head coach he gets to choose, instead of one that is forced on him. This would also hopefully be accompanied by a full cleaning out of the scouting and personnel department who remain from the pre-Idzik days (BYE BRADWAY). The defensive coaching staff could end up leaving with Rex, although it wouldn’t be crazy to think that Dennis Thurman or Karl Dunbar could receive consideration for Defensive Coordinator. Offensively, the entire staff would likely be gutted and a new Head Coach (hopefully with an offensive pedigree) could very well end up with a first round quarterback, although hopefully the Jets don’t feel required to rush him into playing time and show they are learning from previous mistakes. This scenario is Woody leaning on his initial consultation on hiring Idzik, admitting he made a mistake by forcing a HC on him and doing something that wouldn’t be widely popular around the fan-base and media.

Ultimately, if the team finished 3-13 this year and Idzik and his new coach are able to get 7-9 wins next season, it will be marked down as improvement likely buying him time for a fourth overall year and a second year with the new head coach.

Two other less likely scenarios…

4 – Rex Ryan is fired mid-season – The only way this happens is if Rex adamantly refuses to play certain young players. Nobody is saying all the veterans should be swept off the field immediately but it should be a gradual process after the bye week. As of now, there is still no reason for Calvin Pryor sit behind Jaiquawn Jarrett or Dawan Landry when neither are notably better than him, if at all. There is ESPECIALLY no reason for Jace Amaro to sit behind Jeff Cumberland, who is flat out not better than him at anything. Those are the types of things that get people fired mid-season.

It actually may not be the worse thing for Rex or Idzik for him to be let go in season. Idzik avoids an ongoing power play with Rex and prevents further sympathy building for him. Rex gets to avoid having his resume further tarnished and can get a jump on planning for his next move, whether that is becoming a head coach, defensive coordinator or moving to television.

5 – John Idzik is fired and Rex Ryan is kept – Keeping Rex and making a second GM maintain him is basically coinciding that he is your “franchise” coach despite being one Curtis Painter half away from only having one season above .500 in six years. This would be a tough sell to any incoming GM candidate and a relatively bizarre situation. We know Woody is a big fan Rex fan so to write this off as a 0% possibility is impossible.

Cole Patterson – Unlike many of my fellow writers I don’t foresee a massive overhaul after the season. John Idzik will almost certainly remain and if the Jets can string together some wins, Rex may return as well. Even the much maligned Geno Smith will have a shot at the starting job next summer. The only players I feel confident predicting the departure of are older veterans like Chris Johnson and Jason Babin who have been out played by Percy Harvin and Antwan Barnes respectively (since they’ve been on the field for the Jets). The Jets may look to maintain continuity as they continue a tenuous rebuild.

TJ RosenthalI am not in the habit of calling for people to be fired but in this case the GM and HC may both be out the door. I truly envision a Kotite era type of season about to unfold. The Jets are:

1- A defense with no secondary

2- An offense that acquired a weapon opposite Eric Decker in Percy Harvin but did so after the fact, at 1-7.

3 – An organization that way too long to assess Geno Smith at the risk of 52 other players and also an organization that failed to load him up with enough weapons to mask inexperience and improper mechanics that needed time to groom on the job on the fly.

4 – A team that for too many games, has played without discipline and a sense of who they were inside the opponents 20.

5 – A team with a defensive head coach who has now taken two young first and second draft picks and not maximized their potential. In a passer’ss league that over the past six year since Rex Ryan first arrived has become even more of a passing league.

Ryan and Idzik need to go 5-11 and show signs of where this blueprint is headed otherwise I can’t honestly make a case for either returning. Ryan was forced on Idzik so whatever the HC has erred on, it’s not entirely the GM’s fault. However the GM had a huge number of draft picks this year and so far its impact’s has been bare boned at best.

I’ll tell you another thing. When the dust settles I want to know who amongst the current staff and front office was truly behind Geno until last week. I’m curious. Curious to know why it was so essential to risk an entire season that started out as one for the taking in the AFC East, to develop a player who hadn’t show an explosive upside to him once in two years.

Dalbin Osorio – Disagree with Mike OC, but that’s an argument for another day. I think Terry Bradway and Jeff Bauer are fired, and Idzik brings in his own head of scouting and continues to revamp the Jets scouting department. I don’t think Rex goes and I think there’s less of a chance that Idzik goes. We can debate whether that’s the right move or not at another point, but bad franchises fire GMs after two years, and I don’t think the Jets are a bad franchise. Idzik is safe, regardless of what billboard gets put up next. #LetsEat

Michael O’Connor – I think my prayers will be answered and Rex Ryan will get fired.  There’s far too much to dive into about why this will happen and why it is the right move, but he’s no longer a capable coach in the NFL and I think this season finally helped expose that.  I think it’s about a 50/50 shot that Marty Morhinweg goes with him, but I definitely hope it happens. However, I think they’ll give him one more year under a different head coach, which is definitely questionable. And lastly, I think John Idzik will get another chance with a new head coach who ISN’T hot garbage, which is absolutely the right call.

Joe Malfa – Who do I think should be fired? Everyone — this organization needs to start from scratch (again). Who do I think will be fired? EVERYONE.

I believe that the fallout from this abysmal season will begin with the firing of John Idzik. The “Seahawks blueprint” was to build through the draft, and through two drafts, the only player Idzik hit a home run on was Sheldon Richardson — he’s hit a couple of singles and he’s had many strikeouts, but Richardson is the only home run. If a GM believes in building through the draft, it means his team should get progressively better each year. Needless to say, Idzik’s team hasn’t gotten better, in fact, it’s worse than the team he inherited. The experiment of patience and building through the draft has run its course — it’s simply time to move on.

Now, as far as “EVERYONE” being fired, that will be a byproduct of the firing of Idzik. The mistake of forcing a head coach upon a GM has already been made once by Woody Johnson and it’s a mistake I don’t see him making twice. The new GM will bring along a new head coach, and that new head coach will likely bring in a whole new staff. I can see some position coaches being retained such as D-Line coach Karl Dunbar, but other than that, expect a lot of new faces in the Jets organization for next season.


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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports