With one month to go in the season, the New York Jets are 4-7 and pretty much heading toward missing the playoffs for the second straight year barring a miracle. After reaching the AFC Championship game two years in a row, the Jets have gone down hill fast. Their owner Woody Johnson mentioned a few weeks ago, that he didn’t sign up for this type of season. He had hoped the Jets would be not just contending for the AFC East division, but also make a run at the Super Bowl. However after a 49-19 humiliating loss to the New England Patriots, it has become clear the Jets need to make some changes. For Johnson, that might mean deciding the fate of the head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
Tannenbaum has been the Jets general manager since 2006. He has been through 2 coaches, including current coach Ryan, and has made a lot of bold moves during his tenure. Like a lot of general managers, he has hit on some and missed on some. The Jets are an older football team and has money tied up to players under contract who are either under or not performing. The Jets don’t have a lot of room under the salary cap and because of this there won’t be a lot of money to upgrade the roster in free agency. Tannenbaum hasn’t really hit on a lot of players in the draft on younger players to become the new faces of the franchise. He has also traded away a lot of picks for players to make a Super Bowl run and unfortunately that has back fired the last two years. Since Tannenbaum has been with the Jets since 2006, you would think it could be time to bring in another general manager because the roster he has put together is a sinking ship. It doesn’t look like it will get any better next year either.
That bring us to coach Ryan, who has been with the team since 2009. While he came to the Jets promising and arrogantly making bold predictions of the Jets going to win the Super Bowl, the last two seasons have been disappointment and he gets the blame for the teams failure due to his bold predictions. Ryan is the type of coach the Jets needed when they hired him. He is someone that brought a confidence and a swagger that the Jets haven’t had in a long time. The problem is when you talk the talk you have to walk the walk. Ryan got all of the credit when the Jets went to 2 straight AFC Championship games, but he is getting the heat for the teams on field performance because he is the face of the franchise right now. He is really at a cross roads in his Jets coaching tenure and the teams performance the last month of the season will determine if he is back or not. The problem for Ryan is, if Johnson does make a change at the general manager position whoever he bring in would probably want to bring in his own coach. If a change was made, Ryan could survive, but you know he would be on the hot seat again next year if things don’t go well.
Johnson has a lot to consider in the next month. He might not have signed up for this type of season, but its the life of an NFL owner take the good seasons with the bad. You have to make tough decisions that you might feel are in the best interest of the team.