The New York Jets have undergone an organizational facelift this offseason. New General Manager John Idzik has decided to clean house and move in a new direction, but one major piece of the “old Jets” remains in place for now: Rex Ryan. Despite speculation that Ryan would be fired, he’s been given another chance. This will be his last chance, though. And unfortunately for Ryan, he doesn’t have much to work with.
The last two seasons have humbled Ryan. He’s no longer seeking the media spotlight the same way he has in the past, and his focus is rightfully shifting back to the football field. It’s clear that his ego has been bruised by back-to-back failures in 2011 and 2012, but is it too late for him to rebound and save his job? My guess is that it is too late.
The Jets are not expected to be a playoff team in 2013. In fact, many expect them to finish at the very bottom of the league. This is not directly Ryan’s fault, though. They’re dealing with a weak offense, a depleted defense, and they’re pressed for salary cap space. Yet as dire as the situation is for the organization as a whole, it will be Ryan’s responsibility alone to produce a winning football team. He is both blessed and cursed with the position of coaching in New York where every move is scrutinized, both good and bad. Ryan’s been praised for his previous successes, but now he is being held accountable for the Jets’ failures. Another losing season will have the New York fans and media up in arms, and the front office will most likely cut him loose.
2013 is Ryan’s last chance for redemption. Though it seems as though he’s being set up for inevitable failure, his personality has never been to lose hope whatsoever. Ryan will have to think carefully about every decision he makes, as the implications could be major. It will certainly be an uphill battle, because at this point in time the only thing that will save him from losing his job is a winning season.