The news out of New York Jets training camp that the decision on who will be the starting quarterback will be a collaborative one came as a surprise to many observers.
After all, general managers are supposed to build the roster, then get out of the way while the coaches coach it. By injecting himself into the discussion on the starting QB, GM John Idzik is showing a lack of confidence in head cooach Rex Ryan. When Idzik accepted the job, he was not allowed to bring in his own coach as owner Woody Johnson made him agree to give Ryan at least one more year at the helm.
However, Idzik’s meddling shows that he has no intention of giving Ryan more than that one year.
If Idzik was truly supportive of Ryan going forward, he would allow the coach to make the decision on the team’s quarterback controversy. However, Idzik wants to have a say so that he can get the players he sees as part of the team’s future involved. Ryan needs to win to save his job, and like it or not, Mark Sanchez gives the Jets the best chance to win this season.
Of course, Sanchez has no future with the team, and Idzik would likely much prefer Geno Smith getting a year of snaps under his belt in what is likely a lost season for the Jets.
These conflicting agendas show that Idzik will be looking to bring in a new head coach next offseason.
Most general managers want to hire their own coach who’s views are compatible with their own. Idzik is looking towards the future, which is why he purged the roster of overpaid veterans this offseason, including Ryan favorites such as Bart Scott and Brandon Moore. His focus on the future means that the development of young talent is the primary objective for this season, a goal that will likely result in double-digit losses.
Another losing season almost certainly means Ryan will be shown the door. The handling of the quarterback controversy illustrates that Ryan is a lame duck coach, and he will find it difficult to keep the ear of the locker room. Idzik has made it clear that Ryan has to win to keep his job, but he is not going to make it easy for the head coach.
Idzik has a plan for the future, and his statements Saturday show that Ryan is not a part of it.