Don’t get me wrong, the New York Jets were absolutely right to bring back head coach Rex Ryan. He led this offensively challenged team to a final record of 8-8. Overall, his defense was solid in 2013 despite secondary struggles. These problems mostly can be attributed to youth and fatigue. Either way going .500 when many expected no more than five victories is impressive. After winning their season finale owner Woody Johnson confirmed that Ryan will return in 2014.
Now, excuses are out the window. Last offseason saw Gang Green deal with a horrible cap situation brought on by bad contracts. This time around, there supposedly will be a great deal of finical flexibility. More money can come free if Mark Sanchez, Antonio Cromartie, and Santonio Holmes get released. Making these moves allows general manager John Idzik to address major weaknesses. Ryan’s defensive acumen provides peace of mind, but better receivers are needed. Adding at least one safety also helps, while the final piece should be a quality backup and/or competitor for Geno Smith. If all of this happens then nothing short of AFC East contention will be acceptable. Four straight seasons of Playoffs is unacceptable. I don’t want to get ahead of myself though because that is some time away. All I am saying is that Ryan needs playmakers to work with. His defense should be just as good. Explosive talent on offense could make New York a real threat. High-end free-agent targets at receiver should be a priority. This coach will finally have a chance to see what he can do.