Florham Park, NJ – From the start of the season it was apparent. The team had a new way of handling the media. Basically they were going to say as little as possible. There was never any conversation past that week’s game, and today, with the season over, John Idzik and Rex Ryan were barely willing to talk about tomorrow.
It might not be the most exciting (or informative) approach, but it’s better than the circus that seemed to reside at Florham Park in seasons past.
But as Ryan and Idzik danced around questions, and exchanged glowing remarks for each other, their owner, and team there was a moment that stood out. Asked for the umpteenth time about Geno Smith being the starter next year, Ryan rolled his eyes and almost laughed in disbelief.
The answer you’re going to get from these two men is: nothing has been decided. Probably because nothing has been decided. September is a long ways away. There are plenty of intriguing quarterbacks in free agency and the draft, and who knows what will happen.
But it would be a shock if Smith isn’t at least involved in a competition. He made the strides the team was looking for. So while anything can happen, the organization has piece of mind to fill other holes and can feel comfortable giving Smith another year to prove he is the answer.
“I think we’ve seen [Smith] make great strides as the season went on.” said Ryan. “I thought Geno improved by leaps and bounds [in the turnover department] as the season went on.”
But for the Jets, in the immediate future all the questions are with the coaching staff. We know Rex will be back, but we don’t even know for how long. NFL Network reported that he will likely only get a one-year extension, and Rex almost confirmed that today.
“I’m comfortable,” said Ryan when asked about heading into the last year of his contract. “I’m the guy that looks for opportunities. I have an opportunity right in front of me to coach the New York Jets. That’s all I need. I love it.”
If the team is ascending, like the two men believe, then Ryan should receive a much bigger extension next year. For now he seems content with proving he is worth it.
The rest of the staff is even a question for next season. It seems unlikely Marty Mornhinweg or David Lee will be released, but outside of that it’s anyone’s guess.
“I think it’ll be pretty clear what the Jets think of our coaches here in the next few days,” was Ryan’s best way of answering the question.
It might even be Dennis Thurman on his way out. Either way, it appears we will have our answer soon.
Overall the mood was very positive. Rich Cimini probably described it best when he tweeted: “I can summarize this news conference this way: Rex loves John. John loves Rex. They both love the Jets. They’re both excited about future.”
The whole team seems excited for next season. And when they say that it doesn’t just seem like lip service. It feels in every sense that this team is building something. And with all the resources they have this offseason, if Idzik does his job well, the season shouldn’t end this early next year.