Florham Park, N.J.: The Jets organization is at a crossroads. The team has so many perceived problems, there is not one solution that will guarantee the team with be on the straight and narrow towards a playoff birth for next season. You have heard it all in the past few days: Fire Rex Ryan, fire Tony Sparano, fire Tannenbaum, pay Mark Sanchez and let him walk, etc.
But in all likelihood, ‘blowing it up’ will not happen. The cleaning house process is a long shot, as the Jets brain trust will not admit they were wrong about everything only four seasons into this Ryan-Sanchez era.
I like to think I’ve watched a lot of football in my 22-year-old life. I know the first Super Bowl I vividly remember was back in 2000 when Kevin Dyson caught a pass, reached toward the end zone with seconds remaining and just couldn’t quite make it. I’m not going to tell you I remember Dick Vermeil coaching that game, but I do know coaches like Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Tom Coughlin. Coaches who are been part of the league for decades, coaches who are forever connected with the teams they coached and won with.
But just for kicks, lets rattle off the New York Jets head coaches since 1990: Bruce Coslet (‘90-’93), Pete Carroll (‘94), Rich Kotite (‘95-’96), Bill Parcells (‘97-’99), Al Groh (2000), Herman Edwards (‘01-’05), Eric Mangini (‘06-’08) and Rex Ryan (‘09-Present).
It’s just too many. When you hear about ‘model franchises’ such as the Steelers, Patriots, Packers and the Giants, head coach stability is what sets them apart. Ownership of those teams have complete faith that ‘their guy’ will get the team to where it needs to be.
The Jets have to show that same faith in Ryan. The Jets need to keep Rex Ryan as their head coach and the Jets need to keep Ryan for a long time.
Here is a chart of Super Bowl winners since 2000, the winning head coach and his tenured time with the team.
|Team||Head Coach||Tenure with team|
Rex’s decision Monday night to not dress Greg McElory was misguided and just straight plain wrong, but that alone isn’t the reason to show him the door. The only reason to fire Ryan would be for his stubbornness to not bench Sanchez earlier and try to salvage this season (where his ‘players coach’ mentality becomes a weakness). Aside from that, he can handle himself in this market and has shown the ability to win. He also isn’t rock-headed enough to the point where he knows he needs an offensive mind calling plays on Sunday. It’s well-known players will run through walls for Ryan and I think he’s learned from his previous mistakes such as losing the locker room at the end of last season.
Winning a Super Bowl, finding a franchise quarterback, winning playoff games. These things are difficult! Flip-flopping from coach to coach every few years is a losing formula the franchise has already been through. Some decisions are more obvious than others (have you seen an offensive coordinator have less feel for calling plays than Sparano? Yeesh), but the handling of Ryan seems to me like a no-brainer.
There are plenty of decisions and moves to be made in the offseason to put the New York Jets back on the track towards the playoffs, but axing the relationship the team has with Ryan is not one of them.