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The Final Drill


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#1 JetNation

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

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JetNation, our long national nightmare is over.  Of course paraphrasing an inaugurated president lacks a little historical perspective, but it has been a long, frustrating season for everyone associated with this franchise.  Apparently so much so for Woody Johnson that he had removed himself, at least physically, from the situation.  He has not been seen around the Florham Park facilities and he did not attend the final game against the Buffalo Bills. The significance of his absence may have been determined this morning when he announced that Mike Tannenbaum had been relieved of his duties.  For everyone close to this team, that announcement was expected.

Johnson also announced that head coach Rex Ryan would keep his job.  Curious if you were to assume an established general manager would expect to have, at the very least, the option to evaluate all personnel including the head coach.  But Johnson’s remarks on Ryan read more like support, than a “for now” scenario.  Starting a new GM search with the immediate limit of control may impact interest with potential candidates, not to mention the general lousy job Ryan has done as a head coach.  The general theme around the spiraling Jets has been that Sanchez and Tannenbaum were reasons number one and two why things have gone so bad so fast.  That idea that Ryan is getting a pass from Johnson, and even many fans, is surprising.  Whether it is the two conference championship appearances or his general likability, it seems Ryan is safe.  It strikes me though, that the respect Ryan enjoys within the organization is not matched by most in the NFL community.  Let’s hope the Jets are right on this one, but the track record on these such issues makes that unlikely.

Yesterday marked the end of the long and distinguished career of special teams coach Mike Westhoff.  He is widely considered to be the best special teams coach in the NFL.  During his tenure from 2001-2012 as the Jets Special Teams Coordinator, 3 different kick-off returners; Leon Washington, Brad Smith, and Joe McKnight lead the league in return yardage. Westhoff also held the same position with the Miami Dolphins from 1986-2000.  His innovation is legendary.  Perhaps he will best be remembered for his often surly, frequently fouled mouth no nonsense approach NFL fans were introduced to during the HBO Hard Knocks documentary series during the 2010 pre-season camp.  With huge personalities like Ryan and Bart Scott competing for sound bites, Westhoff became the surprise hit of the show.  His sarcastic, dry wit became something fans of the show looked forward to every week.    Westhoff’s retirement leaves some huge shoes to fill in a year where many changes will be taking place.  He will be missed by the Jets organization, the fans, and the NFL.  Thank you Mike Westoff for your years of service and enjoy your much deserved retirement.

Now the fun begins for fans of lousy football teams across the NFL landscape.  The excitement of new GM searches, new coaches, off season free agent signings, and high draft picks has begun. Unfortunately for Jets fans, this process has occurred too many times over the last few decades.  The happenings from February thru August offering more enjoyment then what the five months that follow the off season provides.  The Jets pick 9th in the 2013 draft and while the need for a new franchise quarterback is obvious, this particular quarterback-thin draft is unlikely that need will be satisfied.   It has been suggested by many that cap concerns may force the Jets to endure one more season with Mark Sanchez as QB, or at least on the roster. Leaving a rather dreary reality that a Sanchez vs. Greg McElroy quarterback battle may be where the immediate future lies.  Not a very exciting QB scenario for fans or frankly the new general manager. I am certain the Jets will take a flyer on a can’t miss middle round QB, or some veteran looking for a home, but even that thrown into the equation only exacerbates the certainty that the potential to land a franchise quarterback may be several years away.

Their best course of action may be to just land talented football players, to focus on the best player available and not specific needs. That may be the unfortunate luxury a team so desperate for depth and talent can enjoy.  Offense, defense, receiver, running back, linebacker, or safety; the Jets could upgrade just about everywhere but quarterback.  The blank canvas the Jets are at this point allows for a GM to acquire just about any football player and improve this football team.  Then there are of course the rumors of Michael Vick.  I have to admit it feels like one of those deals that would end horribly for the New York Jets, but considering the huge bore this team could be, it could make things a little exciting.  But I think the word of the off-season for the Jets should be stability.  Move as far away from circus acts signings like Tebow or Vick and focus on players that present both talent and character. So as the playoffs begin, Jetnation is left to contemplate what changes are coming and if they get us back to the post season anytime soon.   I am not sure I recall an off-season starting with so many needs and so many questions, and the feeling of torment that those in place to find the answers may not have learned the lessons from their failures.

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#2 SouthernJet

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

Phil, Nice way to impress 'her' for the Press Pass ;)
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#3 SouthernJet

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

I say 'best player' route also, but do trade downs and accumulate players..we need them,,,,

Edited by SouthernJet, 01 January 2013 - 12:57 PM.

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#4 bitonti

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

not to mention the general lousy job Ryan has done as a head coach.

It strikes me though, that the respect Ryan enjoys within the organization is not matched by most in the NFL community.


why exactly has Rex been lousy? The biggest issue fans seem to have with Rex is his mouth. on gameday he's a great defensive coach and he wins more than he loses. As for his reputation, besides his dad, Ryan has a ring with Baltimore and would get another HC job in a nanosecond. Most head coaches only specialize on one side of the ball, the entire coaching profession is based on splitting these guys up by offense and defense (juan castillo is an example of trying to switch sides). Rex's a defensive Andy Reid and I hope he stays with the Jets for 14 seasons. Better to have a good defense than to have nothing.

Edited by bitonti, 01 January 2013 - 01:01 PM.

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#5 neckdemon

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

why exactly has Rex been lousy? The biggest issue fans seem to have with Rex is his mouth. on gameday he's a great defensive coach and he wins more than he loses. As for his reputation, besides his dad, Ryan has a ring with Baltimore and would get another HC job in a nanosecond. Most head coaches only specialize on one side of the ball, the entire coaching profession is based on splitting these guys up by offense and defense (juan castillo is an example of trying to switch sides). Rex's a defensive Andy Reid and I hope he stays with the Jets for 14 seasons. Better to have a good defense than to have nothing.


having a good defense is great, but if it means having absolutely putrid offense then what good is it?
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#6 GangGreen25

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

why exactly has Rex been lousy? The biggest issue fans seem to have with Rex is his mouth. on gameday he's a great defensive coach and he wins more than he loses. As for his reputation, besides his dad, Ryan has a ring with Baltimore and would get another HC job in a nanosecond. Most head coaches only specialize on one side of the ball, the entire coaching profession is based on splitting these guys up by offense and defense (juan castillo is an example of trying to switch sides). Rex's a defensive Andy Reid and I hope he stays with the Jets for 14 seasons. Better to have a good defense than to have nothing.


Easy. First Rex is loyal to a fault, a huge fault. Can you explain why Matt Cavanaugh was retained as QB coach. His only responsiblilty was to help a young QB develop. Mark basically became progressively worse under Cavanaugh. There are multiple factors in Marks decline but to give a guy a fourth season and see Mark slip even deeper into the abyss is ridiculous. Cavanaugh needed to go before this year. And I bet he is back next year.

I have no problem with Rex's mouth, its his unwillingness to back it up that is comical. You can't call yourself a SB team and allow players who clearly don't bring the effort and attitude required to realize that level to stick around and reek of medicority week after week. Wayne Hunter, Matt Mulligan, fumble happy Joe McKnight. Sometimes you need to tell 54 people avergae isnt good enough by letting avg go.

While the entire organiztion is responsile for the white glove wussy treatment Sanchez has been offered, Rex is the main man. Think about how Parcellls used to privately and publically challeng Phil Simms to be better, to be smarter. You think Phil Simms develops into the QB he became under Rex?

You don't find the sidelines on gameday to be a disorganized nightmare. Timeouts to get personnel in, delay of game penalties, too many me in the field penalties.

Rex seemed legitmately unaware of the BS going on in his locker room last year. I cant remember a time when a coach was asked about an issued that was made public by a 3rd string QB. He lost his team and he didnt even know it. That alone to me is a reason to lose a head coaching job. Rex Ryan is no Andy Reid. Not even close. Reid is already the new Arizona head coach (I hear all done but the details). You really think Rex has that clout in the NFl if he were dismissed this year. I say no way. D Coordinator all day long, head coach..I don't think he would be hire anywhere this year had he been let go.
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#7 Maxman

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

Rex needs to improve. That said, blowing things up isn't always the right thing to do. Rex gets next year under a new GM's watchful eye.

If Rex doesn't clear up his warts, the new GM will replace him. But there is enough good with Rex so that he should get another shot here.
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#8 GangGreen25

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Rex needs to improve. That said, blowing things up isn't always the right thing to do. Rex gets next year under a new GM's watchful eye.

If Rex doesn't clear up his warts, the new GM will replace him. But there is enough good with Rex so that he should get another shot here.

If the next GM decided to give Rex a year like Lovie was given by the Bears new GM Emery last year ( as I am sure you know fired now) then fine. If Johnson said we firing Tanny starting our search and the new GM will evaluate our current football operations including personnel and go from there then fine. But to strap a new GM with a coach he may not like may impact the quality of GM the Jets can land. You think guys like Polian or Holmgren are going to enter a situation with a coach they hate. Not saying they do, but what if Holgren were to say to Woody, I am in but I need to bring in my guy to coach. Do you really stand by Rex and risk a less experienced GM as a result.
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#9 SayNoToDMC

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

If the next GM decided to give Rex a year like Lovie was given by the Bears new GM Emery last year ( as I am sure you know fired now) then fine. If Johnson said we firing Tanny starting our search and the new GM will evaluate our current football operations including personnel and go from there then fine. But to strap a new GM with a coach he may not like may impact the quality of GM the Jets can land. You think guys like Polian or Holmgren are going to enter a situation with a coach they hate. Not saying they do, but what if Holgren were to say to Woody, I am in but I need to bring in my guy to coach. Do you really stand by Rex and risk a less experienced GM as a result.


If Mike Holmgren called I'd hang up
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#10 pedro55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

So if you're the Jets new GM, you are faced with Mark Sanchez and that contract and guaranteed $8.5 million. He's QB who is practically un-tradeable. You'll have to pay some other team a lot of money to take him. You'll probably get nothing more than a 5th or 6th round draft pick. You have a backup who isn't a backup and nobody around the NFL thinks can play QB. So you will have to cut or give him away. You are faced with a Head Coach who is a loud mouth, has no clue how to build or run an offense, makes questionable decisions, and is considered a players coach to a fault. But the past two seasons that same 'players coach' lost the team, and the team gave up on him.

You have a star CB who missed most of the year with an injury, who also holds out all the time because he always thinks he's underpaid. And even with him, the Jets still were really an 8-8 team in two out of his three seasons played. (This year doesn't count as anything as he didn't play due to injury). You have another CB who makes great plays, but gets burned at times. He also was on a team that went 6-10 and 8-8 the past two seasons.

You also play in the same stadium as a team who won two super bowls in the past 6 years. You play in a division with Tom Brady and BB.
Your new Boss, Woody Johnson, would rather sign a Tebow or Favre or a Vick to put people in the seats compared to building a winner. And the perception around the NFL is the Jets are a bit of a joke. How many teams around the league love to beat down a 6-10 team and brag? Nobody really jumps for joy when they beat the Cleveland Browns. A win is a win. But there are quite a few teams, coaches, players, media, and fans around the league of other teams who can't stop bragging after they beat the Jets.

And god forbid if Tebow goes to the Jags and they go 8-8 next year and a combo of Matt Moore or Mark Sanchez goes 6-10 again. Even if Tebow stinks the joint up down there, the Jets will just look bad and even though the new GM wouldn't have had anything to do with that, the perception would go way beyond that.


Thats what a new GM is coming into. Some might love the challenge and want to turn it around. But any GM with a choice, probably decides to go elsewhere, probably goes to a place where they can pick their HC, their new QB, etc.

Truth be told, if you were some up and coming star GM or GM to be, would you go to the Jets, Chargers, Cardinals, Browns, etc?
The Jets probably wind up on the bottom of that list. Remember, before Rex Ryan became the head coach of the NY Jets, Tony Sparano was picked as head coach over him. John Harbaugh was picked over him on the same team he was a part of for 8 years.
For whatever reason, a lot of GMs and owners don't like Rex Ryan. THey don't really like his brother Rob Ryan either. So imagine that's what they thought before of his foot fetish, hard knocks reality show, and his brash obnoxious behavior. And before his teams gave up on him two season in a row.

I have a feeling the Jets will wind up with a GM who isn't one of the big names. Hopefully they wind up with somebody smart and talented. SOmebody who will put Rex on the ground if he doesn't like some player decision.

Edited by pedro55, 01 January 2013 - 08:48 PM.

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#11 Maxman

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:37 PM

If the next GM decided to give Rex a year like Lovie was given by the Bears new GM Emery last year ( as I am sure you know fired now) then fine. If Johnson said we firing Tanny starting our search and the new GM will evaluate our current football operations including personnel and go from there then fine. But to strap a new GM with a coach he may not like may impact the quality of GM the Jets can land. You think guys like Polian or Holmgren are going to enter a situation with a coach they hate. Not saying they do, but what if Holgren were to say to Woody, I am in but I need to bring in my guy to coach. Do you really stand by Rex and risk a less experienced GM as a result.


I am not saying this is the right thing. Giving a GM full power is always the right thing to do. I am saying that Woody is telling the new GM that Rex is the coach for at least one year, even if that limits the potential GM pool.
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#12 Maxman

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

If Mike Holmgren called I'd hang up


What if you were his lifeline on a $50,000 question? Hanging up is not cool.
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#13 RevisIsland610

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:06 PM

why exactly has Rex been lousy? The biggest issue fans seem to have with Rex is his mouth. on gameday he's a great defensive coach and he wins more than he loses. As for his reputation, besides his dad, Ryan has a ring with Baltimore and would get another HC job in a nanosecond. Most head coaches only specialize on one side of the ball, the entire coaching profession is based on splitting these guys up by offense and defense (juan castillo is an example of trying to switch sides). Rex's a defensive Andy Reid and I hope he stays with the Jets for 14 seasons. Better to have a good defense than to have nothing.

He has been lousy. He is both clueless and delusional. Want a few tidbits from Rex this year? At the beginning of this year he said this may be the best roster he has ever had. He also said the jets were fortunate to have 3 good QB's. Now either he's taking drugs or he thinks jet fans are idiots. NFL head coaches don't have to be specialists on both sides of the ball but they should have an understanding of both offense and defense. By sticking with the SS Sanchez and continuing to say that he gave this team the best chance to win he has proven he doesn't have a clue.
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#14 GangGreen25

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

He has been lousy. He is both clueless and delusional. Want a few tidbits from Rex this year? At the beginning of this year he said this may be the best roster he has ever had. He also said the jets were fortunate to have 3 good QB's. Now either he's taking drugs or he thinks jet fans are idiots. NFL head coaches don't have to be specialists on both sides of the ball but they should have an understanding of both offense and defense. By sticking with the SS Sanchez and continuing to say that he gave this team the best chance to win he has proven he doesn't have a clue.

The press conferences were infuriating. I felt like he didnt say one truthful thing once the wheels were clearly coming off.
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#15 GangGreen25

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

So if you're the Jets new GM, you are faced with Mark Sanchez and that contract and guaranteed $8.5 million. He's QB who is practically un-tradeable. You'll have to pay some other team a lot of money to take him. You'll probably get nothing more than a 5th or 6th round draft pick. You have a backup who isn't a backup and nobody around the NFL thinks can play QB. So you will have to cut or give him away. You are faced with a Head Coach who is a loud mouth, has no clue how to build or run an offense, makes questionable decisions, and is considered a players coach to a fault. But the past two seasons that same 'players coach' lost the team, and the team gave up on him.

You have a star CB who missed most of the year with an injury, who also holds out all the time because he always thinks he's underpaid. And even with him, the Jets still were really an 8-8 team in two out of his three seasons played. (This year doesn't count as anything as he didn't play due to injury). You have another CB who makes great plays, but gets burned at times. He also was on a team that went 6-10 and 8-8 the past two seasons.

You also play in the same stadium as a team who won two super bowls in the past 6 years. You play in a division with Tom Brady and BB.
Your new Boss, Woody Johnson, would rather sign a Tebow or Favre or a Vick to put people in the seats compared to building a winner. And the perception around the NFL is the Jets are a bit of a joke. How many teams around the league love to beat down a 6-10 team and brag? Nobody really jumps for joy when they beat the Cleveland Browns. A win is a win. But there are quite a few teams, coaches, players, media, and fans around the league of other teams who can't stop bragging after they beat the Jets.

And god forbid if Tebow goes to the Jags and they go 8-8 next year and a combo of Matt Moore or Mark Sanchez goes 6-10 again. Even if Tebow stinks the joint up down there, the Jets will just look bad and even though the new GM wouldn't have had anything to do with that, the perception would go way beyond that.


Thats what a new GM is coming into. Some might love the challenge and want to turn it around. But any GM with a choice, probably decides to go elsewhere, probably goes to a place where they can pick their HC, their new QB, etc.

Truth be told, if you were some up and coming star GM or GM to be, would you go to the Jets, Chargers, Cardinals, Browns, etc?
The Jets probably wind up on the bottom of that list. Remember, before Rex Ryan became the head coach of the NY Jets, Tony Sparano was picked as head coach over him. John Harbaugh was picked over him on the same team he was a part of for 8 years.
For whatever reason, a lot of GMs and owners don't like Rex Ryan. THey don't really like his brother Rob Ryan either. So imagine that's what they thought before of his foot fetish, hard knocks reality show, and his brash obnoxious behavior. And before his teams gave up on him two season in a row.

I have a feeling the Jets will wind up with a GM who isn't one of the big names. Hopefully they wind up with somebody smart and talented. SOmebody who will put Rex on the ground if he doesn't like some player decision.

You are probably right. But why further limit the candidate pool by keeping such a devisive guy on the payroll.
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