Despite some of the good things Tannenbaum did, such as trading up in the draft for Darrelle Revis and trading for Antonio Cromartie, his strength was evaluating numbers — he put together the brilliant offer sheet for Curtis Martin in 1998 at the request of Bill Parcells — not evaluating talent
The downfall of the Jets the last two years was not Rex Ryan’s tattoo of his half-naked wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey, or Tim Tebow’s presence making it impossible for Sanchez to function, or even the emotional and unfortunate resignation of Fireman Ed leading the “J-E-T-S” chant.
The Jets stink right now and have sunk to their lowest level since the forgettable and thankfully short-lived Rich Kotite era for one basic reason: The roster is bad.As the Jets have turned their search for a new general manager to replace Mike Tannenbaum from a sprint into a marathon, one thing is certain: They need to hire a personnel expert as general manager, not another salary-cap specialist such as Tannenbaum, who at least had experience in the pro personnel department. So, it’s not encouraging news that two of the finalists are capologists, and one of them — Seattle vice president of football administration John Idzik — is reportedly getting a second interview Wednesday or Thursday.When teams change coaches, they often go from a disciplinarian (Eric Mangini) to a players’ coach (Rex Ryan) or from a players’ coach (Jim Fassel) to a disciplinarian (Tom Coughlin). Despite some of the good things Tannenbaum did, such as trading up in the draft for Darrelle Revis and trading for Antonio Cromartie, his strength was evaluating numbers — he put together the brilliant offer sheet for Curtis Martin in 1998 at the request of Bill Parcells — not evaluating talent.
Do the Jets really want another cap guy at the top of their organizational chart ?
They need someone who majored in the college draft, not drafting contracts.Tannenbaum always resented the idea that he was not a football guy, and he worked hard to become educated in the nuances of the game, but successful teams are run by experienced football guys, not law school graduates or MBA candidates. Five of the seven general manager openings that were created after this season have been filled. The scorecard: Football Guys 5, Cap Guys 0.The Jaguars (David Caldwell), Chargers (Tom Telesco), Panthers (Dave Gettleman), Cardinals (Steve Keim) and Chiefs (John Dorsey) all hired GMs who were deeply involved in personnel in their previous job. The Browns are expected to do the same.
Can everybody be wrong and the Jets be right ?
Well, at least Caldwell, the Falcons’ director of player personnel, was their No. 1 choice. But it doesn’t say much for the image of the organization that Caldwell considered the Jaguars a more attractive job. Jacksonville is the most forgotten franchise in the NFL. It was reported by SI.com that Woody Johnson was preparing a contract package to Caldwell that included a $1 million housing allowance, which is extraordinary. Caldwell not only turned down the Jets, but he then said he had no interest in Tebow. So he hurt the Jets twice.Former Bears GM Jerry Angelo, who was instrumental in hiring Idzik in Tampa when he worked for the Bucs, has the best credentials of the Jets’ finalists: He built a Super Bowl team in Chicago in 2006 (they lost to the Colts) and might have made it to another if Jay Cutler, whom he acquired in a blockbuster deal with the Broncos, didn’t hurt his knee in the 2010 NFC Championship Game against the Packers. He knows the league, once worked as a scout for Parcells, helped construct the Bucs team in 2002 that won the Super Bowl (he left for Chicago in 2001) and drafted Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs in back-to-back rounds in 2003.
Idzik’s father was a Jets assistant coach, giving him something in common with Ryan. The elder John Idzik worked for Walt Michaels in the late ’70s. The younger Idzik was a wide receiver at Dartmouth, earned a master’s degree in liberal studies at Duke and broke into the NFL with the Bucs in 1993 and later worked for the Cardinals.He has been running the Seahawks’ cap since 2007. He has never been in charge of any college or pro personnel department in the NFL.The Jets are also interested in Omar Khan, the Steelers’ director of business and administration. He sounds an awful lot like Tannenbaum. He went to Tulane. Tannenbaum went to Tulane law school. He got his NFL start with the Saints. So did Tannenbaum. Khan joined the Steelers in 2001 and is in charge of their salary cap. He is also good friends with Bill Cowher, so perhaps he can deliver Cowher if Ryan gets fired after the 2013 season. Johnson was interested in Cowher before he hired Ryan, but he refused to cut short his vacation to interview him with Tannenbaum, so Cowher withdrew as a candidate.The Jets interviewed Scott Cohen, their assistant GM, but promoting Tannenbaum’s right hand man would be a tough sell to Jets fans.
This is a crucial decision. Hiring the right GM might bring back Fireman Ed.