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Mehta: Rex has lost his nuts


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Rex Ryan not his bold self anymore at NY Jets camp

By Manish Mehta

http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1411293

CORTLAND — There was a part of me that wanted the Rex Ryan of yesteryear to emerge on Sunday, guns blazing, oozing confidence, telling everyone that he would make the final decision on whether Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith will be the Jets’ starting quarterback in Week 1.

GM John Idzik had undercut his head coach the day before, oddly declaring that he’d have “a pretty big role” in determining who would be the quarterback without conceding the decision ultimately resides with Ryan.

The head coach that changed the culture of this franchise for the better in 2009 should have set the record straight and reclaimed his authority. He should have made it clear that he’d solicit opinions, but that the ultimate decision belonged to him.

But he didn’t.

Ryan says that he’s going to be true to himself heading into the watershed season of his head coaching career, but he sounded nothing like the guy whose self-assurance made him one of the most charismatic figures in the NFL in the past few years.

Ryan churned out one company line after the next during a 20-minute press conference. He set his own personal spin cycle in overdrive and danced around questions about the quarterback decision.

“I think you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill,” Ryan said.

It was sad to see one of the most strong-willed head coaches of the past decade in that light.

Ryan was in full-fledged self-preservation mode, reciting stories about how he shared a similar background with Idzik.

“Our thought process is so similar,” Ryan said. “We both see players the same way. It’s so smooth… You guys are trying to make this a situation that doesn’t exist. I know I have complete support from John, from Woody (Johnson), from everybody in this organization.”

To hear Ryan tell it, he’ll be little more than a courier in a few weeks to relay the decision to Sanchez and Smith. His attempt to minimize Idzik’s refusal to say that the head coach will make the final call on which quarterback will start was troubling on myriad levels.

Maybe it’s the smart play, but it was a transparent tactic.

Johnson hasn’t publicly said that Ryan will be a part of the rebuilding process, which has put his coach on the hot seat. (Ryan should get a one-year contract extension now.)

“Don’t think for a second I don’t feel 100% support (from) everybody in this organization,” Ryan said. “Because I do. Every decision is a Jet decision.”

Ryan is paid to make coaching decisions, which includes who will and won’t play for him. He made that crystal clear last year when he said that benching Mark Sanchez was “solely my decision.” However, he changed his tune Sunday: “At no time was that ever just my decision,” Ryan said.

It was maddening to listen to.

Logic dictates that Ryan should lean heavily on offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterbacks coach David Lee to help make the decision, but the head coach even danced around that premise.

It’s laughable to think that the opinions of the two coaches who work closely with Sanchez and Smith every day won’t matter more than others in the organization.

Mornhinweg smartly admitted that “you go on some gut instincts” if the competition is neck and neck in the preseason.

The early returns suggest that will be the case.

Smith, who worked with the first team on Sunday as part of a planned rotation in the first padded practice of camp, made a nice deep pass for a 50-yard completion to Stephen Hill. Sanchez made a sharp pass to rookie Ryan Spadola on a deep out route in team drills.

Neither Sanchez nor Smith knew who’d make the final decision on the winner.

The answer should be obvious.

Author:

Manish Mehta

Edited by T0mShane
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Manish is reaching here.  Such a reach.

 

Why should Rex have told everyone this decision is his alone?  Just to help Manish sell papers?  Here's the thing Manish, the iPad is going to hurt your newspaper sales regardless.  Oh wait, that wasn't my real point....

 

Rex did the right thing.  If Rex and Idzik were disagreeing, this should be done behind closed doors anyway.  But that isn't the case, this is a non-issue.

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Manish is reaching here. Such a reach.

Why should Rex have told everyone this decision is his alone? Just to help Manish sell papers? Here's the thing Manish, the iPad is going to hurt your newspaper sales regardless. Oh wait, that wasn't my real point....

Rex did the right thing. If Rex and Idzik were disagreeing, this should be done behind closed doors anyway. But that isn't the case, this is a non-issue.

It's interesting to see the difference between 2009 Rex and 2013 Rex. It's like a different guy and exploring that dichotomy can make for an interesting story. I agree that the QB thing probably isn't the breaking point for Rex--personally I think Tebow's acquisition broke Rex as far as being The Man at Florham--but there's gonna be a good article to write one day stemming from this.

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Cimini with the same conclusion

Rex should make QB call, not Idzik

Rich Cimini

ESPNNewYork.com | July 28, 2013

http://m.espn.go.com/general/story?storyId=9516959&city=newyork&src=desktop

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- In many ways, Rex Ryan is a chip off the 'ol Buddy, but there was no family resemblance Sunday as he stood before reporters and played the good company man, parroting the misguided philosophy of his general manager.

Back in the day, Ryan's father Buddy Ryan would've torched the place with a verbal assault against management if one of the suits told him he couldn't pick the starting quarterback on his own. He would've sneered at the phrase "collaborative effort," injecting a bleep or two.

Not Rex.

Ryan was in damage control, insisting he and GM John Idzik agree the quarterback decision -- Mark Sanchez versus Geno Smith -- should be a group judgment. Ryan went into filibuster mode, trying to convince everyone -- maybe even himself -- it's not "a one-man show" and that the media are trying to stir up a sinister storyline.

"I think you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill," the coach said.

Except we're not.

Something stinks in Cortland, and it's not the occasional manure smell wafting from a nearby horse farm.

By declaring Saturday that Ryan doesn't have the final say on the quarterback decision, Idzik has cast Ryan as a diminished coach. Not only is his waistline reduced, but so is his perceived authority. And perception is everything when it comes to matters of leadership.

Ryan, commenting for the first time on Idzik's curious and headline-making remarks, fell in line with the boss. It's called self-preservation. Ryan is beginning a make-or-break year, working for a GM with whom he had no prior relationship. He's in a tough spot, and Idzik put him there.

The head coach should decide who plays and who doesn't. Period. To paraphrase Hall of Famer Bill Parcells, the GM shops for the groceries, the coach cooks the meal. In Idzik's organization, there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

This was going to be a difficult year for Ryan under ideal circumstances. It just got harder because, by telling the world it will be decision-by-committee, Idzik undercut his coach.

When they get around to picking the starter, people will wonder if it's Ryan's choice or if it came from above. That's not a good message to the locker room. Maybe one quarterback will separate and the decision will be a no-brainer, but what if it's a close race?

"It's always a team decision," said Ryan, sounding programmed. "Obviously, the decision doesn't rest on me or anybody else."

Interesting. Ryan didn't put it that way last season, when he benched Sanchez. That, he said, was "solely my decision."

On June 5, he was asked about the Sanchez-Smith competition, and he replied, "It won't be just my evaluation, but at the end of the day, I guess it will be. If there's a split camp or whatever, then I will make that decision."

Ryan insisted that nothing has changed. He said everything is cool. He claimed his relationship with Idzik is "smooth."

"Don't think for a second I don't feel 100 percent support by everybody in this organization, because I do," Ryan said.

The organization -- read: Idzik -- has a funny way of showing it. A good GM lets the coaches coach. Are they going to have a group discussion on a fourth-and-1? Will they hold a confab to discuss coin-toss strategy?

This is Idzik's first year on the job, so naturally he will take a wide-angle view of the season. Ryan can't afford to look beyond 2013 because he's in a win-now mode. The GM should defer to the coach, especially on a matter as important as the starting quarterback.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who also will be involved in the decision, said the choice could be based on "a gut instinct."

The question is, whose gut are we talking about?

Edited by T0mShane
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It's interesting to see the difference between 2009 Rex and 2013 Rex. It's like a different guy and exploring that dichotomy can make for an interesting story. I agree that the QB thing probably isn't the breaking point for Rex--personally I think Tebow's acquisition broke Rex as far as being The Man at Florham--but there's gonna be a good article to write one day stemming from this.

 

Rex spends 70% of practice thinking about the defense.  80% of non practice time is thinking about defense.  Did you read the story where Rex didn't even know Greg McElroy's name until the middle of his 2nd season?  Alright I just made that up but you get my point.

 

Rex should have lost power.  That is what needed to happen.

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I don't doubt that Idzik has usurped some of the power from Rex, which is pretty much what we've wanted all along anyway, however, this really stinks of Mehta and Cimini fishing for an article to write. Considering they've spent the majority of the last two years telling him to tone down the bravado and be a bit more reserved, it seems a bit forced complaining that he's a neutered version of himself and one that has all the beat writers lamenting over the loss of blowhard rex.  I dunno, I don't buy it.  I see a coach who finally, hopefully has someone that can reign him in and focus him, something Tanny failed to do.  

 

Totally agree.

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Take away the coaches right to bench players on his say-so, and you take away his air of authority.

 

If Woody feels he needed someone to "protect the long-term interests" of the team, then he shouldn't have sent Rex back out there.  If you think the man is good enough to send back on the field to run your club, then back him up!

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I don't doubt that Idzik has usurped some of the power from Rex, which is pretty much what we've wanted all along anyway, however, this really stinks of Mehta and Cimini fishing for an article to write. Considering they've spent the majority of the last two years telling him to tone down the bravado and be a bit more reserved, it seems a bit forced complaining that he's a neutered version of himself and one that has all the beat writers lamenting over the loss of blowhard rex.  I dunno, I don't buy it.  I see a coach who finally, hopefully has someone that can reign him in and focus him, something Tanny failed to do.  

 

This to the max. 

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I don't doubt that Idzik has usurped some of the power from Rex, which is pretty much what we've wanted all along anyway, however, this really stinks of Mehta and Cimini fishing for an article to write. Considering they've spent the majority of the last two years telling him to tone down the bravado and be a bit more reserved, it seems a bit forced complaining that he's a neutered version of himself and one that has all the beat writers lamenting over the loss of blowhard rex.  I dunno, I don't buy it.  I see a coach who finally, hopefully has someone that can reign him in and focus him, something Tanny failed to do.  

 

Exactly.  Excellent post.

 

Both are a couple of hypocritical hacks.  Eff both of them.

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See?  This is why this Mehta guy is such a pissant.  He bases his entire column on a fallacy.  Creates news out of thin air.

Claiming that rex is one of most strong willed coaches in the NFL?  He must not know any head coaches.  Rex is a blowhard and always has been.  But he has nothing to write about, so....create a false premise and go from there.  We all saw what a blubberpuss rex was last year when he conducted those exercises in subservience to the media called post game pressers.  What a douche this guy is.  He should be covering the cosmos at Hofstra or wherever they are.

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No one was asking Rex about this before.  This story line is Idzik's doing.  He's the one who leaked this out.  Now there may have been a reason and it may have just slipped out in one of those situations where the longer someone talks the more he says.

Yeah, IMHO, it's Idzik who's in the wrong here. Instead of Rex, he's the one who needs to shut up. If he wants to impart his opinion to Rex behind closed doors -or outright tell him who to start- that's his prerogative as the boss. But there's no need to announce that to the press - unless his goal is to sabotage his head coach, because that's what he's doing.

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Yeah, IMHO, it's Idzik who's in the wrong here. Instead of Rex, he's the one who needs to shut up. If he wants to impart his opinion to Rex behind closed doors -or outright tell him who to start- that's his prerogative as the boss. But there's no need to announce that to the press - unless his goal is to sabotage his head coach, because that's what he's doing.

 

Or it could simply be...

 

tumblr_montcrZGO11qjpqono1_500.gif

 

 

Reporter: So you will be naming the starter at QB and other positions, and not Rex Ryan?

 

Ace Idzik: Well, in a sense, you could say that... I am the one who chooses the starters, if Mr. Ryan chooses his favorite buddies again. ...[pause]...You could say that.

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No one was asking Rex about this before.  This story line is Idzik's doing.  He's the one who leaked this out.  Now there may have been a reason and it may have just slipped out in one of those situations where the longer someone talks the more he says.

 

Exactly

 

All Isadick had to do was say "the guy who we think will be best for this team will start"

 

Done, No story

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I don't doubt that Idzik has usurped some of the power from Rex, which is pretty much what we've wanted all along anyway, however, this really stinks of Mehta and Cimini fishing for an article to write. Considering they've spent the majority of the last two years telling him to tone down the bravado and be a bit more reserved, it seems a bit forced complaining that he's a neutered version of himself and one that has all the beat writers lamenting over the loss of blowhard rex.  I dunno, I don't buy it.  I see a coach who finally, hopefully has someone that can reign him in and focus him, something Tanny failed to do.  

 

Funny, I remember when Coughlin was killed for being to strict with his players, and everyone thought he needed to tone down the way he punished guys for showing up just on time instead of 5 minutes early, and other little stuff like that, so he goes out, and changes his coaching stlyle, becomes more player friendly like everyone said he should, and nobody said boo, yes it helps that he won the SB that season, but this is what everyone has been clamoring for, fans, media, other NFL teams ect. so when he goes out, and toes the company line, and tells the media to shove it this is not a big deal they go, and crucify the guy instead of commending him for doing what they, and everyone else said he needed to do keep hit trap shut publicly.

 

The media is impossible, you can't win, and it is only getting worse, the NFL should just take the press passes away from them, make them do their jobs as paying customers, most people get their info from places like this place anyway, the less you read from the beat writers the more your actually informed about the REAL doings of your NFL favorite team.

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Yeah, IMHO, it's Idzik who's in the wrong here. Instead of Rex, he's the one who needs to shut up. If he wants to impart his opinion to Rex behind closed doors -or outright tell him who to start- that's his prerogative as the boss. But there's no need to announce that to the press - unless his goal is to sabotage his head coach, because that's what he's doing.

 

he way Rex was functioning before didn't work, this is a given. Rex has self-sabotaged for 2 seasons. Idzik is sending a message. I'm sure it's been received.

 

Not sure it's any more dramatic than that, tbh.

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Yeah, IMHO, it's Idzik who's in the wrong here. Instead of Rex, he's the one who needs to shut up. If he wants to impart his opinion to Rex behind closed doors -or outright tell him who to start- that's his prerogative as the boss. But there's no need to announce that to the press - unless his goal is to sabotage his head coach, because that's what he's doing.

 

The press really, really needs this stuff. No one wants to read about people who may not be miserable. 

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he way Rex was functioning before didn't work, this is a given. Rex has self-sabotaged for 2 seasons. Idzik is sending a message. I'm sure it's been received.

 

Not sure it's any more dramatic than that, tbh.

Idzik doesn't have to send any messages at all, and certainly doesn't need to send any thru the media. The situation is clear: Rex is at the end of his contract, and his new boss is at the beginning of his. I don't know if this was an amateur move with the NY press, but this sort of thing should never make its way into print - especially from the GM.

Idzik can say or do anything he wants with Rex behind closed doors. That's his job. But spilling it out in front of the press is bush league. I hope it was a mistake, and -more importantly- that he learned from it.

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