Following the Jets closely enough gives you the great sense of awareness when something is about to go under. When nothing and everything is failing to get the job done and the dysfunction is too much for a person to bear. Most of you may be shaking your head and agreeing with the fact that I'll be able to parallel a mess of a franchise with that of the New York Jets, but I'm not looking to do that in the slightest. I think the Jets problems can be solved with the removal of one person.
Identifying the source of the problem for a franchise can typically be done when you find a clear disconnect between the personnel on the field, the coaching staff, and the general manager. If you look at the Jets roster as currently constructed they made early moves in Rex Ryan's tenure as coach to properly give him the best chance to win. They got the safety he was looking for, the outspoken middle linebacker, and the rookie QB that was ready to take on the "Big Apple". We all know the success that the Jets had in their first year, superseding people's expectations by making a surprise run that went to the AFC championship game.
I thought that the winning wouldn't stop. My fears started to form before the 2010 season started when Wayne Hunter told me that, "This is the year we have to win. We're going all in on this year." This was made possible by the offseason acquisitions of LaDainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie. The Jets, once again, made it to the AFC championship game but weren't able to get over the hump and get to the Super Bowl. This is when Hunter's words started to make sense.
Most of the offense's fault last year was placed upon offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and an inconsistent offensive line. The issues in the locker room became a big talking point and most of the fault was pinned on Ryan for being unable to handle the variety of personalities. So the offseason for the 2012 Jets was paramount in getting them back on track for a possible Super Bowl appearance. This is where we put the brunt of the blame on general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
"But I'm telling you, this is my team, these are my players," said Ryan. "I don't want to coach somebody else's players. This is the team I want to coach, period."
Ryan said this in his press conference the other day and that is why you'll see that this offseason showed a major divide in the way Ryan and management saw things. The signing of coach Tony Sparano seemed to make sense since he preached an emphasis on the running game and a simple playbook that would allow Sanchez to take advantage of his limited strengths. The move seemed to indicate an effort on Tannenbaum of fitting a coordinator that would work well with Ryan. They made low-key signings at wide receiver and hoped that WR Stephen Hill could develop while tight end Dustin Keller took the intermediate routes in the middle of the field. Ohh, and they traded for that guy Tim Tebow.
The biggest problem was that this offseason speaks volumes of what most fans already knew. That this was a public stunt. That there was no clear agreement on coaching and management that they could properly take advantage of the unique physical gifts that Tebow brought to the table. This was the microcosm of Tannenbaum's tenure of the last couple of years in New York. He showed the ability to attain talent but did so without seeing how it fit within the landscape of the team in the long-term. The Jets are now seeing how little depth that they have and are now ruing the unloading draft picks over the years.
I don't know if Ryan should be coaching here for the next 15 years but we've seen what he could for a defense and his ability to motivate a team. Having the controversy that the Jets had this year was totally on management and I think canning Tannenbaum will be the first move toward respectability for the franchise. They just have to make sure they give Ryan a fair shot.