It’s widely believed that, if the Jets have a third straight subpar season, coach Rex Ryan’s tenure with the team will end.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News takes a thorough look at the situation, explaining that the placement of Ryan on the hot seat buys time for new G.M. John Idzik.
“Rex provides cover for one year,” an NFL source told Myers. “It’s almost like having a shield. You can do what you need to do and the guy who is going to get the arrows is Rex. He is an easy target. John can stay behind the scenes like the Wizard of Oz.”
Myers’ source is right, to an extent. But if 2013 ends up so badly that ticket buyers decide there’s no place like home, the man behind the curtain will be getting a pink slip, too.
Surely, a potential scenario exists in which owner Woody Johnson would decide at the end of the season to clean house. Whether it’s 3-13, 2-14, 1-15, or 0-16, at some point Johnson will decide to press the “reset” button.
In 2009, Johnson wanted Bill Cowher, but Cowher wanted his own G.M. In 2013, the ongoing presence of Ryan arguably caused some candidates for G.M. to pass. If both jobs are open at the same time, Johnson will have much more flexibility to get the right combination of coach and G.M.
Johnson could hire the G.M. first, then the coach. Or he could hire a coach (like Cowher) and then let the coach fill out the rest of the front office.
That’s not a prediction Idzik is destined to be shown the door. But the looming mess could end up being bad enough that, once the 2013 season finally ends, Johnson decides he’s had enough of everyone in his football operation.