Now that the New York Jets are officially eliminated from the postseason the focus shifts to head coach Rex Ryan and his future with the organization. The Jets head coach has compiled a record of 40-38, which includes 4 playoff victories, and 2 AFC Championship game appearances. Ryan was responsible for a complete facelift of the franchise in 2009 where his confidence and aggressive approach changed the culture inside and outside of the team’s locker room.
Winds of change
Following disappointing seasons in 2011 and 2012 the New York Jets decided to restructure their front office and hired John Idzik as their new general manager. Rex Ryan was retained as the head coach and overhauled his coaching staff by hiring three new coordinators. Heading into the 2013 season many believed that Rex was being given a second chance under a new administration and was coaching for his job.
Roller coaster ride
The Jets kicked off the season with a a surprising 5-4 start, which included quality victories over the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots. This start had many believing that Gang Green was a team on the rise led by a rookie quarterback and a top five defense.
Unfortunately for Rex and his Jets the wheels have fallen off the wagon and the team has struggled mightily down the stretch. New York’s offense has become one of the worst in the NFL and the team seems to have more questions than answers when it comes to personnel. The lack of overall talent has become increasingly apparent and it is obvious that a significant roster reshuffling has to be performed this offseason.
So now the million dollar question is whether or not Rex Ryan has done enough to save his job.
Supporters of Rex Ryan will say that the head coach maximized his resources and got the most out of his team. Gang Green entered the season with a rookie quarterback and at least 9 new starters. The odds were stacked against Rex and his team from the start and it is surprising that the head coach kept his group this competitive late in the season.
This group believes that Rex Ryan is a solid quarterback away from being a very successful head coach.
Some things never change
Rex Ryan’s detractors bring up the fact that the head coach is on his third offensive coordinator and second starting quarterback in 5 years. Ryan is given credit for his defensive genius but this group believes that he does not have the ability to develop a high powered offense. In addition there is a belief that Rex struggles with personnel decisions especially when they involve veteran players.
So does Rex stay or go?
This is truly a tough call as both sides have a solid case. With one year remaining on his contract I would not be surprised to see Rex back in 2014.
From an organizational standpoint the Jets endured a significant amount of change in 2013. A new front office, 3 new coordinators, and several roster moves including trading away their best player. Whether the team wants to admit it or not this was a transition year.
Heading into 2014 the Jets will have significant cap space and a surplus of draft picks. There will be no built in excuses regarding a lack of talent which will then put a realistic spotlight on Rex Ryan’s coaching ability. Rex will justifiably be given the keys to a brand new car and will get a chance to show everyone how he can drive it. For the sake of Jets nation lets hope that Ryan handles the car like a Porsche and not a clunker.