Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comToday, Adam Schefter reported for ESPN that from some conversations with two unnamed sources characterized as one “well-placed NFL executive” and one “well-connected source” that he believes Rex Ryan will return in 2014 as the team’s head coach.
Based on conversations [Schefter] has had, one well-placed NFL executive said he believes Ryan will be back despite speculation that the coach would be fired after this season. Another well-connected source told ESPN that the atmosphere surrounding Ryan’s status has turned from negative to positive.
What’s unclear is whether Ryan will enter next season on the last year of his contract or whether the Jets will give him an extension, sources said. Ryan would prefer an extension.
With a new general manager in 2013 and little track record for the type of decisions he and Woody make jointly, it’s hard to know how this situation has truly played out. We’ll find out Monday, but can we assume Ryan is safe now?
Not two months ago, Idzik called Rex “our leader” but declined to talk about the future. Woody was said to be “happy” with how the team was doing going into the Raiders game, but “not happy” with the team coming off their loss to the Panthers. Are these just still lives that don’t tell the moving story?
Public perception of what is going on behind closed doors might be fluid when it comes to the Jets and their fifth year head coach, but it is fair to wonder if too much has been read into this whole season. Woody asked fans to be “patient” with the team back in the spring, and while Woody likes Ryan, there were some reports back last January about whether Woody was truly as adoring of Rex has he had been made out. Has the media and public been reading too much into the whole season?
Our read on Ryan’s status with Woody Johnson coming off the 2012 post-season presser was that there was one main thing that Rex needed to demonstrate to Johnson. In this hangover season, Woody wanted to see Rex Ryan learn from his mistakes. Could Ryan not bite off more than he and the team could chew? Could he assess where he was deficient and find folks to put around him that would help the whole group succeed? While a potential 8-8 season might not be considered a rip-roaring success, it has to be taken into consideration with this team and this offensive talent. Also, the improvement from Geno Smith in the last three games has to be taken into account as well. The defense hasn’t been as exposed as it was back in that Bills/Dolphins stretch.
Rex has done commendably with a team that’s issues started at the quarterback spot. Fans seem to be in favor of keeping Rex. Idzik and Ryan have gotten on well this season. So what would the use be of letting go of Rex, maybe a year too early? Ostensibly, there aren’t 31 better head coaches in the league. So why judge the coach and whether he’s reformed his ways on the merits of a roster that has talent issues when that can be largely upgraded in 2014? We keep coming back to that January 2013 presser Woody and Rex did.
But that was before Idzik. If the issue for John Idzik is that he wants someone he can control, then I still don’t see how Ryan isn’t already that person. If there are other grounds, then let’s hear those Woody & John.
There still might be a number of coaching changes below Rex that John Idzik has his hand in come the offseason, but at least for 2014 we’re not convinced that the removal of Rex Ryan should be one of them.