NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport talks with Rich Eisen about Rex Ryan and his future with the Jets, but also highlights the contingencies for Rex staying and potentially even getting an extension.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThis is what we’ve been hinting at all week, here, here and here. What was uncertain before Christmas was whether or not changes at DC automatically meant Rex was a goner.
Now that Rex is safe, we can conjecture that if Rex wants an extension, he will need to part ways with some of his defensive staff — Rap confirmed that much in the above video. For Rex Ryan, Idzik asking him to do that might be a tall order, Ryan is fiercely loyal to his people.
While this is mostly our guesswork, the name which Rapoport doesn’t mention in the NFL Network report can only be first year defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.
The Jets defense has been the one good thing this team could count on over Rex’s first five years with the team, so Idzik doesn’t seem to be trying to break something which doesn’t need fixing, but rather to extend the longevity of the group’s success regardless of who is the head coach with someone with whom the GM is already familiar.
It seems a fair request for Idzik to make in exchange for an extension to his head coach.
That checks out with the only two names we’ve heard so far as potential replacements — Seattle assistant Kris Richard and Baltimore assistant Teryl Austin.
Nothing personal, but Thurman doesn’t seem the type of defensive coordinator who will bring much “upside” to the role over what Rex already offers. If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on Thurman being able to continue the brilliance and dominance that Rex brought to New York without Ryan around. From watching the team over the last five years, I would have been much more willing to let the defense ride with Mike Pettine in the same situation. There’s a reason Thurman was Rex’s second coordinator, rather than his first.
What I would expect is that Idzik is smart enough to not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Karl Dunbar has had a positive effect on the talented defensive line. From a comment today from Sheldon Richardson it doesn’t sound as if Dunbar is going anywhere. On the other hand, we wouldn’t be surprised if defensive backfield coach Tim McDonald isn’t asked back in 2014.