Coming off the loss to the Panthers, the focus of the head coach’s Monday’s press conference was what his status with the team was. As best he could, Ryan answered the barrage of questions and in essence all he said was that he believes in himself and he believes in where this team is going.
While the coach believes in his players, Steve Serby of the NY Post pointed out that Ryan wasn’t sure what will come for him on Black Monday, now just two weeks away.
[Ryan] was standing behind a podium in the press room, proudly wearing a white Jets hat and a gray sweatshirt with J-E-T-S in green letters, when the interrogation began, and he was trapped in the line of fire.
He doesn’t know where he stands with rookie general manager John Idzik, doesn’t know whether he will still be standing when the dust clears from what is certain to be a third straight season on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Is it darkest before the dawn?
Dom Cosentino wrote for the Star-Ledger that Ryan was optimistic of the future of this team and thinks it is headed in the right direction over the long-run.
… there [...] came a question about whether Ryan ever stopped to consider where things might have gone wrong, given where this franchise was three years ago compared to today.
“Again, I guess I kind of disagree with you,” Ryan said. “I think that this team is on the right path. It might not be reflected in our record right now; I understand that. But I believe this team is going in the right direction.”
Whether the team is going in the right direction can’t be determined until after next season, but it is quite clear that the team was outgunned in 2013 by most teams. With lots of money available to the Jets in 2014 free agency and a good set of draft picks expected for the Jets the team will be able to get better quickly.
Maybe it is for all those reasons that Manish Mehta writes for the New York Daily News that Rex deserves to be back in 2014, even if it might not be what the new GM wants right now.
The owner saw what has been apparent all season: Ryan inspires his players. They don’t quit on him. The Jets lost to a more talented team.
Ryan deserves to be back, but there’s a fair case to be made that Idzik should have an opportunity to hire his own head coach to help steer his fate. Johnson’s unconventional decision to fire his GM and retain his head coach a year ago, of course, set in motion a strange season where Ryan never escaped questions about his future.
Whoever was going to be hired by the Jets last offseason as GM had to allow that Rex Ryan staying on as head coach at least for the first year was part of the deal. Some might have withdrawn without that control, but it seems the pragmatic Idzik knew it wasn’t a long-term problem.
It is Idzik’s pragmatism that Newsday‘s Bob Glauber believes will determine the fate of the Jets current head coach.
What’s important to remember is that Idzik isn’t evaluating Ryan in a vacuum. Idzik has worked for several organizations with prominent coaches. He was around Tony Dungy in Tampa, and he was with the Cardinals and GM Rod Graves, now Idzik’s assistant GM with the Jets, and saw how Ken Whisenhunt got them to a Super Bowl.
So no matter how Idzik feels about Ryan, he has coaches with whom he can compare him. And if Idzik believes he can be a better long-term fit with, say, Bevell or Whisenhunt, both of whom offer the advantage of having offensive backgrounds that might be better suited for the current NFL, there’s a good chance he will suggest to Johnson that they go in another direction.
No one seems to have any true insight into what John Idzik is thinking and that might be by design. That said, Idzik’s constancy might be the one thing we can expect given the situation
Ben Shipgel writes an excellent analyses, focusing on the man who will likely make the recommendation to the owner and who is still very much an enigma even to those who cover the team on the beat.
… the notion that Idzik will base his decision on a singular event — a blocked punt, for instance — or even on Sunday’s loss or the outcomes the next two weeks, runs counter to how Idzik has operated since taking over 11 months ago.
Idzik is methodical, hardly the impetuous type, and he has had enough time to form a full and informed opinion of the coach he inherited as part of the conditions of accepting his job. The chances of that opinion changing drastically, of Idzik’s feeling far better or worse about Ryan’s coaching philosophy and proficiency, because the Jets finish at 7-9 instead of 6-10 or 8-8, are unlikely.
Context is everything … [p]erhaps Idzik has already reached his decision — be it the day he was hired, sometime in training camp or at the season opener. For all the speculation that Ryan needs to save his job, what if it were never really in danger? Or conversely, what if he never had a chance to stay on?
Spending too much time speculating on what will or won’t happen or what decisions are or aren’t made are enough to drive me insane. The point is, this whole situation is very confusing but a lot will start to come into focus for 2014 very soon.
The Jets still have two games to play and nothing is going to be decided or undecided in the meantime.