On Black Monday after the final regular season game ended in Miami during the 2014 NFL Season with Head Coach Rex Ryan along with General Manager John Idzik at the helm as the season ended with a 4-12 record, but it also ended with a bit of a positive as the Jets defeated their rivals down in South Beach.
But sadly what should’ve been an improvement to an 8-8 season from 2013 became a gigantic disaster as both Idzik and Ryan didn’t actually mesh well from the offseason of 2013 towards the end of this current season and it really showed at the end.
For six seasons Ryan led the New York Jets and in his first two seasons towards the AFC Championship Game but sadly fell short of the Super Bowl at the Indianapolis Colts and at the Pittsburgh Steelers. You thought there was going to be more of these types of seasons as well as a Super Bowl appearance from Ryan, but sadly his faults came to him quickly.
While he was a defensive genius and had the best cornerback tandem in Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie for three years and slowly started to build a great run defense with Sheldon Richardson, Quinton Coples, Muhammad Wilkerson, David Harris and so on his powerful secondary has crumbled.
Ryan sadly hasn’t developed a quarterback as we saw some signs of the late struggles of Mark Sanchez for four year and while it was a decent start for Geno Smith, we saw what happens when a young gun suddenly falls apart mentally in the sophomore season slump. What Ryan does best is get his players ready for battle and sadly as a player’s coach it can backfire on you like what happened in the blowout loss at the San Diego Chargers.
Idzik who had to inherit a head coach sadly didn’t make his mark with the Jets with the only exception of a $40 Million salary cap relief fund and failed to fill in the necessary holes that led the Jets to their 4-12 record in 2014.
Obviously Idzik wanted to build the roster thru the draft and felt that getting a few low level players was good enough to get through a season, but what he failed to understand is that it’s okay to build a roster thru the draft and it’s okay to get quality players to challenge for a playoff spot at the same time.
Getting swept by the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and nearly defeating all four opponents in the NFC North just doesn’t cut the mustard while you barely defeat the Oakland Raiders and defeat a quality opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers who thought it was going to be a cake walk at MetLife Stadium.
At the end of the day Robert “Woody” Johnson did the right thing, as he fired both men at the end of the season. While I liked Ryan as a coach, the truth is he wasn’t going to get another season after a destructive 2014 campaign. Idzik never deserved a third season as the GM as he is a salary cap-ologist and while he did make some shrewd moves & picks in the draft, you knew he has no idea about personal moves for the roster.
But if Johnson fired Idzik and kept Ryan, he would’ve been considered a joke of an owner. If he fired Ryan and kept Idzik the fans would’ve started a movement for Johnson to sell the team. But he listened to the fans and he saw with his own eyes that a housecleaning was needed and for that I am grateful he wasn’t blind to the problems at hand.
Author: Daniel Feuerstein