From the desk of: Walt Michael's Revenge
NEW YORK JETS: John Idzik's Patience Has Organization Riddled With Anxiety.
He just wasn't that good. He wasn't. Five years ago, the winning coach of the most recent Super Bowl champion Seahawks, Pete Carroll, said Mark Sanchez wasn't ready.
Things no doubt started well for Mark Sanchez, but only with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and tight end Dustin Keller by his side, not to mention a decent running game behind him as well. Mark Sanchez peaked quickly, then devolved just as fast. For Mark's sake, he and the Jets needed to part ways.
That still doesn't absolve the Jets from doing Mark Sanchez wrong. They made him rich, but little else. At the time, Mark was playing for a head coach who didn't involve himself with offensive matters. By 2011-12, Sanchez was bereft of weapons to work with. And by 2012, a deteriorated offensive line, otherwise left him on his back, or fleeing for his life. Why add (literal) insult to injury by bringing up last season? Playing for two different offensive coordinators, and having to learn a new system under duress, no doubt, additionally made matters worse.
Unfortunately for both Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan, the head coach already squeezed everything out of what Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum had previously started. Unfortunately for Rex, the need to rebuild came during his watch, regardless of Sanchez. Even the players Rex wanted imported, and received, were already older. By the 2011 season, I feel the Jets were disillusioned by their fleeting success. Mark Sanchez' contract extension was part of it.
Moving forward, if Geno Smith wants to gain perspective into what it will be like to have Michael Vick around, I suggest he call Kellen Clemens and Brad Smith. Not only did both have to cede the floor to Sanchez, but, the last time the Jets put their football in the hands of a QB drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, Clemens stood witness while Brett Favre abetted in lighting the fuse that helped implode Eric Mangini's lone gig as a head coach. Will this latest former Atlanta Falcon quarterback precipitate Rex Ryan's dismissal from the only head coaching gig he's known?
Geno Smith will be operating with the expectations of a second year QB - little. How he performs in camp, I believe will become inconsequential. He'll have exactly four games to show something, then the Jets will hand the ball off to Michael Vick. Barring few exceptions, that's the way I see things transpiring next season.
If you can get beyond the dogs, Michael Vick and the Jets have a real football need for each other. If you can't get beyond the dogs, then as a Jets fan, you're having a hard time reconciling Woody Johnson's organizational morals. In either case, the media will be descending upon Jets camp in late summer like flies on a freshly laid steamy cow patty. Woody seems to enjoy chaos though. I can't say the same of the general manager he hired.
John Idzik has been catching heat lately, for appearing reluctant to sign any number of formerly available free agents that would have addressed a few needs. Part of the criticism stems from indeed having the money to spend, being in great salary cap shape, yet laying low. I'll defend him, and say, just because one has money in hand, doesn't mean it needs to be spent. I'll side with Idzik's patient approach for now, although I know it clashes with Woody Johnson's sudden petulance. With extra draft picks to work with, how Idzik does in this year's draft will better define his tenure thus far.
Why fire a guy players love performing for, especially while your team is in rebuilding mode. Therefore, Rex Ryan's job status is a matter best left for, if and when Geno Smith starts to struggle and Rex calls to the bullpen for Michael Vick, or the end of the season, when Idzik's hammer likely falls.
Either way, it's going to be a long season for Woody Johnson, who says he wants to win now. Idzik says he's a patient man, and the more Woody talks about DeSean Jackson, the more he's A) - tampering according to NFL rules, and B) - stepping all over the toes of his new general manager. Naturally, there are rumors circulating that Woody supposedly isn't too crazy about John Idzik.
Funny how cow patties roll down hill, as everyone is still speculating whether John Idzik really likes Rex Ryan, or if Woody even still likes Ryan. But on the other side of the coin, everyone in a uniform loves Rex Ryan, maybe except Geno Smith, who can't be happy about being placed in a revised (no win) situation. While John Idzik is a patient man, Rex Ryan may not have the luxury of patience to operate with.
The divergent flight patterns of the Jets triumvirate spells nothing but J-E-T-S trouble, trouble, trouble, ahead. Therefore, I'm making an early call, and telling Jets fans to keep their seat belts fastened, and trays in an upright position. The trip from point A to point B is certain to be a bumpy one.