Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Steinberg of The Jets Blog says Rex Ryan's job might be in trouble.
I've spoken to people close to the team who have told me they believe Rex will be fired after this season.
Again, that was just their opinion, and I suppose things can change over the final two games, but thought it was worth noting.
This is sure to be a hot topic over the next two weeks.
I'm personally not ready to call for Rex's head yet. That's not to say I think he has done a good job this year. I am extremely unhappy with his performance. I'm just not sure this is necessarily the right move in the big picture.
The three main problems I see with Rex are these, and they overlap.
One, he's way too loyal to certain players at the expense of the team. That one is self-explanatory.
Two, people are increasingly not held accountable in the locker room. It's happened all year. Remember when David Clowney was benched in 2009 for complaining about his playing time? Remember when Marques Murrell and James Ihedigbo were suspended for a stupid personal foul that helped cost the Jets a game against the Bills? Heck, even though I disagreed with the trade, sending Kerry Rhodes packing for not buying into the team concept shows a demand for accountability not present. It feels like he's gone backwards in this area.
Three, he acts like the offense isn't his responsibility. Even if he doesn't know enough to be hands on, he needs to find competent people he can trust to run it.
I'm leery of letting him go, though, because he brings a lot more to the table than most coaches I've seen in the league. He is a brilliant schemer. The Jets have also been very good developing players on the defensive side of the ball from Mike Devito to Sione Pouha to Muhammad Wilkerson to Antonio Cromartie. These guys all either reached a level of consistency they never met before Rex.
We have also seen Rex get teams to overachieve. And even though people dismiss that as winning with Mangini's team, Mangini never got as far as Rex did with Mangini's team. In addition, the 2010 team was not Mangini's team. Many key contributors were players brought in under Rex.
I don't think Rex should get a pat on the back. I think what the Jets should do is make clear the areas he needs to improve, demand he hire somebody who knows how to run an offense, and tell him next year is on him. Like I have said, Rex brings a lot to the table, probably more than anybody they could hire to replace him. The way this franchise constantly changes coaches is tiring. I think it's time to stick with somebody and give him a chance to grow. People talk about wanting the Jets to be like the stable franchises like the Steelers and the Giants. That's what those teams do when their coaches hit rough spots.
With that said, Rex has done enough to merit his dismissal. I won't shed a tear for him if he goes. I just don't always think you should pull the trigger the first second you can justify firing a coach.