For the first time in a long time, it seems the Jets made the right decision. The Jets for once took their time, interviewing several qualified candidates. The result is the hiring of a man who is respected league wide, and who has been part of successful franchises for the past 20 years.
Unfortunately as soon as the news broke, we heard several fans complain that Idzik was just another Mike Tannenbaum clone, that he was a business man and not a football man. This is based purely on the fact that Idzik enjoys a reputation as a salary cap guru, and expert contract negotiator. A title that was handed to Mike Tannenbaum during his time here, although it's hard to see why when you look at our cap situation. You can't continue to back-load contracts and not expect us to someday be in a poor situation.
This opinion of Idzik being a clone of Mike Tannenbaum is completely misguided. Tannenbaum has no previous playing or coaching experience and his work came in administrative duties across the league. The only time he touched personnel came in low level roles at the very start of his football career. He had a degree in accounting, a perfect example of a businessman.
John was born into a football family, his father John was a head coach over here in the UK and an NFL assistant coach with the Dolphins, Colts, Eagles and our very own Jets. A former receiver for Dartmouth and Ivy League champion. His son Bradley plays wide receiver over at Wake Forrest. This isn't a business man, this is a football man with a background in business.
I've heard that he has no experience in player personnel, drafts and evaluation. He spent 11 years with the Tampa Bay Bucs, first as a pro personnel assistant and then having been recognized for his work in this role, he was promoted to Director or Player Administration and then eventually to assistant General Manager. As he became one of the most highly touted young executives in the league, Seattle sent him out on scouting missions the past two years to prepare him for life as a GM. So he would have had a big say in the latest Seattle drafts - players like Bruce Irvin, Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, three picks from 2012 that got off to a great start in their careers.
In Woody Johnson's own words:
"After a thorough search in which we met many qualified and outstanding candidates, it was clear to me that John was the right choice," Johnson said. "During his two decades in the NFL, John helped build a Super Bowl championship team in Tampa Bay, an NFC championship team in Arizona and, most recently, a team in Seattle that narrowly missed reaching the NFC Championship Game.
"John has seen first-hand what's necessary to construct a winning team and has worked with some of the most innovative and successful coaches in the NFL ... John, working with Rex, will get the Jets where all of us want to be."
Seattle after just narrowly missing out on the NFC Championship game will go into this off-season with $18.6 million in cap space, the Jets after going 6-10 will enter the off-season $19.4 million over the cap, the worst situation in the league. Seattle has managed to build their roster through the draft, while adding veteran talent - leading to an 11 win season and room to maneuver this off-season to make the next step.
With any General Manager, the important aspect is who you surround yourself with. I fully believe than John will overhaul a lot of the Jets front office and scouting department, and rightfully so. We haven't been a great scouting team for some time and when discussing the draft with several analysts who evaluate pro-days, the impression I got was that the Jets kept themselves in the background.
This is a very exciting time for the Jets, the whole argument that Idzik is an extension of Mike Tannenbaum is misguided.