With all the recent pitched-battles between the pro-idzik crowd and anti- idzik crowd (I am staunchly part of the latter), a notion of "sustainable" success, and "long term growth" has been thrown around by the Idzites. I find the idea stupid, in the sense, this is the NFL and not the NBA; any team, any given year can get hot and win it all. The goal, in my humble opinion, is to reload and make a run to the big dance; and then anything goes. You could do that while having a draft people; you don't have to choose. Regardless, while all the talk has been about how Idzik has an eye to the future, I pondered a thought if in actuality he has an eye to the here and now.
Now, lets get it out of the way that I think he terribly swung and missed on getting any CB or Safety in FA. Jets will be lucky if Milliner is a capable #2 next year, let alone a #1, and the gods will really be shining upon us if Walls/ Patterson / Wilson find a way to co-exist as and be productive as our other corners, where I think they'll be rotated alot. We'll still most likely be bottom half in the league in passing D, but hopefully closer to the middle than than last. On D, there is hope, and the hope is Rex works his magic and finds his way to make it top 10 (hopefully run d stays solid); he has some pieces and in Rex I trust. Now while the majority of the D is young (outside of Harris and Landry, who in their own right might be able to play 2-4 more years), it is the offense which intrigues me.
For starters we brought in Vick. Now I'm 50-50 on Vick, but I definitely like him much better than Geno. Why do I have this hate for Geno? Well in a rational sense, he was mostly awful for long stretches of the year, and his "good" games, are average for almost every other QB in the league. Emotionally, I don't like his style, demeanor, attitude, and his face. I don't like that he got gifted the job when Sanchez got hurt, and I do not see him ever being better than say a... 07' Derek Anderson. Biased opinion, but lets get that out of the way. Now Vick has potential for a Kurt Warner turn-around, ala the Cardinals. He has shown the type of talent and success before.
But more importantly, look at the rest of the O. The line, which is quickly aging, has 3 starters over 30, two of them key anchors, and Jock-strap who was brought in (awful signing), who is also closer to ending his career than beginning. CJ got two years max, It'll be pretty lucky if Ivory can put out two more years without getting really injury prone, and Kerley and Decker (great signing), while in their prime, look to be most effective for next two years. There's a good chance that after next 2 seasons we'll have 5 new o-lineman, a new QB, a new RB, and definitely 1, if not 2 new starting receivers. Not to mention we still need a TE, but there were no good options in FA so Idzik gets a pass on that.
But to the narrative part. Way I see it, Rex needs to make play-offs this year to stay. Say he doesn't, gets fired, and Idzik brings in his own coach. Now, Idzik is on the hot seat. If he catches lightning in a bottle, great, coach makes play-offs he is safe. But say they get someone who can't run the D as well, and is not too hot on O, and the team goes something like 5-11, or 4-12. In my humble opinion, he'd very lucky to catch lightning in a bottle, because Rex coached a team with very little talent to 8-8. To Idzik, it would be clearly more preferable to have Rex make the Play-offs and take the heat off.
So what has Idzik done to hedge his bets? He invested in a bunch of cheap mercenaries, along with a mercenary captain in MM, to lead Rex's O. The hope is this collection of former stars, all with a Chip on their shoulder( Vick benched/ cut, CJ cut / doubted, Decker getting out of manning's shadow / a former 4th string Ivory/ Colon's one last year to prove it/ Jock strap always being a Jock Strap) etc. has created a win now offense with hopefully a young, hungry D that could get this team to 9-7, preserving Rex, and in turn, giving Idzik a far higher opportunity to keep his own hide. Because while he'd love to imprint his vision on the team over a 5 year period, in the real NFL world 3 straight play-off less seasons will get a GM canned 90% of the time. If he wants all his 6th and 7th rounders to develop into all-pros and stick around to see it, he'll need to win.
And so I no longer look towards the season with apathy as I did a few weeks ago; I just imagined a cheap, talentless roster, a helpless Geno getting battered into submission play after play because of Jock Strap (that I found kind of funny), and a Secondary getting torched week after week, reporters grilling Rex why Dee and Walls aren't all-pros. But now, I see it as something more poetic. A coach in a crucial season, one where his job depends on it, leading a mystery of a young defense, brimming with young talent yet potential for tragedy. Reinforced by the veteran offense assembled through miscasts and rejects, an angry offense led by MM, himself out to prove that he could thrive without Andy Reid. Not a rebuilding team, meaningless with the eyes to the draft already in september, but an enigma with the potential for quiet an interesting year. And so, I await to see how the Tale of Rex and His Mercenaries shall unfold!