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Has John Idzik Made Things Worse?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of the criticisms against John Idzik is that the current roster is worse than what Mike Tannenbaum left when he was fired after the 2012 season. Let's take a look at the final roster from that season and compare it to the current one and see what we've got on our hands. I will include players on injured reserve, but I will specifically note those players. I will not be including practice squad players.

This article isn't to compare the job performances of Idzik and Tannenbaum, so please refrain from the "yeah well we got to the AFC Championship under Tannenbaum." This is simply to compare rosters, as many have said the roster has degraded in the past two years.


2012 - Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy.

2014 - Geno Smith, Mike Vick

These are both pretty awful. 2014 probably had more upside if Smith took the next step, but we're left with essentially a push. Smith's past game against the Buffalo Bills reminded me of Sanchez's 2012 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Running backs

2012 - Shonn Greene, John Griffin, Lex Hilliard, Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell

2014 - Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson, Bilal Powell, John Conner, Tommy Bohanon (IR)

The 2014 group here is almost unequivocally better. Ivory is the guy we hoped Greene would become. I think the trade for him was one of Idzik's best moves.

Wide receivers

2012 - Braylon Edwards, Clyde Gates, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Jordan White, Stephen Hill (IR), Santonio Holmes (IR), Royce Adams (IR)

2014 - Eric Decker, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Kerley, Greg Salas, T.J. Graham, Saalim Hakim, Walter Powell, Chris Owusu, Shaq Evans (IR)

This is probably the most improved group on the roster. In 2012, the team was starting Edwards, who was on his last legs, and Clyde Gates, interspersed with some Chaz Schilens. Things were really, really bad. Now the team has what I would consider a good set of receivers.

Tight ends

2012 - Jeff Cumberland, Dustin Keller, Konrad Reuland, Hayden Smith, Dederick Epps (IR), Josh Baker (IR)

2014 - Jace Amaro, Jeff Cumberland, Zach Sudfeld

I would give the slight nod here to 2014, because I think Amaro is already better than Cumberland, but I can totally understand if you want to consider this a push.

Offensive linemen

2012 - Vladimir Ducasse, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Austin Howard, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Caleb Schlauderaff, Matt Slauson, Jason Smith

2014 - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Oday Aboushi, Nick Mangold, Willie Colon, Ben Ilajana, Wesley Johnson, Dakota Dozier, Dalton Freeman, Brian Winters (IR)

2012 wins this one with better starters, but 2014 has better depth. Ultimately, the 2014 group is currently in shambles, so I'll give 2012 the nod here.

Defensive linemen

2012 - Quinton Coples, Mike Devito, Kenrick Ellis, Damon Harrison, Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson

2014 - Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Kenrick Ellis, Leger Douzable, T.J. Barnes

Part of this has to do to development, since the rosters are largely the same, but the edge has to go to 2014 here. In 2012, the team had a great group of run stuffers. Now, they can stuff the run and rush the passer.


2012 - Nick Bellore, Demario Davis, David Harris, Garrett McIntyre, Calvin Pace, Ricky Sapp, Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Josh Mauga (IR)

2014 - Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, David Harris, Calvin Pace, Jason Babin, A.J. Edds, Nick Bellore, Antwan Barnes, Ikemefuna Enemkpali, Trevor Reilly, Jermaine Cunningham (IR)

I'll give this to 2014, due to the outside linebackers. The team hasn't improved on its coverage ability, but the pass rushers at OLB are significantly better than McIntyre, Pace, Thomas, and Sapp.

Defensive backs

2012 - Antonio Allen, Yeremiah Bell, Josh Bush, Antonio Cromartie, Donnie Fletcher, LaRon Landry, Ellis Lankster, Eric Smith, Darrin Walls, Kyle Wilson, Aaron Berry (IR), Darrelle Revis (IR), Isaiah Trufant (IR)

2014 - Antonio Allen, Darrin Walls, Kyle Wilson, Phillip Adams, Calvin Pryor, Dawan Landry, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Dexter McDougle (IR), Dee Milliner (IR)

Oy. 2012 is the clear winner here. It certainly hurts 2014 that the top two CBs are on injured reserve, but despite losing Revis, 2012 had one of the best pass defenses in the league.

Special teams

2012 - Nick Folk, Robert Malone, Tanner Purdum

2014 - Nick Folk, Ryan Quigley, Tanner Purdum

Surprisingly, Quigley has been statistically one of the best punters in the league. As a result, I'll give the slight edge to 2014.

Overall, I think the current roster is better than what Tannenbaum left for Idzik. Despite that, the team is 1-7. There are a lot of things you can blame here; a tough schedule, the ball not bouncing the right way, coaching, injuries, players not making the next step, etc. Ultimately, if the quarterbacks were playing better, the team would probably be in playoff contention. As it stands now, they just aren't getting the job done, and that may result in Idzik getting fired, even if the roster is making incremental steps forward.