I'm not a massive fan of the mid-season coaching change. I don't think it achieves all that much and although I don't have historical data for W/L % for teams who change their coach in the middle of the season but I'm willing to bet it's not great. We gave Rex what I like to call a paper extension this off-season, offering him little long-term job security but making it appear as though we were putting faith in him. The deal he signed is heavily based on post-season win incentives, and lets be honest, we're not getting any of those anytime soon. The Jets also ensured that it was not fully guaranteed after 2015, which ultimately means they can fire him without paying him a massive amount of money. However that's 2015 and we're barely through a quarter of 2014. So it would cost the Jets to fire Rex this season, and we all know Woody doesn't like spending his cash unless he absolutely has to.
Rex did a great job last year in squeaking out 8 wins for a team who lacked a serious amount of talent on the offensive side the ball. Unfortunately for Rex, the offense only slightly improved with the addition of Decker and the secondary got worse with the subtraction of Cromartie, add this to a much tougher schedule and he was put in a near impossible position. However the return this season has been very poor. We've seen us inch past a terrible Oakland team. Lose a big lead against the Packers, get dominated by the Bears and Lions and then get blown out in San Diego. All along we've struggled in the red-zone defensively and offensively, made some dumb penalties, dumb decisions and some mind-boggling personnel decisions.
However we are now 4 years removed from our last post-season game and let's be completely honest, we won't be getting back there anytime soon. I saw a stat yesterday which suggested we had the worst red-zone defense in the league, which is not exactly unexpected with the secondary we have, but is a little unacceptable when you consider our head coach is supposed to be a defensive mastermind. We've now given up 12 passing touchdowns through 5 games which is good for 2nd in the league, the same as the Jacksonville Jaguars. We've given up 5 plays of 40 or more yards, 3rd worst in the league. There are 100 stats that show this team is among the worst in the league.
How much of this rests with Rex?
I feel sorry for Rex Ryan. Three years without the post-season and his GM doesn't help him put a winning team on the field. We went into the season knowing we had upgraded our offense only slightly, with no major moves outside the Decker deal. We went into the off-season knowing we had done very little to address our secondary and with the league now a passing league, that is almost criminal. Not having a good secondary in the NFL is a recipe for a terrible season. Did Rex push enough for additions? I have absolutely no idea, I'm sure he would have. Did John ask Rex to buy into his long-term philosophy with the understanding his job was safe? All questions that we need answering.
As much as I feel sorry for Rex, he is a key figure in the development of this squad. In the drafting of players and the additions through free agency. Remember when he first got here and he traveled to Bart Scott's house to get him to sign, showing that passion and determination to get a winner to New York. I haven't read anything like that since. As a person Rex is an easy guy to cheer for, and an easy guy to play for. However as a head coach he's making as many mistakes in year 6 as he was in year one, and that's worrying. Poor challenges, poor personnel decisions and not enough accountability.
Right now, it looks as though we'll win 2 or 3 games this season, and that's not being negative that's being realistic. The Bills look as though they've got a bit of direction now, the Miami defense will keep them in games and they have some talent on the offensive side of the ball and the Patriots looked vastly improved last night against the Bengals. If we end the season 3-14 or 4-12, how does Rex Ryan keep his job? It can only occur if this was designed to be a rebuilding year and they just fed the media the tagline of winning now. We were never going to win now with this roster, so either the organization are lying or someone needs to be held accountable.
Personally, I don't think we should change the coach right now. However if we finish the season at 5-11 or less, how can we possibly keep Rex? Are we in a re-build year where Rex and John are on the same page about just trying to get through it and get some important reps for rookies and the younger players? With $20 million in cap space remaining, can we justify not spending it when we see this product on the field? Was it a case of the wrong player at the wrong price this off-season? There are 100 questions I have right now, and at the moment I don't have many answers.
However I want to know what you all think, and you can use this thread as a little bit of venting space to talk about everything you hate about the team and franchise right now! Then we'll crack on and preview the Broncos!