With the clock ticking down, Anthony Dixon strolled through the Jets defense to complete a night of pure embarrassment for a team who prides itself on its defensive capabilities. With the Bills putting up 38 points, only Sheldon Richardson looked moved by what has just occurred. In truth there is an air of inevitability about the state of the Jets and what will surely occur once the torture of the 2014 NFL season is behind us, Rex Ryan is a dead man walking whose date of execution is still unknown.
Early in the third quarter of last nights game the camera panned to Rex Ryan on the sideline. He was shocked, stunned, shaking his head in disbelief that this is his team. He looked defeated, desolate and tired. He looked like a man who knew his time was up, that he would be looking for a new team this off-season. A man who would fall short on his promise of a Superbowl and who would exit New York with his tail between his legs.
If the players needed to fight to save their coaches job, they didn't get the message. With two weeks to prepare against a team who had missed practice and had far more important things to worry about than a football game, the Jets laid an egg. The offense was uninspired, lethargic and captained by a player who looked as though he wanted to be anywhere but on the field.
The offensive line didn't seem willing or capable of blocking anybody, with the Bills creating pressure with ease. Mario Williams was exposing Breno Giacomini on a regular basis, so the Jets thought it prudent to have Jeff Cumberland and Jace Amaro block him. Oday Aboushi lost the battle consistently and nobody really seemed to mind all that much. Eric Decker looked to be going through the motions, as did every other receiver who went out on a route.
Defensively the Jets lost the battle up front and collectively made Robert Woods look like Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Tim Brown and Michael Irvin all rolled into one. The safeties were late in coverage, the corners gave a 10 yard cushion on 3rd and short, and the linebackers looked tentative. This is a Rex Ryan defense and nobody wanted to hit anybody, we couldn't play man coverage and we couldn't create pressure.
Just let that sink in for a minute.
Last year with Rex's job on the line, the players came out fighting, finishing the season with 3 wins in 4 games. Of course we could certainly do the same this year, but the best possible scenario is we finish 7-9. However do we really expect us to beat the Patriots and Dolphins twice? I'm not even confident we can get a result against the Titans or Vikings. Rex is done, and the players know it.
With that understanding, I fully expected Woody Johnson to make the smart move. Remove Rex Ryan now before the season is over, which is why I was surprised to see Rex confidently say he will be the coach for the next 5 weeks. He went on to say he hasn't had a guarantee from Woody Johnson, but it seemed as though he'd received a guarantee from somewhere. No coach who's sitting at 2-9 with his 4th season in a row without a winning record would be that confident after that performance without a guarantee.
Any coach who comes into this situation will require time to build a competitive football team.
There is no way Rex Ryan should keep his job at the end of the season.
As a result, the search for our new head coach should be happening right now, before the season is over. Personally I think removing Rex so we're not searching for a new head coach while he's still in the building is the best way to go about it.
I still firmly believe the players like Rex, even if they're not willing to play hard for him during a lost season. Cutting ties now will allow these players to accept and digest the news away from free agency and the knee-jerk reactions of no longer playing for a coach they obviously like on a personal level.
The Jets can then draw up a list of possible candidates. For many college coaches the season will soon be over and the interview process can start. For coaches currently out of the NFL, the interview process can start. For coaches who are currently with a team, when the Jets are allowed to interview them, they will have a clear idea of who they want to target.
This can all be done with Rex in the building, but personally I think its respectful to lay your cards on the table for everyone involved and start moving forward in a open and transparent way.
The problems go deeper than anyone of us are willing to accept. It goes to the scouting department, the front office, the personnel and the coaching staff. For once, we need to be proactive in securing the off-season we need and deserve as Jets fans and the best way to do that is terminate the contract of Rex Ryan and John Idzik, and move Bradway as far away from the scouting department as possible.
We then start fresh and we head into the off-season with a clear and defined plan with targets. We need a plan A, B,C and D. Going through the motions for 5 weeks will serve ni purpose for anyone. Not for our front office, not for our ownership, not for our coaching staff and not for our players.
We need to attack this off-season with enthusiasm, right now there is no enthusiasm throughout this organization.You don't need to be an insider to see that.