Is Rex Ryan’s job in danger?
Should it depend on this year?
In all fairness it probably shouldn’t depend on this year. This was not a rebuilding year for the NY Jets, it was a year that new GM Idzik has used to position the team to begin rebuilding next year. Free agent acquisitions were selected to fill roster spots with cheap one year signings. Half of the roster will be free agents in 2014 and the team will start 2014 with 26 million in cap space compared to being 23 million over at the start of 2013. Parting company with Holmes, Sanchez, & Cromartie will generate an additional 26 million in cap room. They situation is perfect for Idzik to begin assembling the team he envisions for the future but should Rex Ryan fit into his plans as the HC of the team.
This is Rex Ryan’s 5th year as the HC of the New York Jets. His current record stands at 39-37 regular season and 13-16 within the division. Not Bad – Not Good Either. The Jets playoff runs of 2009 and 2010 to the Conference Championship Games and the 4-2 playoff record need to be mentioned and course no discussion of Rex Ryan can take place without mentioning the defense. The Jets have ranked #1, #3, #5, #8, #13 respectively in years 2009 through 2013 but this has still resulted in only 2 winning seasons one of which needs a closer look.
Rex took over the Jets in 2009 and his larger than life personality quickly became the face of the New York Jets. On the back of his defense he took the team to the playoffs and to the AFC Championship Game. No issues there and it looked like the Jets had hit a home run with his hiring. 2010 is a slightly different story. While most of the league stayed conservative facing an uncapped year the Jets went full speed ahead being outspent only by the Dallas Cowboys. The results were another winning season and another AFC Championship Game appearance. Good results but also the foundation of the Jets ultimate collapse. Whether it was Ryan, Tannebaum, Woody, or a combination of all three we will never know. Believing they were still close to a Superbowl appearance the team doubled down extending and rewriting contracts to keep the 2010 team intact and pushing large salary cap hits into future years. The less than spectacular result was an 8-8 season, followed by 6-10 in 2012 when Tannebaum took the hit and was fired by a team described as being in “cap hell”. GM Idzik was hired to replace Tannebaum with the condition Rex remains as HC for at least 1 year.
The year is almost up, not a good one. The question is has Rex really done enough in the prior years to justify keeping him and the accompanying baggage. His record is nothing outstanding given the talent he had to work with nothing to make him a “have to have coach” for the new GM. Idzik invested little in player contracts likely with an eye to rebuilding the team with his new HC in 2014. Enjoy the fanfare of a media created Rex-Watch throughout December but the decision on Rex has likely already been made regardless of what happens in the rest of 2013.