Mandel’s Musings – Jets In Disarray, Must Fire Rex and Tannenbaum

Published on: 15th November, 2012

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rex ryan and tim tebow
Mandel's Musings - Jets In Disarray, Must Fire Rex and Tannenbaum  | read this item

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New York — When Rex Ryan first blasted onto the New York scene, all 320 pounds of him swooping down on Jets fans and the media with daring quotes and predictions as the new head coach of the New Jersey Jets, a funny thing happened to him and to the Jets. He backed it up.

He, along with a rookie quarterback in Mark Sanchez, took the team all the way to the 2009 AFC Championship game. Then, amazingly, with a second-year quarterback in Sanchez, they did it again, going to the conference championship game in 2010. One game away from the ultimate game, the Super Bowl, in each of Ryan’s first two years.

That’s production, my friends.

There had never been a new head coach in the NFL who took their teams to those heights so soon after getting their jobs. After all, the reason the jobs were available in the first place was because the team stunk. Or, they had  underachieved. Or, rebelled against the previous coach whose message no longer was getting through to the players. Or, the locker room had exploded into factions that were the antithesis of a united team front. You know, the us against the world syndrome that so often drives a team to victory.

The Jets, under Ryan’s predecessor, Eric Mangini, suffered from all of those maladies, costing Mangini and his coaching staff their jobs soon after the 2008 season. Those Jets teams was fractured in every way, from half the team quitting on Mangini to there being an absolute paucity of talent in key positions on both sides of the ball.

That talent deficit was care of the Jets general manager then, as he is now, Mike Tannenbaum. Well, guess what? The 2012 New York Jets are now in the throes of the same diseases the Mangini Jets suffered from.

And, there’s only one solution. Make that, two solutions.

Fire the coach. And, fire the general manager, Tannenbaum.

It’s easiest to get rid of the coach whenever a team is perceived to be underachieving. Sometimes, the talent simply stops listening to the message coming out of a coach’s mouth, especially when much of what he has said hasn’t come true. Or doesn’t ring true. Andy Reid, the Eagles long-time head man, is on his way out of Philadelphia after this season as his Eagles are struggling for the second consecutive season. And, that’s a good thing for Reid, already being talked about to replace Norv Turner in San Diego for next season. Reid needs a change of scenery, just as his players probably need to hear a new voice.

The problem Ryan has is not only caused by his blustering predictions, few of which have come true over the past three years he’s been on the Jets sidelines. He has that little talent problem, particularly this season. He’s got players who can’t play. They can’t block, they can’t tackle, they can’t rush the passer, they can’t throw the ball to a platoon of receivers who can’t catch it anyway.

That’s Tannenbaum’s fault. The general manager, who used to be a salary cap expert (a basic numbers cruncher) had never been a personnel expert. A capologist knows as much about NFL talent as a political pollster like Nate Silver of the NY Times knows how to give a speech and run for elective office. Zippo. Nada. Not his job. Was never his job description under Bill Parcells nor was it in his training.

So, you can blame Woody Johnson, the Jets owner, for putting a capologist like Tannenbaum into a job he was ill-prepared to handle. But, since Woody owns the team, he has the particular advantage of doing the firing, not getting fired.

The Jets are on their way to one of their most miserable seasons ever. They’ve fallen to 3-6, getting bombed out in their last game in Seattle and the remainder of their schedule doesn’t appear to have one team they seem capable of beating. A 3-13 record seems well within reach for this squad and that means one thing. Actually, two things.

Goodbye Rex. Goodbye, Mr. T.

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