The New York Jets seemed like an organization without any leadership since finishing 6-10 after the 2012 season. They did rid themselves of general manager Mike Tannenbaum along with a host of coaches leaving for various reasons.
The New York Daily News thought that a Rex Ryan tattoo was sports journalism at its best and owner Woody Johnson and coach Ryan put on a late, yet uninformative press conference, basically saying nothing.
Now enter the new general manager John Idzik and a strange thing seemed to happen. All of a sudden the Jets had a new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, and hired a new quarterbacks coach, David Lee, whom Ryan had shown interest in last year, guess the no one wants to coach with Ryan thing was overblown.
For weeks speculation about the Jets quarterbacks situation spread like wild fire. Who would the team acquire, Matt Flynn via trade, former Mornhinweg quarterback Michael Vick if released or Alex Smith who would not likely be back with the 49ers next year?
The answer is simple Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Moore or David Garrard these are not big names but it seems as if Woody Johnson has “taken a page” out of Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan’s book allowing Idzik to make proper long term “winning” football moves.
For year the Jets build in a short term win now manner which has led to tight finances and many roster issues. Making splashy short term decisions would simple continue the quick conversion from playoff contender to the division cellar.
The Jets are pretty much stuck with the salary for Mark Sanchez whether he is with the team or not. All the “Vick to the Jets” rumors have been laid to rest by Idzik much like Jaguars new GM David Caldwell shot down the notion of the team acquiring Tim Tebow in any manner. Now some Jaguars fans might be upset with Caldwell’s decision as some Jets fans will be upset with not getting a high profile quarterback but this is about leadership and building the team in a manner which will provide long term success, not a popularity contest.
Idzik obviously doesn’t want to spend the money and/or trade valuable draft picks for the “Michael Vicks” of the world instead bring in a low priced veteran, probably draft a rookie and have Sanchez. Just take a look at the San Francisco 49ers and you’d have an idea of the direction Idzik might be headed.
The 49ers took quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft, developed him for one year, and now he has led them to the Super Bowl, something Alex Smith could not do. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh took a big risk eventually benching starter Smith but was willing to take the heat for the potential success he saw in Kaepernick, that is leadership.
We’ve seen quarterbacks drafted in various rounds having success even as a rookie (Russell Wilson). Now you don’t know what you have in a rookie until you see them on the field but they have something Mark Sanchez and others seem to lack, upside potential.
Idzik is steering this former rudderless ship through rough waters leading the organization as a general manager should. Tough decisions need to be made and early on it looks like Idzik will not make popular moves but winning ones and that’s all Jets fans want, a consistent winner.