The calls for his job are ridiculous, and I'm getting this out of the way now. Rex Ryan is a very good coach, brilliant defensive mind and getting to back-to-back AFC championship games earns him a little leeway; it's not like the Jets finished 5-11.
The following slides are going to cover changes that need to be made for the Jets to have a shot at going to the Super Bowl (or even the playoffs) next year.
The Jets have already said that they will not fire Brian Schottenheimer.
They won't have to pay his salary and can find a competent offensive coordinator.
He's as bad as they come, and the fact that he's getting support from the organization is ludicrous.
There's the "He plays well in the postseason" argument, but you need to get to the postseason to play in it.
Clearly, after three years of little-to-no progress, he's not a competent quarterback. At least in his first year or so, he could hit the check-down throws; see the pick when he missed Shonn Greene in the red zone last week.
With the running game not as good as it was in his first two years, a good quarterback is needed. If the Jets had a great, or even good, quarterback, they would easily be Super Bowl contenders.
Everyone talks about the holes in their defense, but consider this: The Jets offense rarely had long drives, turned the ball over a ton and the defense still played well (fifth-fewest yards per game). The defense did give up the most points off turnovers, but if you saw the games, the turnovers were mostly returned to give the opposing offense good or great field position.
A good quarterback takes all of that away, giving the defense a rest, bringing them back to elite status.
As for replacements...
If for some reason New Orleans doesn't re-sign him, he should be priority No. 1 as he is younger and would only cost money—not players and picks. But, Peyton Manning should, provided he is healthy, be priority No. 1. These are both reaches, especially Brees, but they would immediately make the Jets favorites to win the Super Bowl.
A realistic expectation of a Kyle Orton, or potentially, Matt Flynn could be viable options. Matt Flynn looked like he could make all the throws, and Kyle Orton is a competent quarterback.
Are either of them elite? No. Which would probably be the best option? Flynn. He has elite potential and a Kyle Orton floor, but after this weekend, he will probably be too expensive.
A dark horse for the Jets QB job to look out for, based on no rumors, just logic, is Tony Romo.
Cowboys fans are getting fed up, and the front office might listen; if Romo is available, expect the Jets to be the first to call.
It really, truly pains me to say it, but Rex needs to "Belichick Up."
He needs to not guarantee anything, and he needs to not be his players' buddy. He needs to say: "I'm in charge, we do what I say. I'm the boss, you listen."
Can he still be a players' coach? Absolutely.
I'm not saying to actually be Belichick or a drill sergeant, just let everyone know that he's in charge, so that he's the voice of authority and control in the locker room.
He can still be confident after games and focus on the positives instead of the negatives, but he just can't make excuses or guarantees.