Why Mike Tannenbaum, Not Rex Ryan, Is the Biggest Problem for New York Jets

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IOctober 9, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson appear at a ceremony during their season opener against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Everyone wants to blame Rex Ryan

Give Rex a break. 

The predicament the New York Jets find themselves in today isn't his fault. 

At all. 

The Jets have an assortment of deficiencies, that's for sure, but the root of each problem is general manager Mike Tannenbaum. 

Actually, the fact that owner Woody Johnson hired Tannenbaum to be the GM is truly the fundamental issue with the team today, but Tannenbaum's lackluster job in the vital role precipitated the Jets' downfall. 

The decision to not address the right tackle spot in the draft or during the free-agency period after witnessing how much of a liability Wayne Hunter was in 2011 was unacceptable. 

Sure, swinging the trade for Jason Smith hasn't been a disaster because Austin Howard has actually performed admirably in Hunter's spot, but failing to upgrade that crucial position in the offseason was borderline insane.

Instead, the free-agency focus was on Tim Tebow

If they planned to play Tebow more often and integrate him into their rather pedestrian offense, fine—although the media circus he brings has to be taken into account. 

In five games, Tebow's been nothing more than a decoy, or to some, a useless marketing sideshow. 

Taking Stephen Hill in the second round of the draft can't be seen as a total mishap, because Gang Green was clearly in need of more playmakers. But to take arguably one of the more raw wideouts in the class (with great measureables and natural talent) was certainly questionable.

While Ryan may have had something (read: a lot) to do with the team's unwavering faith in the clearly powerless Shonn Greene, Tannenbaum didn't pursue a running back until the the sixth round of this year's draft. 

Again, no real talent upgrade at a key position.

Injuries have certainly plagued the Jets this season. The losses of Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes were devastating, but what's left of the team now undeniably proves that the man who constructed this 2012 Jets club is the root of the problem—Mike Tannenbaum.