If New York continues this downward trend, Rex Ryan should be the first piece to fall in the rebuilding of the Jets.
Yes, Rex has led his team to two AFC Championships, but like his father before him, he lacks the discipline within himself to lead a team to the Super Bowl.
This is his fourth year as head coach and he has finally realized that guaranteed Super Bowls are not displayed in the training facility.
The NFL is a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" league and Rex hasn't done much lately.
Many overstate his expertise on the defensive side of the ball. The Jets had the best defense in football when he took over in 2009 and it has declined each year since (currently ranked 22nd overall).
Too concerned with being a media darling, Rex neglected the issues in his locker room that led to an 8-8 implosion last season—yet the most glaring flaw during his tenure as head coach is the mishandling of the most important position in football.
His coaching philosophy is stuck in the past and his desire to ground-and-pound has been a detriment to the development of Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez will never lead the Jets to two Super Bowls like his New York counterpart Eli Manning, but it will not be because he lacked the talent.
Should Rex Be Fired After This Year?
Through the first three years of their careers, Mark Sanchez (73.2 QB rating) and Eli Manning (69.4 QB rating) share similar statistics. The difference between the two is the support system the New York Giants provided Manning.
Manning has had the benefit of playing with a plethora of talent while under center—Sanchez has been asked to lead an offense throwing the football to Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley.
Even with his early struggles, Tom Coughlin put more of the offense in Manning’s hands. He trusted his QB. Rex is more interested in winning with his defense.
In Week 10 of the 2011 season versus the New England Patriots, Rex once again showcased his ineptitude as a leader of a football team.
After a hasty timeout before the half—which led to a touchdown that gave the Patriots the lead—Rex was publicly critical of his young QB.
“It’s the stupidest play in football history,” Coach Ryan told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya.
Eli Manning made a multitude of mistakes on the field early in his career, but Tom Coughlin never berated his QB in such a fashion.
It is one thing to be critical behind closed doors, but to publicly allow your emotions get the best of you in front of a national audience shows a lack of discipline—a certain discipline necessary to lead a team to the Super Bowl.
Rex Ryan is a front runner. He is one of the best coaches in the league when everything is going right, but when things get tough—moments where great coaches excel—Rex has yet to prove his worth.
If the Jets choose to address their glaring weakness on offense, it cannot be with Rex Ryan as their head coach. The NFL is a QB-driven league and no QB will ever flourish in a Rex Ryan regime.
If the Jets fail to make the playoffs—and by the looks of it they will—Coach Ryan must go.
A franchise that has not won a championship in 42 years can ill-afford to teeter amongst mediocrity any longer.