I really hate writing this article. Being a New York Jets fan has never been a particularly pleasurable experience, but for a brief period a few years ago, I thought that had changed.
Rex Ryan rode in on a white horse (or perhaps a purple bird) and promised to change the culture of the Jets, and he did. The problem was, he went too far.
His lackadaisical approach to player discipline, his unrelenting stubbornness and his constant unflattering sound bites destroyed the Jets almost as quickly as it brought them within a game of the Super Bowl (twice). Players hated playing under ultra-disciplinarian Eric Mangini, but at least he kept them in line.
The truth is, I don't think Rex Ryan is a bad coach. I think he has the potential to be a great one and he did a lot of good early in his tenure with the team. I think when Rex gets his second chance he'll compete for plenty of Super Bowls.
However, I think he's worn out his welcome with the Jets. This team is too far gone for him to fix. It's time for the Jets to start fresh with a new GM, a new quarterback and most importantly, a new coach.
Predicting the GM is a fool's errand as the candidates are too many and too unknown, and without knowing where the Jets will be picking in the draft, it's nearly impossible to predict a quarterback.
But finding a coach is entirely possible. He's going to have to fit two important criteria:
1. In all likelihood, he will be offensively minded (no Jets coach has come from that side of the ball since Rich Kotite.)
2. He will have to have a fairly high profile to appease Woody Johnson's need for media attention, but not be a media whore on Ryan's level.
Even with those precursors, there are plenty of potential candidates to consider. Here are the 10 most likely candidates to succeed Rex Ryan as head coach of the New York Jets.