After the atrocity that was Gang Green's 2012 season, apparently the Jets need to keep getting worse.
This offseason already has been interesting as well, because each of Ryan's coordinators are gone. First, per ESPN's Chris Mortensen:
The Jets have fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, as expected, per league sources.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) January 8, 2013
And then according to Kimberly Jones of NFL.com:
Expect Dennis Thurman to be named Jets defensive coordinator, replacing Mike Pettine. Guessing it's a popular hire with players.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) January 8, 2013
Factor in general manager Mike Tannenbaum, per Josh Alper of NBC Sports, before the New Year and yet Ryan still remains. Now without question have the Jets seen some nice success under Ryan, because two consecutive AFC Championship appearances is worth noting.
However, that also occurred during his first two seasons where New York slid in as the No. 5 and 6 seeds. The 2011 campaign finished in disaster after beginning 8-5 and 2012 was straight up painful to watch for Jets fans.
Given all that, along with the incredibly awful play of quarterback Mark Sanchez and the limited usage of Tim Tebow, Fireman Ed and loyal Jets fans everywhere deserve much better. Looking through what lies ahead this offseason and one thing is certain, Gang Green holds the No. 9 selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Clearly a top-10 draft pick allows for a chance to rebuild, but failing to address an area of need would definitely increase the pressure. New York needs a quarterback, so unless Geno Smith is available there, trading down or taking a front-seven player to improve the run defense or pass rush must happen.
In short, if the Jets' front office refuses to recognize the dire need for a better signal-caller and the offense doesn't improve dramatically next season, there will be additional criticism. And that will only increase if Gang Green misses the postseason yet again. Because in an article by Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger:
"I think everybody feels they're fortunate to have Rex," [Woody] Johnson said. "They know he's a good coach, so it takes one of the uncertainties out of the question."
Johnson added that there is no specific "playoff mandate" that Ryan needs to meet next year to save his job. There are two years remaining on his contract.
The "uncertainties" that Johnson mentions can rightfully be interpreted to mean the Jets playoff chances. At the very least, anyone can be uncertain New York will be playing in January. Instead, let's change that to definitely not: Until the Jets actually make the postseason.
And if Jets fans are outraged that their postseason odds are slim to none next season that's fine. But is Sanchez the answer under center?
What would it take for Rex Ryan to be out as the Jets head coach?
Has Ryan continued to stick with him despite all the criticism from underperforming?
Sanchez started 15 games this season and kept regressing. Unless the former No. 5 overall selection proves otherwise, New York will need another quarterback and its postseason chances won't increase until then.
Not to mention Ryan didn't exactly respond to questions about Sanchez. In an article from the Long Island Newsday:
Sanchez has a guaranteed contract for next season, but Ryan said that wouldn't be a factor in determining who takes the field.
"Obviously the situation, whoever the offensive coordinator is, his system, all those types of things, there's going to be a lot of things that go into it," Ryan said. "Money, the financial part, will not have any of the considerations for it. We'll play the player that fits best."
Unfortunately throughout the 2012 season, New York's best pocket-passer couldn't consistently get the job done. And if Sanchez goes through another season like this past one, along with the Jets missing the postseason, it wouldn't be surprising to see Ryan gone.
Other AFC teams such as the Bills, Dolphins, Colts and Bengals will all be vying for a wild-card spot, at the minimum, next season. Factor in the Patriots, Broncos and Texans and where does that leave New York?
On the outside looking in.
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