Jets' Rex Ryan Era Could Be Coming To An End

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Rex Ryan knows his days as Jets head coach could be numbered. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Rex Ryan knows his days as Jets head coach could be numbered. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Rex Ryan gets more mentions on Only A Game than most NFL head coaches, but we fear chances to chat about the chatty Mr. Ryan might be dwindling --along with the fortunes of the New York Jets.

After a Week 1 victory, the team lost four straight games, including a 31-0 collapse against the San Diego Chargers last weekend. Following that game, Ryan admitted his job is in jeopardy, saying that if the team's struggles continue, "I don't think for a minute I'll be here."

Jason Keidel has been chronicling the Jets' struggles and he joined Bill Littlefield.

BL: Would getting rid of Rex Ryan fix anything?

The Jets always act like they are one move away from winning a Super Bowl when in fact they are 40 moves away from just being a .500 team.

Jason Keidel, Jets writer

JK: No, it would be absolutely cosmetic at this point. The problem with the Jets is — and you'll notice this among any prosperous NFL team — is they have a monolithic corporate structure. From the owner down to the head coach there is a homogeneous sense of direction, of unity, of leadership.

And while it's true the most sacred tandem in all of sports is the coach and quarterback — you can't win without both — you also need the head coach to answer to a general manager, and they have to be simpatico. And that is where the biggest fracture is in the Jets right now.

BL: In a recent column you've written, "Maybe the problem is no one admits the Jets have one." Surely they don't think a 1-4 record is good?

[sidebar title="From The Archives" width="630" align="right"] Back in 2011, Bill spoke with Rex Ryan about his autobiography. [/sidebar]

JK: The Jets are so dysfunctional we could spend an hour just on that. They have such a disjointed totem pole. It really is — it's comical. And all they have to do is look down two doors to the left and see how it's done properly with the New York Giants. But they're so petulant, so obdurate, so stubborn, so stupid, they don't realize what works and what doesn't work. The Jets always act like they are one move away from winning a Super Bowl when in fact they are 40 moves away from just being a .500 team.

BL: You have also written this team has "no talent on offense" and you spoke of them "wiping the cleat-marks off their backs." Are you worried at all Jets fans are going to find out where you live?

JK: Yes, and sadly I live five minutes from that mausoleum they call Met Life Stadium. The Jets were so thoroughly outplayed in San Diego, it's absolutely humiliating. And look, we've all been clear, at least in the New York metropolitan area, to what Rex Ryan is. Rex Ryan is a brilliant defensive mind. No one questions his bonafides in that regard. He has absolutely no idea what to do on offense. They don't know how to coach talent. They don't know how to draft talent.

[sidebar title="The Jets: An Intimate Portrait" width="630" align="right"] In 'Collision Low Crossers' Nicholas Dawidoff gives an insider's view of the Jets. [/sidebar]

They moved up to draft Mark Sanchez, and we all know where Mark Sanchez is now: holding a clipboard in Philadelphia. So they get rid of him and then they draft Geno Smith who was supposed to be their next savior and now they don't even know what to do with him.

Probably the most staggering part of this is that not only are the Jets incompetent, they don't even realize they have a salary cap. The Jets left $20 million of salary cap on the table this offseason. Who does that?


BL: You know, I'm afraid I know the answer to this last question, but will the Jets turn things around before it's too late for Rex Ryan?

JK: For Rex Ryan, no. He's gone. The problem is, when you bring in a new general manager, he's going to want to bring in a new coach. So I think — and I'm not one of those grassy knoll, third shooter kind of guys — but the only reason you leave $20 million of cap on the table is because you don't want your coach to come back. And the best way to do that is to make sure he doesn't have any talent. And so this is a very circuitous but clever way to undercut Ryan and get him out of here.

So, yeah, absolutely, Ryan's gone. I mean look at it: He's 1-4 and also has Tom Brady and Peyton Manning over the next two weeks. Really?

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This segment aired on October 11, 2014.


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