The New York Jets are on the brink of making one of their worst decisions of the last decade by retaining head coach Rex Ryan for the 2013 season. Overall, Rex has done a good job as head coach of the Jets, but the current circumstances make it an undeniable fact that bringing him back is only setting back the franchise.
The Jets are a shell of the team that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010. The talent has eroded, the perception has changed, and the entire organization has turned into a circus. On a pure X's and O's standpoint, Rex deserves another year. 2012 was his first losing season as a head coach. However, it is almost a certainty that General Manager Mike Tannenbaum will not be back in his current role. Also, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano appears likely to be gone. Therefore, the Jets are going to attempt to bring in a new General Manager with a new offensive staff. On paper this may sound like an improvement but it is only setting up Rex, and the rest of the 2013 Jets, for failure. Things are going to get worse for the Jets before they get better. The team has arguably the longest "To-Do List" of any team in the National Football League. The Jets need to completely clean house. Teams do not succeed when they only go half-way. There is no way the Jets are going to be able to hire an elite General Manager if the Jets are forcing Rex Ryan onto him. General Managers always want to bring in coaches they are comfortable with.
The Jets will also not be able to hire an elite offensive coordinator with Rex as a lame duck coach. The team obviously needs to go in another direction at quarterback. Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller are free agents and will not be back. The wide receiver core is shaky. The offensive line is in decline. Every single facet of the offense needs to be improved. Rex has shown over his 4 years that he knows nothing about offense. Also, next season's schedule looks brutal considering the Jets will be playing against the AFC North and NFC South, arguably the two best divisions in football. The Jets are now at a disadvantage in their own division as well. The Jets-Patriots rivalry used to be one of the best in all of football. Rex started his career in New York with a bang, going 3-2 against Belichick in their first five matchups, including the Jets upset win in New England in the 2010 Divisional Playoffs. Since then, the Patriots have won 4 in a row against the Jets with an average margin of victory of 16 points. The rivalry has done a complete 180. To make matter worse, the Miami Dolphins have jumped the Jets in the division. The Jets have gone from legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the AFC to battling for 3rd place in their own division.
Rex Ryan deserves a thank you from Jets fans. From 1970-2008, the franchise played in two AFC Championship games. Rex equaled that total in his first two years on the job. However, the tide has turned and the Rex Ryan era is at a point of no return. It is hard to look at the team now and see how the current regime could fix this disaster. Every week there is a new controversy and the team gives America another reason to look at the franchise as a laughing stock.
The New York Jets need open heart surgery, not a band aid. Say good bye to Rex and start this process over....again