Saturday, December 28, 2013

Signs are Pointing to Rex Ryan's Return to N.Y. Jets in 2014

Surprise, surprise, Rex Ryan may not be going anywhere after all.

It appears that owner Woody Johnson has heard enough catcalls from the fans and media this week, demanding Ryan's return to the organization, and reports from various NFL insiders are saying that the Jets are leaning toward bringing back Ryan in 2014.

The reports state that the Jets and Ryan are in talks over an extension, so things are not written in cement. Anything can change at any given moment, but the signs are pointing to his return.

No surprise.

Last week a report leaked to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer that Ryan told the team he expected to be fired. He used it as a ploy to motivate the team to play for his return, and it appears it worked.

Many call this a solid move because it brings continuity to the organization, and it leaves little doubt as to who the leader of the franchise is: Rex Ryan. This team is built with his personality; he has infused himself into the Jets over the years.

 I always applaud an owner who decides to stick with the program rather than dump it for a new path. Typically, franchises that are successful stick with their coaches long term. So from that standpoint it's the right move.

Ryan does get credit for winning more games than some people expected this year, but even if the Jets do finish 8-8, this is not a good 8-8 team by any stretch of the imagination.

That being said, Ryan hasn't exactly earned this return, not after three straight seasons without a spot in the playoffs. Not after his failure to develop, or even, to try to develop some form of a competent offense over the past five seasons.

Not to mention the circus-like atmosphere that he created for the organization has become harder and harder to take.

Alas he comes back. But not without some questions. If Rex Ryan does come back what does this mean for the offense? For starters it means that Marty Mornhinwheg will return as offensive coordinator to tutor Geno Smith. The Jets under Rex Ryan probably won't give up on Geno -- i.e. their ridiculous patience with Mark Sanchez -- so expect Geno under center in '14.

Also don't expect, unless the Jets change their minds between now and April, to draft one of the top flight quarterbacks coming out of college.  Knowing Rex Ryan and his reputation with quarterback's, Geno is his man. Mark Sanchez? I expect him to be gone, but heck, knowing how much Rex likes him I wouldn't be shocked at all if the Jets re-work his contract and bring him back.

What does this mean about the power in the organization? Rich Cimini brought up a good point in his article about the power structure within the Jets franchise. Woody loves Rex Ryan and his bravado; it was assumed that John Idzik was not too crazy about Rex, but they were amicable this year. What does Rex's return mean for Idzik's power within the organization now?

Coaching staff? The Jets have a lot of assistants in the final year of their contract, and it will be interesting to see which assistants return under Rex as the team moves forward.

Finally, if the Jets have another mediocre season in 2014, then what? The fans professed their love for Rex Ryan this week, but lets remember that most of them wanted him fired before the Browns game. What happens if next season produces more average results? Will the fans turn on Rex and demand he be fired? Remember what I said in my previous article, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

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