By Jeff Capellini
The Jets are in worse shape now than they were before head coach Rex Ryan arrived prior to the 2009 season. They are just a mess.
Sunday’s 31-0 loss to the Chargers in San Diego was an embarrassment on just about every level. Not only did they not show up from the get-go, the Jets seemed to disintegrate in certain areas as the game progressed. And the things that went south were surprising and a bad omen for Ryan.
Considering the week that was heading into the game — the relentless criticism of general manager John Idzik, the fallout over the Geno Smith tirade on a fan following the Week 4 home loss to Detroit and the never-ending speculation about Ryan’s job security — Sunday’s effort and result were just about the worst things that could have happened.
Now, it’s just open season on every single person associated with the franchise, including enabling owner Woody Johnson, who just last week tried to calm fears by standing behind his GM’s unorthodox plan to rebuild. Yet, the firestorm that has engulfed the Jets will not dissipate just because the great and powerful Woody has spoken, mostly because every week they look more and more like one of the worst teams in the NFL.
As I have stated many times both online and in print, this season was never about a commitment to winning in the sense of what the fans and media expected. People who pay massive PSL and ticket prices to go to MetLife Stadium every week can understand the idea of rebuilding to a degree, but what Idzik is in the midst of trying to do — while on some levels admirable considering the Jets’ need to get younger and deeper in a league that has no use for the old and thin — has created such a backlash that there’s no telling if fans will ever trust him.
Certain reporters have been going after the organization for years, mostly because of Ryan’s braggadocio ways back when he was a neophyte head coach. For even the more muted Rex of today, the only way to keep the media at bay is to win, but for the last three-plus years the Jets have at best treaded water. Since the plan to rebuild was put in motion things have only gotten worse for Ryan.
As a result, no one cares about the AFC tittle game appearances in 2009 and 2010 anymore. They no longer act as ammunition for Ryan’s supporters, of which I still am but understand is becoming a losing stance. This coach, while a colorful character of the highest order and brilliant in certain aspects of the Xs and Os, hasn’t been successful for what will soon be four consecutive seasons.
And his boss has done him no favors.
Read the rest of this article for free at newyork.cbslocal.com. Column and photos used with the permission of wfan.com.