Uh Oh. I don’t like what I’m seeing and hearing coming out of the Combine. First there are reports that the Jets brass avoided talking to any of Darrelle Revis’ people during their visit to Indianapolis. Don’t act like a high school clique, gentlemen, reacting to speculation and trade rumors as if it is gossip. Everyone knows the game, especially Revis’ agent. There’s an art to being friendly and social and vague. Watch some Derek Jeter press conferences if you don’t believe me. Total avoidance seems a little silly.
Meanwhile, apparently new GM John Idzik spent part of the combine feeling out Revis’ trade value. This is exactly what he should be doing. But if nothing else, he needs to get discipline for this organization established pronto. What that means is that Idzik needs to take over the mic for the time being. Everybody knows, of course, what is happening. It’s the time of year for wheeling and dealing. But you need a little more finesse then what the Jets have currently shown. Look, I love Revis. Who doesn’t? Of course I want him to stay a Jet. But Idzik needs wiggle room and plausible deniability so he doesn’t have to show his hand as he tries to rebuild this roster. It is unknown what could happen with Revis. He could stay put. His rehab could take a bad turn (hopefully not). How does he fit in with their other potential free agent signings? There are still too many moving parts.
My biggest takeaway is I don’t get the feeling that Ryan and Idzik are on the same page.
I’m not panicking…yet. But the Jets absolutely must get their personnel moves right in the next two months and Idzik needs to be given every chance to deftly maneuver as he sees fit. That means he needs Ryan to get out of his way. Idzik is the show for the next couple of months. Ryan needs to adopt some sort of vanilla talking points along the lines of: “John and I meet and talk all the time. We are evaluating every position on the team with an eye toward how we can improve and field a winning squad.” He’s kind of already done that, but he needs to stick to it. Relentlessly. Even if it is boring and goes against his shoot-from-the-hip nature. And he needs to come up with some Crash Davis approved responses to the inevitable questions like:
Media: Are you going to trade Darrelle Revis?
Ryan: We’re excited his rehab is on schedule and it’s way too premature to discuss anything else.
Media: Why don’t you keep Tim Tebow to challenge Mark Sanchez?
Ryan: How’d that work out last year?
(Me: Whoops, this is harder than I thought. Let me cut Ryan some slack and rephrase.)
Ryan: Tebow is under contract to the New York Jets. Again, we are conducting a full review of our entire roster.
Media: Do you plan on drafting for offense or defense first?
Ryan: Again, we are conducting a full review of our entire roster. We’ll make our draft decisions based on that as we get closer.
Sense a theme? Basically, you are projecting a genial air of genuinely wishing to give reporters answers and taking their questions seriously, while in reality being as vague and non-news producing as possible.
I know the media will hate this. Half the fun of the Ryan years has been the unpredictability of his pressers. But he needs to get this down because if he doesn’t know it yet, he’s the new one on the hot seat. I think he does know. He’s got a hunted look in his eye, it seems to me. But the abdication of interest on the offensive side of the ball has finally come home to roost. The only chance for this team to be competitive, let alone entertain the idea of being a playoff team, is to let Idzik make his moves and not undermine him (intentionally or not, thoughtlessly or not) so he has maximum flexibility for what he needs to try to do.
The bottom line is this: Idzik runs the show now. This Jets organization is in trouble and he has only a short time to try to make moves to fix it. We don’t know how he is going to pan out as a GM long term. But he should be given the benefit of the doubt until the roster becomes finalized.
Then Ryan can take back over at the podium.