New York Jets owner Woody Johnson dropped the verbal gauntlet Thursday.
"I didn't sign up for a 3-6 season," Johnson told New York reporters. "We haven't had one of these in a while. I'm not happy about it, yet I'm optimistic that some of these things can be corrected."
Although names weren't mentioned, we know exactly who this was directed to. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan should feel a little less secure than they did one day ago. Johnson officially put both on notice.
Johnson signs a lot of checks – big ones -- and he has just three wins to show for it. His team is widely viewed as a circus with a combustible locker room full of characters. The Jets bark a lot more than they bite the past two years, and that's not a good look in the NFL.
Tannenbaum is responsible for putting this roster together. The Jets currently are an old team lacking depth and a franchise quarterback. The recent drafts (Vladimir Ducasse???) haven’t been good and the salary-cap situation isn't ideal.
Ryan is responsible for coaching the Jets. It's Ryan's job to keep the locker room together and getting the team ready to play each week. He's failed at that job more often than not. The Jets are 3-6. Even worse, this week’s story with anonymous players ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow shows more signs of poor chemistry and Ryan not in control of his team.
With all that said, Ryan and Tannenbaum deserve one more year. This pair led New York to back-to-back AFC Championship Games together in 2009 and 2010. It can work, and Ryan and Tannenbaum have earned enough equity to prove it based on their first two years.
Just like the AFC East blog labeled 2012 a no-excuse year for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, the same applies for Ryan and Tannenbaum in 2013. Next year should be win-or-bust for this Jets pair. But Johnson owes Ryan and Tannenbaum one more chance.