Wednesday, January 23, 2013
W2W4: H-e-e-e-e-re's Johnny
By Rich Cimini
For the second time in 16 days, the Jets will hold a major news conference. This time, it's to introduce former Seahawks executive John Idzik, who was hired six days ago as the general manager.
Idzik, owner Woody Johnson and coach Rex Ryan are slated to attend Thursday's news conference. It will begin at 11 a.m. at the team's facility in Florham Park, N.J.
What to watch for (or what Jets fans want to hear):
1. Why Idzik?: The Jets' roster needs a major upgrade, yet they hired an executive whose specialty is the salary cap and contract negotiations. Johnson needs to explain to fans why he believes this model will be more fruitful than the previous one, which also was built around a GM (Mike Tannenbaum) who made his bones on the business side.
2. Johnny Be Good: After two decades as a background player, Idzik steps into the spotlight for the first time. No matter; he needs to take charge and spell out his vision for the franchise. The fan base has suffered enough; it deserves answers, not PR babble.
3. The quarterback situation: This is the hot-button issue. Will Idzik keep Mark Sanchez and his $12.8 million cap charge? Will he send Tim Tebow packing, like everyone believes he will? Nothing riles up New York fans more than a quarterback controversy, and they want to know how the new executive in the room -- the so-called answer man with an Ivy League education -- will sort out the messiest quarterback situation in the league.
4. The Rex Factor: Idzik and Ryan have nothing in common other than the fact their fathers are former Jets assistant coaches (about 10 years apart). Oh, yes, Idzik and Ryan also worked as ball boys at Jets training camps. That alone won't make this a successful marriage. Everyone wants to hear why Idzik would take the job knowing he had to keep Ryan for at least a year.
5. Sailing to Revis Island: Darrelle Revis will be an unrestricted free agent in one year. Tough call for Idzik: Does he sign him to a long-term extension coming off major surgery, let him play out the deal or trade him? Idzik is known as a skilled negotiator; he'll need those talents to deal with Revis' hard-line agents. It's be interesting to get his take on Revis' future and other contract/cap-related issues.