Monday, January 7, 2013
W2W4: The Rex & Woody Show
By Rich Cimini
After nine days of deafening silence, the loudest team in the NFL finally will speak Tuesday.
Owner Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan are scheduled to conduct a "season ending" news conference at 11 a.m. in Florham Park, N.J. In terms of media numbers, it won't approach the Tim Tebow circus/news conference from last March, but it'll be a packed interview room -- all because the Jets refused to speak when the season ended. They like to do things the hard way.
What to watch for:
Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson will meet the press -- finally -- on Tuesday morning.
1. Delay of game: Johnson and Ryan need to explain what took so long. By waiting more than a week, the Jets violated an NFL media policy. They did a disservice to their fan base, which deserved an explanation -- maybe some outrage -- on why the team stunk in 2012.
By clamming up, they also invited speculation about Ryan's job status, not to mention how they dampened his vacation to the Bahamas. Do you think the tabloid photographers would've hunted him down at his swanky resort if he had taken care of his media obligation? Not likely.
2. Who's the boss?: Unless Johnson cuts a deal overnight, the Jets will show up without their new general manager. You may have heard: They fired Mike Tannenbaum last Monday, making the announcement in a press release. The GM search is ongoing. This will put Ryan in an awkward position, having to talk about the team and personnel without knowing the identity of his new boss. Who knows? Maybe Ryan will get so fed up that he'll walk in and announce he's resigning as the HC of the NYJ. That happened a long time ago with a coach who went on to a fair amount of success elsewhere.
As for Johnson, he needs to explain why he fired Tannenbaum and decided to keep Ryan. Johnson also should spell out the characteristics he wants in his new GM and whether the GM will have the power to fire Ryan immediately. Johnson said in his eight-day-old statement that he will retain Ryan. Has anything changed? Inquiring minds want to know.
3. An episode of Sparano: This will be priceless. Unless they fire him before the news conference, Ryan and Johnson will be asked questions about the future of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Awk-ward! While he's at the mike, Ryan can explain why he didn't try harder to keep defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who was granted permission to interview with the Bills. If they hire him, the Bills will have Ryan's playbook.
4. Tebow talk: It would be nice if, once and for all, the Jets provided a straight answer to these two questions: Who was the driving force behind the Tebow trade? Why did it flop? It was only one of the worst personnel moves in recent NFL history, creating dysfunction and bad publicity. It would be refreshing if one of them just admitted, "We made a mistake."
5. Tattoo you: It's bound to come up -- Ryan's now-famous tattoo of his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey. You have to like the chances of that clip landing on SportsCenter.