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Saturday, April 27, 2013
Updated: April 28, 9:05 AM ET
Idzik settling Jets' family business

By Rich Cimini
ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- If John Idzik succeeds in his current gig and becomes famous enough to write a book about his experiences with the New York Jets, he has our permission to use this as a title:

"How to Remake a Franchise in Six Days."

Take a step back, folks, and consider what has unfolded. The new general manager traded one of the best players in franchise history, Darrelle Revis, and his encore move was to draft the likely successor to Mark Sanchez.

Geno Smith
In West Virginia's Geno Smith, the Jets look to have their quarterback of the future.

Boom.

Boom.

With two transactions, both months in the making, Idzik removed two players once considered the biggest pieces of the franchise's foundation. He jettisoned Revis because of his outlandish contract demands and he put Sanchez on notice because the organization -- all the way up to the owner -- wants a fresh start at quarterback.

Geno Smith is here. Sanchez is in limbo, waiting to learn his fate. Idzik is the new Godfather in town, and he's settling all family business.

"We are very sure about this plan," Idzik said with confidence Saturday at his first post-draft news conference.

When Idzik was hired in January, he was painted as a patient man who'd take a methodical approach to rebuilding the Jets. If this is methodical, you'd hate to see him when he gets impulsive.

Idzik has changed everything, from the culture to the roster. Ten starters are gone, including some pretty good football players.

Everybody said this had to be an offensive-oriented draft, considering the dearth of playmakers on the roster. Idzik's response? He used the two first-round picks on defense, selecting cornerback Dee Milliner and tackle Sheldon Richardson.

Naturally, Idzik was criticized. He didn't seem to care.

"This is a very strong draft class for the New York Jets," he said. "I think we hit our objectives."

The Jets didn't pick a wide receiver or a tight end, both glaring needs. The only offensive addition certain to make an immediate contribution is running back Chris Ivory, whom they acquired Friday night in a trade with the New Orleans Saints. Ivory is the likely starter.

Smith, too, could be on the field early -- that is the hope -- but there's no guarantee he'll be the Week 1 starter.

After Smith, the rest of the draft picks are big bodies that will need time to develop. They picked three offensive linemen, none of whom are likely to see playing time in 2013.

Third-rounder Brian Winters has potential, but he's switching from tackle to guard -- a position he's never played before. That will take time. Fifth-rounder Oday Aboushi could move from left to right tackle. Sixth-rounder Will Campbell will try to emulate the Brandon Moore story -- a college defensive lineman converting to guard.

In other words, the only probable opening day starter is Milliner, although Richardson is expected to play a significant role.

These past two months have been remarkable, with Idzik turning over a roster that needed to be dismantled. They're rebuilding in every sense of the word, except it's the same old coach.

You remember Rex Ryan, don't you? His new boss ripped his team apart, but Ryan insisted he's looking forward to the fresh start.

"You've got to move forward, you can't just stay put," he said. "Obviously, this football team needs to improve and that improvement has to start with me, and I believe it's going to happen. I can't tell you how excited I am to be working with these guys.

"I've been in the classroom every day since the offseason started. I don't know if the team is as energized as I am, but I can tell you one thing, I'm energized."

Change can be hard. In this case, change is good. Instead of trying to make chicken salad out of you-know-what, Idzik just dumped out the bowl and started over.