GM: Jets' 1-7 start 'unsatisfactory'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- General manager John Idzik took the blame Monday for the New York Jets' 1-7 start, calling his performance "unsatisfactory."

The second-year GM, in an unusual news conference that included a 19-minute opening statement in which he rambled on about everything from the salary cap to his interaction with young fans, said he still supports embattled coach Rex Ryan.

Idzik praised Ryan, but he stopped short of committing to the sixth-year coach for the remainder of the season. He cited the organizational policy of not discussing job status during the season.

Ryan had no reaction to Idzik's non-commitment for the remainder of the season, insisting he's more concerned about his day-to-day responsibilities than his job security. The coach also declined to use Idzik's word -- "unsatisfactory" -- to describe his boss's performance.

"The only thing I'd say is unsatisfactory is, obviously, our record," Ryan said. "That's what is unsatisfactory. ... I'm the guy that's responsible for the results on the field and that's where it should lie."

Referring occasionally to two pages of notes and no doubt reciting a prepared speech, Idzik was emotional at times, expressing disappointment for the team's performance. At times, it sounded like a halftime speech.

"Gut-wrenching ... brutal ... you feel like you've been punched in the face," Idzik said, describing the season. "It's painful. It's particularly painful for our fans. This is very personal to me. The Jets are my team. The Jets are our team."

Idzik, who doesn't regularly speak to the media, made these comments during his midseason review. It was carried on live television and radio.

"I'm the general manager of the New York Jets, and I am responsible for the football operations of the New York Jets," he said. "Ultimately, I'm responsible for the performance of our team and the product we put on the field. That lies with me. The buck stops here."

Idzik has come under fire for constructing a roster with obvious holes, starting at the quarterback position. He said the team has enough talent to win, but he repeatedly bemoaned the lack of consistency.

The Jets have dropped seven straight games. Ryan, whose career record is 43-45, might be fired after the season if the losing continues. Idzik, too, is facing the heat. He deflected a question about whether he's concerned about his own job security, saying his concern is the team.

Idzik didn't hold back when praising Ryan.

"The last time I checked, all the traits that make Rex Ryan our leader, our head coach, are still intact," he said. "He's an excellent football mind, he's a teacher, he's a coach, he's a motivator, he's a mentor, he's able to adapt. He sees both the short- and long-term vision. He's competitive in his role. He'll never quit.

"I support Rex. I continue to support Rex and the coaching staff."

Idzik and owner Woody Johnson gave Ryan a multiyear contract extension after last season, but the deal is guaranteed through only 2015. But Idzik inherited Ryan last year, and there's a feeling that he may want to hire his own coach someday.

Idzik didn't provide any concrete answers as to why the team has struggled. He simply recited the obvious faults, listing a few statistics.

While he accepted he share of the blame, Idzik made it clear he doesn't believe it's a talent issue.

"I believe in our players," he said. "I believe in our ability."

For the first time, Idzik offered a less-than-enthusiastic assessment of quarterback Geno Smith, who was benched Sunday after throwing three interceptions in a 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills and lost his starting job Monday.

The Jets picked Smith in the second round of the 2013 draft, hoping he'd develop into their long-term answer.

Idzik said Smith's latest performance was a "cause for concern. It's eye-opening. It's certainly eye-opening for Geno."

The Jets are 9-15 on Idzik's watch and likely will miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. His predecessors, Mike Tannenbaum and Terry Bradway, made the playoffs in their first seasons as GM.