Is Rex A Keeper?
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Jets coach Rex Ryan has done enough with the team to justify a one-year contract extension.
Seven wins in a rebuilding year is solid work, deserving of another chance.
Clearly, the Jets are still playing hard for Ryan, evidenced by Sunday's 24-13 win over the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium.
After the game, Ryan was aglow, chirping about the team's bright future.
"I told you this team is on the climb, on the rise," he said, stating his case after what might have been his final home game. "It was pretty clear, at least to me, that's what we saw today."
The word around the organization is that owner Woody Johnson would like to keep Ryan, but general manager John Idzik is undecided. Before Johnson and Idzik make a decision, they'll need to consider the paucity of attractive coaching candidates.
Presumably, they'd hire an offensive-minded coach, but does anyone believe Ken Whisenhunt, Darrell Bevell or Tom Cable is The Answer?
There are some quality defensive-minded coaches out there, but what sense would it make to replace Ryan -- one of the top defensive minds -- with a Ryan wannabe?
In other words, be careful, because change isn't always a good thing.
If Ryan gets a pink slip, he can walk away knowing he did a credible job with a roster that included more holes than the FDR Drive.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for NFL Nation.
When the Jets hired John Idzik to be their general manager in January, his mission was to turn around the franchise that had missed the playoffs for two straight seasons.
Rex Ryan has not done a bad job this season. This was perhaps his best coaching job to date.
He coaxed seven wins out of this team, and you can't just dismiss the back-to-back AFC title game appearances in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
However, there are ample reasons to make a change.
The Jets will be without a playoff appearance for three straight years for the first time since 1995-97.
Has Gang Green's offense really shown any signs of significant improvement during Ryan's tenure? The Jets are bottom-six in points and yards this season and last. And they certainly don't seem any closer to dethroning New England today than they were when he was hired.
Since Idzik is the Jets' guy for the foreseeable future, owner Woody Johnson should give him every opportunity to build the team into a winner, and that includes installing a new coach.
Ousting Ryan is probably a year too late. The Jets should have just cleaned house last season, but it's better late than never.
It's time to move on and get Idzik's man in there.
Matt Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com