Bart Scott thinks Rex Ryan got a raw deal with the New York Jets, a scenario where he was doomed to fail.
TheMadbacker, who spent four years with the Jets as a linebacker after Ryan recruited him to New York from the Baltimore Ravens, saw a situation over the past season where his former head coach was set-up to lose. The Jets, after an 8-8 season a year ago that led to playoff expectations for 2014, had a lackluster postseason where they failed to net the multiple impact players needed on both sides of the ball. This led to a disappointing 4-12 season that cost Ryan and second-year general manager John Idzik their jobs.
And Scott tells Metro that Idzik, not Ryan, who was courted by the Buffalo Bills and will be their next head coach, was the one to blame. It was Idzik who failed to find impact players in the draft and it was Idzik who didn’t get the marquee free agents into the facility and make sure that they left with signatures on contracts.
None of that is Ryan’s fault, Scott said, and yet Ryan paid the price with his job.
“He was set up to fail, I believe. He didn’t have the pieces to be successful,” Scott told Metro about Ryan.“You can’t ask a safety to play corner or a corner to drop down to play dime or linebacker. In that system you need certain things and he wasn’t given those things. He tried to make the best of what he had. If he got this team to 8-8 this year, he would have deserved to be coach of the year. That’s like having a racecar driver and giving him a Honda Civic engine and not a Ferrari. They had the opportunity to spend some money – not all but some – they still would have been sitting nice.”
Much was expected of the Jets this past year. They had plenty of cap space and a dozen draft picks. With a few holes to fill, it seemed like the Jets could spend and plug a few starters in via free agency and be a competitive team. At the very least, with some upgrading, a team that was .500 in 2013 could have been a Wild Card contender.
Instead, the Jets didn’t open up their wallets as reports filed in of Idzik moving at “glacial speed” on the free agent market.Scott noted that Idzik “did a tremendous job for the next GM from a salary cap [perspective] so they can build a team the way they want.”
But he also was critical of the Jets former general manager and the energy – or lack thereof – that he brought to Jets Drive.
“Honestly what I heard and what I got is that Idzik is the type of guy that drains the energy from the building,” Scott said. “You have some people who bring energy to a building; he took it away. It was a place where people didn’t enjoy coming to work.
“We all know that not everything is going to be fun; you have to work and perform. But if you don’t create an environment that isn’t fun, guys aren’t staying around, building chemistry. They aren’t going to be getting treatment, talking about plays and watching film. When practice is over, they get out of there. From what I get, guys didn’t want to be there. They wanted to leave there. When I was there, guys were there so late and the coaches were leaving before us. It was great.”
Scott is currently an analyst with CBS onThe NFL Today. He has been critical of the direction of the Jets since early in the season.
It was Idzik who bore the brunt of negativity from most of the fanbase, including a movement that saw billboards pop-up posturing for his dismissal, as well as planes flying over the practice facility demanding his termination.Not only did Idzik fail on the free agent market, he also failed in the draft as Scott alluded to. With 19 picks over the last two years, only defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson looks the part of a bona fide starter and contributor. Everyone else, including first round picks such as cornerback Dee Milliner and safety Calvin Pryor, have serious question marks.
Two years is a quick turnaround to bring in a general manager and then usher him out of the door. But Scott understands why owner Woody Johnson made that call.
“Do I really think two years is enough time to implement your plan? No,” Scott said. “But you should have seen signs. He had 12 picks. With those picks, you better get impact players. They better produce.
“There are examples of guys getting results from the second or third round. They gave him free reign and he didn’t show he can do better in the future. He didn’t show that it was going in the right direction. You don’t feel good about the state of the Jets. You do feel good about the state of the Giants. They have a centerpiece to build around.
“Look at Calvin Pryor. He didn’t really do anything this year. Look at all the guys picked after him. Someone has to answer for that. This roster is bare. You’d think they would have a better roster than Buffalo? I don’t think so. Do they have more talent than Miami? No. They definitely don’t than New England. They have less talent than anyone in the division. That’s unacceptable.
“Where’s the diamond in the rough? The guy you found in the fourth round? Fifth round? They don’t have that. Imagine if this team had depth. You can’t keep missing. You can’t only build through free agency, you have to get something from the draft.”