FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Mondays’ decision to fire head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik was a move about wins and losses, a source says, but it was also about dollars and sense.
That the Jets would part with their head coach after four straight years without the playoffs is not a huge surprise, especially considering the regression from a .500 team in 2013 to this year’s 4-12 record. But a bit more surprising was that owner Woody Johnson was willing to cut ties with his general manager after just two years on the job, this after publicly embracing his vision in early October.
But a source in Jets management tells Metro that Johnson “did see the unrest among the [fans], he heard what they were saying and clearly sensed the impact here.” The impact being, according to the source “that fans were willing to leave the team if this direction continued.”
Does that mean that the Jets fired their general manager and head coach knowing that if they continued – in particular if the highly unpopular Idzik remained as general manager – that the impact on season ticket sales would be detrimental? The answer here is yes and no.
“The decision was made about the on-the-field product. This season was a let down,” the source said.“Perhaps there was an overstatement here on how good we were going to be. Everyone thought this could be a playoff team. But it didn’t work out that way.
“The fans’ reaction – it didn’t necessarily factor in – but it was heard, definitely. If John had stayed, he would have impacted ticket sales and yes, PSLs next year. But Woody is more concerned about building a winner here in New York.
“I’m not saying that the decision was made because of the fans, many fans wanted John to stay too. But Woody clearly knew that keeping John would be unpopular. He knew that there would be a fallout if John had stayed next year and that the negative impact would be felt off the field.”
Idzik seemed to be on solid footing for much of the year but then saw everything fall apart following his midseason press conference. A 19-minute soliloquy to start the press conference was followed by a tense question and answer session where he failed to explain his vision or shed let on the plan to build the Jets into a winner.
“That moment didn’t help,” the source said about the press conference. “It didn’t lead to this decision, again it was the product on the field. But it didn’t help him out.He had the chance to explain himself, his direction for the team. And he wasn’t able to do that.”