When Jets general manager John Idzik took the job in January, he stood at the podium and spoke about a new direction for the beleaguered franchise. Turns out, it is easier said than done.
Two of Idzik’s first signings have done nothing to change the perception of a team known for bad decisions and bad choices. There was quarterback David Garrard, signed to provide quarterback competition with Mark Sanchez, who had to retire in mid-May following continued pain in his knee. Then there was the arrest of running back Mike Goodson a couple weeks ago and the subsequent handgun and narcotic charges, which has led to court appearances affecting his presence at offseason team activities.
From the outside, it looks like more bad moves from a team plagued with plenty of head scratchers over the years. Idzik seems unfazed.
“From the inside we have a lot more information and we’ll continue to gather that information and some of those things will work out. You keep pushing, you keep prodding, you keep exploring for any opportunity you get to improve the club,” Idzik said Thursday. “If that means signing a player the quality of David Garrard’s ilk and bringing him in and giving a chance, and it’s a good chance for us, we’re going to take it and see where it leads.”
As part of the task to reshape a team that was 6-10 last season and has missed the playoffs the last two years, Idzik has preached competition. Signing Garrard and Goodson were part of that plan and the separate failures of both players — although Goodson’s legal issues are not yet settled — hasn’t made the new general manager trigger shy.
Idzik refused to comment specifically on Goodson’s future with the Jets, only saying, “Mike Goodson’s a New York Jet. We’re continuing to develop him like all the others.”
“We’re not going to comment to anything specific on any player. Generally speaking, we do our homework. We do our homework with respect to medical concerns, we do our homework with respect to background checks and all that,” Idzik said. “We’re in a human business so when you’re dealing with that, you’re dealing with unpredictability. There’s always going to be a certain degree of risk or unpredictability.”
The issue with Goodson is one thing, but Garrard is another issue and one that showed the frailty of dealing in a business with human bodies.
Garrard hadn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2010 due to a knee injury. He went through a workout with the Jets this offseason and impressed enough to earn a contract to compete at the quarterback position.
Idzik felt comfortable enough with the information they had on Garrard to go forward with the signing.
“I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night so I won’t pretend to be a doctor,” Idzik said. “Seriously, we obviously do our homework. Generally speaking, we’ll go through the [medical reports]; we’ll go through the durability type concerns. We’ll go through everything. So yeah, we had a pretty thorough [understanding] of what was going on.”
Jets notes ...
» Joe McKnight, who rolled his ankle on Wednesday during a special teams drill, was a full-go in the final minicamp session on Thursday.
» After a strong offseason including a good minicamp this week, cornerback Antonio Cromartie was excused on Thursday to attend to a personal issue.
» When he spoke to the media on Wednesday, wide receiver Santonio Holmes was mum on the timetable for his recovery. Head coach Rex Ryan sounded both optimistic and cautious.
“I know Tone expects to be back by training camp,” Ryan said. “But we're not going to put him out there to make a deadline.”
»Entering his fourth year in the league, the Jets are expecting former first-round pick Kyle Wilson to take a step forward this year and Ryan has liked what he has seen so far.
“I will say this about Kyle, this is the best camp he's had and it's not even close,” Ryan said.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for all your offseason news.