Will Rex Keep Eating the Apple?

12/28/13 in NFL   |   ml2baumann   |   7 respect

The NFL, as many of us know, is a win now business. In this ultra pressurized environment where winning is a must, at any cost, it is often coaches who take the brunt of scrutiny, and the iron fist of their respective employers; the owners. Currently, in New York, there is no football coach under more pressure than Rex Ryan. The boisterous coach has recently been under fire for his third consecutive season of missing the playoffs. Media members and fans alike have been quick to judge his future as the head coach of the New York Jets.  While a decision on his future is likely to be made after Gang Greens final game against the Miami Dolphins, General Manager John Idzik and Owner Woody Johnson have a difficult decision.

Rex’s tenure in New York can best be described as a roller coaster. In his first two years, he reached the AFC title game. In both those games, the Jets fell short on their opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.  Subsequently, the following two years were disappointing, and the Jets failed to make the playoffs. Yes, the Jets failed to make the playoffs this year, but Rex has certainly changed as a coach. For one, he has increased his personal value in offense. He hired Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator.  Mornhinweg has had the leagues best offense while a coach in the NFL. Additionally, with Rex, will inevitably come a reliable defense.

While these aspects of Rex’s program are evident it really comes down to the final game against Miami for Rex and the future of the Jets. Early this season, the Jets were crushed by the Dolphins 3-23. In that matchup, the Jets were defeated in all phases of the game. Moreover, it took place during rookie Geno Smith’s ugliest stretch of games during the year, where the offense struggled immensely to generate points.
Above all, this game will act as a litmus test. John Idzik needs to let this game unfold before any coaching decision should be made. If the Jets win this game it will boost their record to 8-8, and they will have finished the season going 3-1.

While Rex’s Jets will be amped to play this game, Miami will certainly pull out all the stops. This game is a must win for the Dolphins as they try to make a last playoff push. Therefore, if the Jets overcome this adversity, it will prove that Rex was not only schematically prepared, but also had his team mentally ready.
When it is all said and done, if Rex is brought back, he has one year remaining on his contract. I do not expect a contract extension at the end of this season. Thusly, next year is playoffs or no more biting the big apple for Rex. 
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