No matter how you spell Rex Ryan, the Jets are still a train wreck.
Football fans have long regarded the Cowboys, with its owner Jerry 'Botox Surgeons Gone Wild' Jones, as the league’s ranking dysfunctional circus of a team, but over the last four years, and especially with the addition of Tim Tebow this year, that distinction is now a trademark of the New York football Jets. Actually, it would be an insult to the word 'dysfunctional' to call the Jets 'dysfunctional.' The cloud of chaos that has been hanging over this traveling circus all season would make the Lohan family blush.
For those of you that think that the 'Tebow Era' in New York has been a bust, you're just looking at it the wrong way. Tim Tebow wasn't brought there to play quarterback, or to push Mark Sanchez to be a better quarterback. He wasn't brought in to run the Wildcat, or be the protector on punts, or to spread his uplifting story of purity and chastity to the heathen masses of New York City. He was brought there to sell. To sell tickets, jerseys, and bumper stickers, advertising, and newspapers. The 'Tebow Experiment' has been a wildcat success, so to speak.
Yes, the Jets used Tim Tebow. And they probably had mostly good intentions when they sort of told him part of the truth about what his role on the team would hopefully be. But guess what? Tebow was using the Jets just as much as they were using him. Remember: he could've gone to Jacksonville and been the starter by week 3, if not sooner. He could've named his price along the way. He could've had a whole ring of keys to his hometown. But the marketing machine that is Tebow, Inc. saw a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and that rainbow ended in New York, not Jacksonville. Never underestimate the power of a little greed and a little hubris, dressed up in the form of the Boy Next Door.
What was it we were told: '15-20 snaps per game'? That would be enough to keep Tebow involved in that juggernaut of an offense known as 'Ground and Pound.' It would be enough to push Mark Sanchez to the next level. It would validate Tony Sparano's hiring and Brian Schottenheimer's firing. And it would elevate Wrecks into the 'Elite' class of coaches in the NFL … right up there with Belichick, and Mike Tomlin, and his crosstown rival, Tom Coughlin. The Jets would ride that wave all the way to New Orleans, and bring back the Super Bowl championship that has eluded them since the Beatles’ last-ever public performance.
That’s what Wrecks all but said, even though he said he wasn't saying it by saying a bunch of other things that he denied ever meaning to say. And therein lies the story of their season: every time Wrecks opened his mouth, what came out was that annoying circus music.
So along the way, what we learned is that Sanchez isn't that good. (Not entirely his fault, given the slew of injuries at the skill positions and along the offensive line, and nobody to block for what passes as running backs...Bilal Who?) We also learned that in a conventional offense, Tim Tebow is not just a poor player - he's not even qualified to be on the field with other NFL players. At least that's what Wrecks has effectively ‘told’ us in the muddied blizzard of words he continued to offer up to explain why Tebow hasn’t been starting, or even playing. It’s hard to decipher Wrecks’ explanations about Tebow, however.
Another thing we've learned is that Wrecks isn’t as good of a coach as we were all led to believe he is (even though he was the one who was out front leading the charge on that myth). And it's not just that Wrecks isn’t a very good coach. He's not a very good leader, or manager, or executive, or teacher. Those two trips to the AFC Championship in 2009 / 2010 seem like a lifetime ago. Who would've ever thought you would be able to look back at those teams and say 'Well, he did it with Eric Mangini's players'?
Now that Wrecks has had four seasons to put his fingerprints on every aspect of the team and organization (coaching changes, trades, personnel decisions), we have some real results by which to judge him, and his ability to coach: 8-8 and 6-10 records over the last two seasons speak loud and clear. The Jets are trending down, which is the opposite of up, which is where you want to be going as a team by year four of a coach's tenure.
Whereas most NFL coaches are able to deal with adversity and controversy, and channel it in a direction that doesn't continually undermine and hurt the team, Wrecks has chased the drama of it all and grabbed hold of it and marched it back in to the locker room and made it sit in front of the cameras and spotlights, all while poking it with a stick like a 9-year-old boy does with a beehive.
The chaos that is Wrecks Ryan is manifest in the team that appears on the field every Sunday, and in the aftermath of those games. There's no nice way to say it. There's no way to sugarcoat it. There's no way that it will change until there is a new coach. The team is a reflection of the coach, and this team has failed to manifest the “Ground and Pound” attitude and strategy that Ryan promoted as their new style. Based on the results, it's past time for a change. Simply getting rid of Tebow, and the disruption that has been caused by the circus that Wrecks has created around him, is not the answer.
Clearly the answer is to bring in a grownup to coach the Jets. And maybe Rex could be the next coach in Jacksonville?