The Jets aren’t expected to be playoff contenders in 2013 but Rex Ryan’s future with the franchise may not be tied to a postseason berth.
Owner Woody Johnson’s decision to fire general manager Mike Tannenbaum and keep the head coach after a 6-10 season raised questions about whether Ryan who is under contract through the 2014 season will be a lame duck this year. Unlike the Chicago Bears whose new general manager Phil Emery fired the coach he inherited Lovie Smith after the team missed the playoffs despite finishing 10-6 in 2013 Johnson would probably be ecstatic if Ryan led the talent-strapped Jets to an above .500 record after last year’s disaster.
“I’m not worried about being a lame-duck guy” Ryan recently told the Daily News as the Jets’ offseason program came to an end. “I’m not worried about that. I am not. I look at this as an opportunity. . . . Look I’m disappointed in the product that we put on the field (in 2012) both personally (and for) our fans. Because I’m a Jet fan. I’m no different than anybody else.
. . . So I know they’re disappointed. I know they’re ticked off at how we played last year. And I’m sure they’re upset at me and rightfully so.
“At the end of the day we’ll see what happens” he added. “I’m certainly not worried about it. In fact I’m doing just the opposite. I can’t wait. I’m popping out of my skin because I feel in my heart I know what it’s going to look like.”
First-year general manager John Idzik who gutted the roster this offseason will have an important say in Ryan’s future but Johnson will make the final call to keep or fire the coach after the season.