There it is.
Of all the news expected to break on what has been tagged ‘Black Monday,’ the firing of Jets head coach Rex Ryan was probably the most obvious. Surprising no one, the announcement came early on Monday via an official statement from owner Woody Johnson.
While the firing of Ryan had become a forgone conclusion for weeks, the somewhat nebulous state of general manager John Idzik remained unclear until Monday morning. In the same announcement of Ryan’s release, Johnson also stated that John Idzik has been dismissed from the New York Jets.
Woody Johnson had protected much of his decision-making process leading up to the end of the season, but the fanbase localized its public displeasure with Idzik midway through the disappointing year. Crowd-funding a website called FireJohnIdzik.com, fans aided in what became a protest of sorts, going as far as bringing yellow ‘penalty flag’ towels to the team’s final home game of the season, urging Woody Johnson ‘Fire Idzik.’
It appears as if the message was delivered.
Rex Ryan received no such mutiny as the season drew to a close, even gaining support from players and fans that continued to argue about how vital Ryan is for the lifeblood of the team. Perhaps this was the truth when he first entered the organization years ago and helped turn around a culture of losing, but his importance to the future of the franchise dwindled along with his teams’ records.
After taking his team to back-to-back AFC Championship games in his first two seasons, Ryan failed to make the playoffs in each of the next four. Since John Idzik’s hiring, the Jets have an underwhelming 12-20 record in two seasons. It quickly became clear that 2014 would mark the end of an era and require a clean house to begin again.
Perhaps Woody Johnson was swayed by the fans, or perhaps he had planned to release both Idzik and Ryan long before billboards were erected near the stadium, but whatever the source of his decision, he wasted no time in beginning the offseason with a clean slate.
In one capacity or another – a desire to dismiss Ryan, Idzik, or both – most Jets fans were granted their wish via this indication that 2014 was an unacceptable year for the franchise. As always, the question that will be asked is, “Where do they go from here?”
While the answer may take some time, the direction is clear right now.
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