Black Monday is off to a running start: the Jets have officially announced the firing of head coach Rex Ryan and GM John Idzik. From owner Woody Johnson's statement:
After extensive thought and reflection about the current state of our football team, this morning I informed Rex Ryan and John Idzik that they will not be returning for the 2015 season. Both Rex and John made significant contributions to the team, and they have my appreciation and gratitude for their efforts and commitment.
For Ryan, this constitutes a mercy. Six years as Jets coach—two straight AFC championship games, followed by four straight missed postseasons—did nothing but burning Ryan's credentials as a defensive genius and one of the league's more beloved player's coaches. He'll be fondly remembered by Jets fans; he's one of the more successful coaches in franchise history, if almost by default. Ryan's going to land on his feet somewhere, and whoever gets him ought to be thrilled.
Idzik's more complicated. His tenure has appeared woeful from a personnel standpoint, and he's earned the enmity of fans in a way that few front-office types ever do. But can you ever fairly judge a GM in just two seasons? Bill Barnwell made the argument that Idzik is only now finishing digging out from the future-mortgaging moves of the Mike Tannenbaum era, and with few of those draft picks left in the fold, could not possibly have built a team the way he wanted in the time he was given. On the other hand:
The immediate future is not bright. The Jets have plenty of holes, none more glaring than at quarterback, and if there's any absolute in the NFL, it's that you need at least a baseline of competence there to have any sort of success. The Jets' meaningless win over Miami yesterday, which multiple players said was inspired and motivated by their devotion to their lame-duck coach, may have moved them out of position to be able to grab one of the two marquee quarterbacks in next year's draft. That would be a fitting goodbye present.