It seems like the organization thinks it has bigger fish to fry...
"Rex made a statement that he wants this to be about competition. No one is going to be given anything, you have have to earn it. The guys are taking the bull by the horns and going out there to compete. We will have the best 11 players on the field." - DB Coach Tim McDonald, August 2013Unfortunately, what Rex wants and what Rex gets are two different things.
It's been apparent all year that there could be a disconnect between the short- and long-term goals of the coaching staff, and the front office and its looking increasingly like Rex Ryan is going to be the sacrificial lamb. Rex's "best 11 players" philosophy is completely at odds with John Idzik's "competition" philosophy (and I can't emphasize strongly enough how sarcastically I'm miming those air quotes as I write this).
Idzik has given Ryan just about enough rope to hang himself with. The Ed Reed move, basically the only time Idzik has deviated from his blinkered plow-straight-ahead mindset seems to have backfired. The team is bewildered and lost. It looks like the 2013 season is lost too.
Unlike the "Signature Rex Ryan Game" that I defined a couple of weeks ago, this played out somewhat differently. Instead of competing on a snap-by-snap basis, but then making mistakes at key moments, they were completely outplayed from the get-go. In fact, the only reason they were still in the game at half time was because those key moments were the only times they did anything positive.
Although the margin of victory was widened in the second half, it was in that first half where the damage was done. The defense was gassed in the second half and that's where it played out more in the manner to which we've become accustomed, with individual mistakes turning first downs into touchdowns on defense and potential big gains into nothing on offense.
And now, it looks like we're in a position to define a "Signature Rex Ryan Season".
This team has flattered to deceive all year, but it's difficult to imagine anything other than a last placed finish, an exodus of the majority of the players acquired under Mike Tannenbaum's watch and an overhaul of the coaching staff. 2014 will begin with a boatload of cap room and draft picks, some core pieces in place and a clean slate.
You have to wonder if that's exactly the way Idzik wanted things to work out all along.