The Rex Ryan era is officially over. He and GM John Idzik were both fired earlier today after finishing 4-12, the team's worst season since 2007. Their fates were pretty much sealed a few weeks ago when it became obvious that the Gang Green would miss the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
The team's owner, Woody Johnson, released the following statement:
"I am beginning our search for new football leadership, effective immediately, with guidance and support from respected football experts, including Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf, two Super Bowl winners with decades of valuable experience. We will consider all options to improve the Jets. Getting the Jets back on track is my top priority, and today's decisions are important steps towards achieving our goals."
Rex Ryan led the Jets for six seasons, making it to the AFC Championship in the first two. The Jets, however, haven't gone above .500 since then, posting 8-8, 6-10, 8-8 and 4-12 records in the following four seasons. In his final four seasons, Rex went 26-38, compared to 24-14 (including 4-2 in the playoffs) in his first two years. His final overall record in regular season and playoff games with the Jets was 50-52. Ryan was the Gang Green's longest tenured head coach since Joe Walton who lasted seven seasons.
John Idzik lasted just two seasons with the Gang Green. He attempted to stay away form signing big free agents and building through the Draft instead. Most of his draft picks, however, failed to deliver. He also failed to address several holes on the roster, including a huge one in the secondary, which was one of the reasons for the team's abysmal 2014 season. Woody Johnson hired Idzik in 2013 to replace former general manager Mike Tanennbaum. In Idzik's two years with the team, the Jets went 12-20.
So, the Jets have finally done what many fans wanted them to do for years - clean the house. The pool of available head coaching candidates is very thin, unless Woody would be willing to reach out to some former head coaches who are currently employed by sports TV networks. In any case, this offseason is promising to become one of the most exciting ones in recent years...