Keidel: Bell Tolls For Tannenbaum, Ryan

By Jason Keidel
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Brian Schottenheimer and Santonio Holmes have become the dual faces of a doomed franchise. Both are popping in the media microwave and have become the dartboards of an ornery fan base since the ghastly collapse was completed in Miami. One man is considered clueless; the other is shameless.

The snow flurries you saw yesterday were the fruit from the rain dance done by the Jets’ brass, praying to the gridiron gods that the offensive coordinator will be hired as a head coach by a desperate owner who doesn’t own any game film of the 2011 Jets. Throw in an algorithm that allows the Jets to drop the guillotine on Holmes with no severe salary cap repercussions…all the better.

Holmes is, well, Holmes. I spent 2010 cursing my beloved black & gold after they essentially handed the former Super Bowl MVP to Gang Green for a MetroCard and two tickets to Lion King. But since the Steelers basically swapped the imploding Holmes for a faster, younger and way humbler Antonio Brown, I don’t feel so badly anymore. In fact, things generally go pretty well in Pittsburgh, where they win at least ten games every year and never show any rust on the chain of command, with just three head coaches since the year I was born (1969). Not so much with the Jets.

As a Jets fan, you have every right to blame Brian Schottenheimer for at least a fraction of the fractured season. The Jets’ offense in 2011 was about as explosive as the Mets’ offense will be in 2012. Despite their abundant health and wealth at their skill positions, the Jets’ offense had no identity, and it’s his responsibility to give them one.

Rex, Mike, and Woody would love to take Holmes and Schottenheimer on the Stugots for an hour or so, loading the boat with the proper accoutrements (chains, blades, cinder blocks, cement shoes, etc.). But we can’t forget who procured and paid these men, and even extended their contracts, making each a vocational anchor (since we’re on boating metaphors) around the entire team. And neither Rex Ryan nor Mike Tannenbaum took the hit for Holmes (whose situation the Jets call an “in-house” matter) or Schotty (whom they’re talking-up like he’s Tom Landry). One (or both) must be jettisoned if the Jets are to actually win one of those regal, Roman numerals Ryan keeps promising.

Then there was the infamous press conference, delivered with all the candor and clarity of a Rip Torn police video.

I couldn’t tell you what Tannenbaum said, because I don’t speak Hieroglyphics. The Jets’ GM, in such spin mode that there was a tornado warning in Northern New Jersey, spoke in nauseating, corporate clichés, and, I think, we’re supposed to believe the Jets made sound personnel picks because of Victor Cruz, who plays for the Giants.

Rex said his major malfeasance was stitching a “C” to the wrong jerseys, most notably to Holmes, who quit on the Jets long before the 2-minute warning in Miami. He said there were three measurements used to scout potential Jets – team, team, and team. Someone didn’t forward the memo to Santonio. Then Rex told us (again) how brilliant Brian Schottenheimer was, is, and will always be.

Would Eric Mangini get a wink and nod for this failure? I think not. And that’s because Mangini was as moody as his mentor, Bill Belichick, sans the Super Bowl rings. (Grumpy, grunting, monosyllabic responses are the prerogative of 13-3 coaches with a fistful of bling and Brady at QB.)

But you like Rex Ryan personally and hence you give him a free pass for his faux pas, taking personality over performance. Indeed, think about the con Rex pulled on the public. He guaranteed three Super Bowl titles, delivered none, and you love it. Since Jets fans expect such ineptitude, just a whiff of a big win smells like Robert Duvall’s Victory…

There were ten teams in the AFL in 1969, the year the Jets reached the Super Bowl, yet the Jets are the only one in the group who haven’t been there since. (The other nine have made a combined 29 appearances.) So perhaps it’s proper to say that Jets fans are so jaded, plunged into the bowels of self-loathing, that just talking a good game is like playing one.

That’s not to say the HC and the GM of the NYJ should be fired. But they’re officially on notice. Reaching two AFC title games bought them enough rope for 2011, but not enough room for a redux in 2012.

Making matters infinitely worse, their co-tenants are contending for a championship, even if for just one week. And if the Giants beat the Falcons this weekend, their season is a success, by any reasonable measure. Unlike Gang Green, Big Blue acts like they’ve been there before, because they have.

Ever notice that the teams (Pittsburgh, Patriots, Packers, etc.) that talk the least win the most? That’s a memo that needs to find its way into The Quotable Rex Ryan.

Feel free to email me:

Do you place blame on Tannenbaum and Ryan? Be heard in the comments below…

  • Kurt Spitzner

    Yes I place the blame on both and they can also take holmes and stick him where the sun don’t shine!

  • Jim Kelly

    RR and MT are overrated. RR is a shameless self promoter and MT gets the moniker Mr. T. What have they won in the way of Super Bowls with all their talk? Nothing Zilch, Nada, Gooseegg. As long as the press fawns over this Coach, GM and team they will always get great press. Their fan base should realize they have been duped.

  • JMS

    Giant fan here but i actually thought rex was good for the jets and the city until the last couple of weeks. clearly he lit a fire under the giants that tom coughlin seemed unable to light himself and now that news of the fractured lockeroom and his indifference to the offensive side of the ball has come to light i’m re-thinking my position on him.

    I did, however, find it curious that so many jet fans now claim to have seen this coming when you couldn’t find a one of them that would critisize rex before the season began. oh well, it appears that these are the same old jets.

  • Dan Rakow

    I say that nobody will not be going to any Jets Home Games next year and I would not give a darn that all Jets Home Games will be Blackout and prevent Fans from watching games on TV.

  • T.L.

    Maybe Sanchez will improve to mediocre by the year 2020. HE SUCKS<SUCKS SUCKS

    • JK

      How do you really feel about Sanchez, T.L.? ;)

      You won’t give him one more year? Might be worth it with a new coordinator.

      Thanks for reading and responding…

      • JMS

        b/t/w/, i think ray handley has a better chance of getting the jacksonville job

        • JK

          Wow. I never, never thought I’d ever hear the name Ray Handley in any context in any lifetime and, if you’re a Buddhist, our myriad reincarnations. Kudos, JMS.

          Whatever happened to Handley, counselor? Didn’t he take some high school coaching gig on the outskirts of our country and our consciousness? Between Ray and Rich Kotite, the local football teams made some brilliant moves in the 1990s.

  • TP

    As a long time frustrated Jets fan, time to move on with Shotty and Holmes. Sanchez will never win a Super Bowl in the NFL. He was finally exposed this year because of no running game. Eli Manning on the other hand, single handedly carried his team throughout many injuries into the playoffs.
    Time to get rid of Sanchez and bring in Peyton!!!!!!! MVP of the NFL without playing a single game this year!
    See you later Mark!

  • Robert Richardson

    Rex Ryan’s bombastic, demonstrable rants are now humble platitudes surrounding defeat, a season of dashed dreams and crushed hopes. The alarming fact is the obvious loss of team control. This loss is been exemplified by your former Steeler (sup Holmes?). There was a good reason the Rooneys gave him away at a fire sale. Crowned team Captain (for reasons beyond my comprehension), Santonio Holmes only proceeded to disgrace himself, the Jets and Rex. His meltdown at the most important drive of the year was pathetic, TEAM CAPTAIN?! Are you kidding me? Then Rex, the HEAD COACH saying “I know he wasn’t in there, but I had no idea why” WHAT!!!!

    But the kicker was the press conference of 2 January and the whole state of denial and or bewilderment exhibited by Mike Tannenbaum and Rex. They talked as if the 2011 season was an aberration, they talked as if there wasn’t serious issues the team needed addressing. Besides the lack of talent, there are serious ‘team culture’ issues. They owed the J-E-T-S faithful more, they owe the J-E-T-S faithful … better. All they did was bring out out another batch of Kool-Aid …. wonder how many will try it

  • moose

    If schottenheimer is sent packing…Sanchez is going to get another year @ Qb with a new offensive coach calling the plays. With the 15th pick in the draft they should be able to get a top notch tackle to replace Wayne Hunter. Given time Sanchez may be the QB we all expected. Gotta keep Special Teams Coach. I like to see Callahan get the play calling job.

    • JK

      Thanks for reading and responding, moose. I concur that the Jets shouldn’t surrender on Sanchez. But the Callahan call is iffy. He bombed in Oakland and Nebraska (he took Gruden’s players to the Super Bowl), and the Jets’ offensive line stunk this year. No doubt injuries played a role, but perhaps there’s another coordinator you’d pick before Callahan. Just a thought…

      • Robert Richardson

        Rob Chudzinski … The U …. enough said

  • Jim inVA

    This article is right on target. Yes, Shotty is terrible!! I don’t care what QB he has, he just is unable, for whatever reason, to develop his players.But the teams who consistantly win, Steelers, Ravens, Patriots, Packers, etc, are teams with solid organizations. The Ravens had the chance to make Rex their HC, but obviously didn’t see the value in him as a HC and went with Harbaugh. When you look at the history of the Jets, it all seems to point to the owner. Why is Tannenbaum still the GM, more importantly, why was he ever the GM? How many division titles have the Jets won in the past twenty years, 2? Wether it the Dolphins or the Patriots, there is always a team that is better than the Jets. It’s sad to say, but until there is an owner, whether or not that is Woody, who says enough is enough, I will do whatever I have to do, to put this puzzel together, we will always be just another challenger in the division. Rex won’t win a Superbowl, you have to be a leader to do that, and Rex isn’t a leader. So for the immediate future, we Jets fans will have to take it, or start looking for another team to support. Until something really major happens to open Woody’s eyes, I think we are in for more of the same.

    • siwanoy

      Jim you are absolutely correct about fingering the organization. I would like to say you are wrong about Ryan, but I can’t. His Mutt and Jeff press conference with MT says to me that he has no other place to go but stick with MT. Why? WHY?

  • Siwanoy

    OK, let’s look at this: Schotty is a bad play caller who neither coaches to his actual personnel nor is able to mold and develop his personnel. Tannenbaum decimated the team leadership and character with personnel moves only a buffoon could love. The problem as I see it is that an otherwise great and well-intentioned owner, Woody Johnson, has no one to turn to to help him run the team and right the ship. He started out beholden to Parcels who gave him Tannenbaum and (briefly) Belichick. The owner needs to act, but where are the football minds in the organization to help him?

    • WHAT?

      Siwanoy, Parcells last coached the Jets in 1999, Woody bought the Jets in 2000

      as for Tannenbaum, he was already there when Parcells came aboard. Tannenbaum succeeded Terry Bradway as the team’s new general manager in 2006.

      As a Jets fan, you sure know your Jets history.

      • siwanoy

        I am correct in what I wrote. Woody leaned on Parcels when he bought the team and Parcels recommended Tannenbaum as a key guy, remember? Bradway is also part of the Parcels crowd and I cut him out only because he wasn’t relevant to today in my opinion. The important question I raise is still open. Who are the football guys who can help the owner when Tannenbaum is one of the folks who needs to go? There is the problem in a nutshell.

  • jadez

    i agree with the guy above that this is poor writing.

    and btw..rex may have fooled you and other fans who think winning a game is more important than charector.
    but he never fooled me or even someone like terry bradshaw who announces on national TV that rex is bad for the game and totally disrespectful of others.

    so flap all you want rex fans.
    he stinks and you all have no class.

  • Fred Coupon

    Amateurish writing, please leave columns to the pros, WFAN.

    • JK

      Cute, Fred. I write for CBS and have written for Sports Illustrated and Newsday. Perhaps they’re not professional enough for you.

      You’re more than welcome to disagree with my opinion, but you’re somewhat silly questioning my command of language and prose.

      Sorry your Jets tanked, but you’re better served by directing your anger at their players and coaches, not at me. Perhaps you feel manly while sniping from the comfort of your cubicle.

      • siwanoy

        That’s not an appropriate response to Fred, and you should know better, JK. A defensive columnist, no matter how good he writes, is not worth reading. You sound like “I’m an excellent coach” Schottenheimer. Trust in what you write and leave the rest to readers. You’re doing just fine.

  • Bill in NJ

    If the Jets had an owner with a clue Rex would be told to control his mouth and stop embarrassing the franchise and putting a big target on the Team. Case in point, the Giant’s game, he made stupid statements that the team couldn’t back up. He also puts way too much pressure on his 3rd year QB to try and back up the bluster. How many 1st, 2nd or 3rd year QB’s are Super Bowl Chanpions?

    • Tony in the Bronx

      None, but for every Sanchez, there’s a Dave Brown, David Klingler, Tim Couch, Tommy Maddox, Rick Mirer, Heath Shuler, Akili Smith, Jason Campbell, Joey Harrington, David Carr, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, Trent Dilfer & let’s not forget, Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell & Vince Young

      • chess

        Brady won it in his second year. It’s not impossible.

  • florida

    let it rest, things will change at its own pace, not ours

    • JK

      What exactly does that mean?

  • bigboss2900

    rex rayan need make change on his stuff one is fire brain schottenheimer we not going win next year .is not santonio holmes fault .nobody want throw to him .mark sanchez need go man not quarterback ny jets need .we need qurterback like payton manning or sign good friend to rex rayan he name is brain billick come back coach offense for ny jets .

    • JK

      Thanks for reading and responding, boss. The Jets may be too invested in Sanchez to pursue Manning, but your point is valid…

  • Sharon

    It really is enough already with this Jets nonsens. Non news, their season is over. No one except the unemployed that ist in front of the tv or computer all day care who they get rid of or don;t. Not even news at this point just space filling dribble…………..

    • JK

      Says the woman who just commented on a story she deems unworthy of commentary. Good job.

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