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NEW YORK (WFAN) – The Jets’ architect is ready to put 2011 behind him.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum watched as his team stumbled to an 8-8 finish, a severe disappointment after countless Super Bowl promises from Rex Ryan.
The Jets had plenty of blame to pass around. An offensive coordinator under fire, a seemingly fractured locker room and a franchise quarterback, Mark Sanchez, who regressed in his third year with the team.
“Look, he was far from perfect,” Tannenbaum told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton Thursday. “And the thing about Mark is he would tell you the same thing. But he put everything into it, it just didn’t work out as well as we had hoped.”
LISTEN: Tannenbaum with Boomer & Carton
New York could turn to Colts quarterback Peyton Manning or Chad Henne of the Miami Dolphins as a way to put pressure on Sanchez’s development.
Tannenbaum wouldn’t give his take on the quarterbacks, who are currently under contract, but did say the position “has a reasonable chance to look different by opening day.”
The Jets are reportedly “considered a strong contender” to sign the free-agent-to-be Henne. His former head coach in Miami, Tony Sparano, was hired by Gang Green in January to run Ryan’s offense.
Tannenbaum said he was blown away by Sparano’s interview and praised his new offensive coordinator as an “idea guy.”
“Obviously he has the offensive line pedigree. You know, ground-and-pound, that toughness, that whole mindset,” Tannenbaum told Boomer and Carton. “But he’s a lot more than that. You can look at what Miami’s done in the passing in the last few years, it’s been very impressive. So he’s been great. And I think we’ll have a dynamic, diverse offense with coach Sparano.”
Tannenbaum admitted he’s not expecting to make a huge splash this offseason.
“We’re really looking to try to keep our own initially and then kind of going from there,” he said. “I don’t expect that. This league is filled with unexpected opportunities, and I do pride myself on every rock, every day. But I don’t foresee that this year.”
Also on Tannenbaum’s plate: Bart Scott. The linebacker, upset with his diminishing role on the team, has reportedly been granted permission to seek a trade. Scott’s full $4.2 million salary is guaranteed for 2012.
“We’ll see how things play out over the next couple weeks,” said Tannenbaum. “He’s a good player, he’s passionate. Obviously he was frustrated this year. But I think he was frustrated by the performance of the team, and that’s what you love about Bart. So we’ll see where that goes. And like I said, he’s done a lot of good things for us.”
There was also a report from the New York Daily News this week that stated the Jets are “interested” in reuniting with wide receiver Braylon Edwards.
“Obviously Braylon did a lot of good things for us when he was here,” Tannenbaum said. “You know, we’ll see where that goes.”
Several New York players — both named and anonymous — spoke out after the season regarding the toxicity in the Jets’ locker room, particularly the rocky relationship between Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson said the turmoil was the worst he’d ever seen.
Tannenbaum took his lumps for the team’s issues, but downplayed the extent of the drama. The general manager admitted he’s working on a remedy to the situation and is ready to “start fresh for 2012.”
“I need to do a better job there. It starts with me,” he said. “We’re confident we’ll have a better plan. We’ve been talking to a lot of players, and we’ve been looking at ways we can create a better atmosphere.”
Who do you think the Jets should target this offseason? Be heard in the comments below…