Jets GM Has To Start Making His Plans

By Steve Silverman
» More Columns

This is supposed to be the sleepy time in the NFL.

All the offseason maneuvers have been completed and training camp is still two weeks away. There’s no need for general managers to act on any more player acquisitions at this point.

All of that business has been completed, and unless a trade can be completed in training camp or another team’s roster cut is going to be added, teams basically have the players who will decide the results of the 2013 season on their roster.

But there’s one general manager who can’t take it easy right now. Jets GM John Idzik has to start planning for 2014, and now is the time to do it.

A good general manager is not going to wait for another disastrous season to unfold and then react by firing the head coach, his coaching staff and paring 30-40 percent of the players on the roster.

Idzik should be in the planning stages right now to see where the Jets are going if they have another butt-ugly season.

The only who can keep Idzik from tearing it down and starting over is offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. He’s going to try and put the Jets in a competitive position with the likes of Mark Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith at quarterback. That’s going to be a very difficult job.

But at least Mornhinweg knows what he is doing and is equipped to get into the chess match with the best defensive coordinators in the NFL.

Coach Meatball, known to many as Tony Sparano, never attempted to get the Jets in the game as offensive coordinator last year. Whether coach Meatball decided that Sanchez and the Jets’ receiving crew just weren’t good enough or whether he was incapable of teaching a modern NFL offense, Sparano refused to get into the game.

The Jets are at least going to try to get into the game this season. If Rex Ryan and the rest of the coaching staff are going to hang on to their jobs, they are basically dependent on Mornhinweg asserting himself and becoming the best assistant coach in the league this season.

It is Mornhinweg’s offense, and he is going to have to succeed if he wants to hold on to his position.

With a receiving crew that includes Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates, it is perhaps the most limited unit in the NFL at the position. (That could change a bit if Holmes is completely recovered from the Lisfranc injury that wrecked his 2012 season.)

That’s why Idzik has to start making his plans. Mornhinweg learned how to do his job during stints with Green Bay, San Francisco and Philadelphia. He understands the West Coast offense as well as anyone. Forget about his disastrous run with the Detroit Lions as head coach.

But Mornhinweg has very limited tools to work with. It’s like asking an iron chef to compete for the title with an inadequate kitchen while the competition has nothing but the best tools and the finest meats and cheeses in the land at their disposal.

It’s not impossible, but it’s not likely. Idzik needs to have a short list of candidates to replace Ryan and his coaching staff. If you see six other teams hire their head coach before the Jets do next offseason, you’ll know Idzik is not prepared.

That’s the reality for the Jets right now.

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