His coaching staff loves him and his players adore him, so why then is it time for Rex Ryan to change his act?
Well for one, Ryan's loyalty to his hand-picked quarterback almost cost him his job last season. In a results- driven league, where players are rewarded for their on-field production, Ryan praises and encourages his players to the point where he overstates their actual value.
Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene and Matt Slauson just a name a few fall into that exact category. In 2012 the Jets were a team devoid of playmakers on both sides of the ball, a shortcoming that fell squarely on the shoulders of former general manager Mike Tannenbaum. With newly hired John Idzik at the helm, Gang Green will have some tough personnel decisions ahead and can't afford to play favorites facing a hellish salary cap situation.
Darrelle Revis trade rumors will likely dominate the offseason headlines, and the Jets would be foolish to trade an elite player coming off injury, unless they're able to get fair value in return. While Ryan and company mull their roster options, New York's head man needs to worry about his own job security first and foremost.
Surprisingly Woody Johnson told reporters that if the Jets miss the playoff again next season, it wouldn't necessarily result in Ryan's firing. Entering his fifth year with the Jets, Ryan's fall from grace couldn't have been more pronounced. Following consecutive AFC title berth in his first two seasons, Ryan and crew have become the laughing stock of the league after finishing out of the playoff picture the past two years.
It's truly put or shut up time, but the question remains, can the Jets rebuild their depth chart with a win-now coach?
Or better yet, does Ryan have the patience to revamp his team from the bottom up and part ways with several of his favorite players?
He doesn't have a choice at this point. Ryan faces a crossroad in his coaching career and a possible turning point for the franchise.
The Jets turnaround won't happen overnight, but Ryan's ability to make tough decisions and put aside personal allegiances will prove critical to his future in New York and the any hope of a return to playoff contention.