FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets began a major overhaul Monday, firing coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik -- no-brainer moves, according to owner Woody Johnson.
"It became pretty apparent during the season the team wasn't getting better and, as (Bill) Parcells said, you are what your record says you are," Johnson said at a news conference. "It was kind of obvious we had to make the change. It was obvious to me, anyway."
Johnson made the decisive moves after his team stumbled to 4-12, its worst record since 2007. Johnson recently called it the most difficult of his 15 seasons as owner.
Ryan addressed the team briefly Monday morning, revealing little emotion, according to players. Instead of giving a speech, he showed a Jets highlight film. He left quickly and returned home without commenting or giving a statement.
Idzik didn't speak to the team, instead leaving without saying goodbye to many of the staff members, according to sources. He released a brief statement, thanking Johnson "for the opportunity to work with so many fine individuals in the Jets organization and I wish them well going forward."
Idzik made no mention of Ryan. Johnson hinted of a rift between the two men, who were paired together in 2013 despite having no previous relationship.
"I'm not sure if there was a disconnect, but I can tell you the ideal is to have a connect, because you have to be on the same page as your coach," Johnson said.
Johnson and his newly hired consultants -- former longtime GMs Charley Casserly and Ron Wolf -- will lead the search for replacements. They showed late interest in Jim Harbaugh, a league source confirmed, but he's poised to become the Michigan coach.
The Jets probably will hire a GM first, but they could adjust the plan depending on which candidates are available, Johnson said.
"This is very, very critical right now," Johnson said. "We've got to make some good decisions. We have to structure it properly. We have to know exactly what we're looking for in a head coach and how he defines exactly what he's looking for. Same with the GM."
He said they already have reached out to GM and coaching candidates, adding they want to begin the process immediately. Ideally, they'd prefer to hire a GM with a strong background in personnel.
The Jets have requested an interview with Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner for their vacant general manager position, a league source confirmed to ESPN's Adam Caplan. Kirchner, 36, was promoted from assistant director of pro personnel to his current role in June 2013.
On Saturday, the Jets will interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and assistant head coach Tom Cable in Seattle for their coaching vacancy, sources confirmed to ESPN. They want to take advantage of the open weekend, as the Seahawks have a first-round bye. Johnson, Wolf and Casserly will lead the interview.
The Jets also have requested coaching interviews with Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Most of Ryan's coaching staff will be free agents at the end of January. Only three -- special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, running backs coach Anthony Lynn and offensive-line coach Mike Devlin -- have contracts for 2015, according to a source. Some coaches might be asked to interview for positions on the new staff.
The assistants were notified of the organizational moves in an email, according to a source.
Ryan's fate was sealed several weeks ago, as the Jets were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention before Thanksgiving. In recent days, he had been telling friends he expected to be fired.
Obviously, the players weren't surprised, but the mood was somber. Ryan was beloved by his players.
"It's not a good day for us," quarterback Geno Smith said.
Tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson agreed: "There's a feeling of loss, a feeling of sadness. This is a challenging day for us."
Johnson, too, had a strong affinity for the coach, but the owner showed no emotion as he discussed Ryan's ouster.
"We're in the win business and we're not winning," Johnson said. "I thought this was something I had to do."
Ryan finished 46-50, missing the playoffs the last four seasons. The Jets never built a competitive offense under Ryan, who relied on his defensive acumen. Johnson said he wants a coach who can manage all three phases.
Johnson also criticized Idzik for not spending the team's salary-cap surplus. With holes on the roster, they began the season more than $20 million under the cap.
Idzik lasted only two years, which is a quick hook for a GM. Johnson called it "a tough decision," but he obviously didn't like the vibe between Idzik and Ryan. Johnson was criticized two years ago for pairing a new GM with a holdover coach.
"I get all the blame," Johnson said. "I have to get a lot better."
"I'd love for Darrelle to come back," he said, perhaps opening himself up to a possible tampering accusation.
Idzik came under heavy criticism for his conservative spending, his poor 2014 draft class and a rambling, midseason news conference in which he seemed out of touch with the sorry state of the team. It prompted a group of disgruntled fans to raise money to purchase a "Fire John Idzik" billboard near MetLife Stadium.
Ryan and Idzik spent two seasons together, raising expectations after a surprising 8-8 finish in 2013. Ryan received a contract extension -- guaranteed money through 2015 -- but the 2014 season was undermined by poor quarterback play and a glaring lack of depth at cornerback.
The Jets lost eight straight games at one point, resulting in what Ryan called an "awful" season.
So ends one of the most entertaining eras in team history. The outspoken Ryan, whose brash style and Super Bowl guarantees turned the Jets into a national fascination, was a media sensation from day one.
In his first news conference, he predicted a celebratory visit to the White House, and he came close to delivering one with back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship Game in his first two seasons. But he wasn't able to sustain the success, as the Jets went 26-38 over his final four seasons.
Idzike was a curious hire by Johnson because he had only a limited background in personnel; his expertise was in cap management and contract negotiations. His tenure was marked by controversial decisions, none bigger than trading star cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Bucs before the 2013 season.
Idzik never got a chance to hire his own coach, as he was mandated to keep Ryan. But throughout his tenure, he always spoke of Ryan as "our" coach, saying they were a tandem.
"We're in it together," Idzik once said.
Now they're out together.