1. Owner Woody Johnson is rebooting, and not a moment too soon. Not only did the Jets miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, but there also was dysfunction within the organization. There were conflicting agendas and clashing philosophies -- coaching staff versus management, offense versus defense and run versus pass. The franchise needs a fresh start and a strong leader who can galvanize it.
2. Ryan never had a chance this season. He was handed a poorly constructed roster by Idzik, who failed to supply his head coach with the necessary tools to win. Isn't that the GM's job? Ryan coached most of the season with third-rate cornerbacks, hampering his ability to run his style of defense. It was gross mismanagement by Idzik.
3. Ordinarily, you could argue that a GM deserves more than two years, but Idzik's mistakes were so profound that he deserved a quick hook. His stubbornness in free agency, coupled with a poor 2014 draft, resulted in serious damage to the roster. He also failed to find a long-term solution at quarterback. Idzik's micromanaging style created an unhealthy working environment at One Jets Drive. His return would have scared away potential head-coaching candidates.
4. Johnson deserves plenty of blame, too, for hiring a former cap expert with a limited background in scouting and personnel. He also messed up by forcing Ryan on Idzik, an arranged marriage that backfired. Johnson has reached a crossroads in his ownership. He must seize this opportunity to re-establish the franchise’s credibility because right now it's in the gutter.
5. Ryan teased the Jets' fan base by starting out with two near-championship seasons, but he was a mediocre coach over his final four years -- a 28-38 record, including no winning seasons. It's too bad, because he was one of a kind, a larger-than-life personality with the goods to succeed on the New York stage. It's hard to find coaches like that. Ryan changed the perception of the Jets, blowing into town with his bold predictions and tough-guy swagger. He was the right coach at the right time, but the talent dried up.
6. Ryan's blind spot for offense was his downfall. He went through three coordinators and two primary starters at quarterback during his tenure, cracking the top 20 in total offense only once. Ryan rarely meddled in the offense, letting his coaches coach. They appreciated the hands-off approach, but it created a split-squad perception. With Ryan's defense, the Jets didn't have to be great on offense. Average would have sufficed, but they never got to that level, failing to stabilize the quarterback position and develop any offensive stars. The Jets need an offensive-minded coach, or at least a star coordinator, who can help Geno Smith and/or The Next Hope at quarterback.
7. The Jets didn't have playoff-caliber talent this season, but they could have stayed in the hunt longer if Ryan had reacted quicker to two issues. He stayed with Smith too long; he should have gone to Michael Vick at 1-4. Ryan was loyal to a fault when it came to his quarterbacks, although we will cut him some slack in this case because Idzik was no doubt pushing for Smith. Ryan's other mistake came on defense. Undermanned at cornerback, he adapted his scheme as the season progressed, blitzing less frequently and playing more zone than usual -- but it was too late. He stuck with his man-to-man schemes through the early part of the schedule and was shredded by the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning et al.