Jets Apparently In Violation Of NFL Media Policy As Johnson, Ryan Yet To Speak
The NFL Jets are not making Owner Woody Johnson or coach Rex Ryan available to the media until next Tuesday, meaning the team "appears to be in violation of the NFL’s season-ending media policy," according to J.P. Pelzman of the Bergen RECORD. The Jets yesterday announced that Ryan and Johnson will be made available to the media at a news conference Tuesday at 11:00am ET at the team’s Atlantic Health Training facility, and “neither man has spoken to reporters since the news came down Monday morning" that Johnson had fired GM Mike Tannenbaum. The NFL media policy states that "Every team is required to 1) open its locker room for player interviews the day after the season ends and 2) hold a news conference during the week following the end of its season with its head coach, and/or owner, and/or club president, and/or general manager." The purpose of this policy is to "respond to fan interest in the conclusion of the team’s season.” The NFL is “looking into the matter, following a formal complaint filed by the Professional Football Writers of America.” It is “very interesting behavior from an organization that has prided itself on ‘transparency,’ as Johnson has called it” (Bergen RECORD, 1/3). ESPN N.Y.’s Rich Cimini wrote the Jets "can't even get a firing right." Johnson “hid behind a press release, avoiding the spotlight” and “was nowhere to be seen” after firing Tannenbaum. After such a “lousy season, and after dumping a loyal employee who gave 16 years to the organization, Johnson owed it to the fans to be out front, explaining the decision, answering questions and taking charge" (ESPNNY.com, 12/31). The N.Y. Daily News’ Manish Mehta Tuesday wrote on his Twitter feed, “The Jets, who pride themselves on 'transparency,' were the only NFL team not to make their head coach available to the media yesterday." SI.com’s Jimmy Traina wrote on Twitter, "Rex is gutless for hiding from media. He's turned into Rich Kotitie. Hung Tannebaum out to dry.” The Newark Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi wrote, “The Jets actually wonder why people think they're a circus.” The N.Y. Post’s Mark Cannizzaro: “#Jets fans, make sure u get those PSL payments into Woody. bet if enough boycotted payment he'd come out of hiding.”
SHOW ME ANGER: In Newark, Steve Politi wrote, “Jets fans can’t count on competence from owner Woody Johnson. Would it be so hard for him to show a little anger?” Not the “manufactured kind,” but some “real, mad-as-hell, open-the-windows-and-yell-it-to-the-world stuff.” What the Jets fans got from Johnson was "exactly what they expected, a tepid five-paragraph statement.” The '12 season was "the kind of collapse that warranted something strong," something "immediate.” Johnson “doesn’t understand that his customers are not just tired of his team’s performance on the field, but with everything else circling around it” (NJ.com, 12/31). ESPN.com’s James Walker wrote Johnson’s “two initial moves were both correct.” Tannenbaum “rightfully deserved a lion's share of the blame.” He was “most responsible for putting together a roster in New York that is old and overpaid.” Perhaps Tannenbaum's “most unforgivable offense was putting the Jets well over the salary cap next year with questionable decisions.” Tannenbaum was “not the right person for New York's upcoming rebuilding project.” The Jets “need a fresh pair of eyes to take a hard and honest look at New York's roster and make significant changes” (ESPN.com, 12/31).
WEIGHTY DECISION: ESPN N.Y.’s Cimini in a separate piece wondered if Johnson would “pass on qualified GM candidates" if they tell him they are not interested in retaining Ryan. This is Johnson's “first true GM search, which is why he hired head hunter Jed Hughes of the Korn/Ferry consulting firm to conduct the process.” Johnson “doesn't have the greatest reputation around the league for making big decisions.” An anonymous GM said, “When is the last good decision he made? He wouldn't know what a good decision is. ... I don't think anybody who has other options will want to go there. The only person they might get is a guy with nothing else or a guy who just wants a job” (ESPNNY.com, 1/1). In Newark, Conor Orr wrote the Jets “will begin interviewing general manager candidates on Friday and, by all indications, the candidate profile has already been well established.” Judging by "the potential pool … a few similarities have presented themselves, giving a general idea" of what the Jets and Korn/Ferry are looking for. Each of the candidates “began their careers as area scouts or pro scouts,” and were “deeply rooted in their respective teams’ personnel departments after climbing the ladder.” In essence, all of the candidates have “come from a different mold” than Tannenbaum, who was considered a "salary cap expert who built the Jets roster around draft-day dealings, trades and free-agent signings.” Moving forward, it “seems the Jets are looking for a football man to pilot things” (NJ.com, 1/2).