The New York Jets 2012 season ended in Week 17 with their 10th loss of the season, tying them with the Buffalo Bills at the bottom of the AFC East. Even though the team didn’t make the playoffs, they have continued to create controversy in 2013.
General Manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired on “Black Monday” after a second straight disappointing season. Reports have also suggested that offensive coordinator Tony Sparano will be let go, though an official decision hasn’t been made on his future.
Owner Woody Johnson has decided to keep head coach Rex Ryan, though neither one has addressed the media since the end of the season. Ryan is reportedly on vacation in the Bahamas, and will violate the NFL’s media policy if he does not speak to the press this week. He has yet to address the status of his coaching staff or the firing of Tannenbaum.
Ryan has held onto his job, despite missing the postseason in the last two seasons. Prior to the start of the 2012 campaign, he called the Jets roster the most talented team he ever coached.
Heading into the Jets final game, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that Ryan was hoping to get fired if Johnson could not improve the team. Even though New York announced that Ryan will return for the 2013 season, there are rumors that his job still isn’t safe.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mike Francesa stated on WFAN that there would be “rumblings” about Bill Cowher joining the organization, within the coming days. The New York City radio host admitted that he wasn’t sure if there was any truth to the rumors.
The 55-year-old Cowher currently works as an in-studio analyst for “The NFL Today” on CBS. He totaled a .623 winning percentage in 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cowher hasn’t coached in the NFL since retiring from the Steelers in 2006. Each offseason his name is floated as a possible hire for head coaching positions, though he hasn’t indicated that he wants to make a return to the league. It’s unlikely that he would come back to coach the Jets, who have shown to be highly dysfunctional and in desperate need of a quarterback.
When he was hired by the Jets in 2009, Ryan became one of the most successful rookie head coaches in league history. He reached the AFC Championship Game in his first two years with the club, but is four games under .500 since that time.
Ryan was often criticized for his handling of the Jets quarterbacks in 2012. He started Mark Sanchez in all but one game, despite the signal caller finishing the year with a 66.9 passer rating. Some critics cite how the head coach failed to utilize Tim Tebow, who had just eight pass attempts and 32 rushes in the entire season.
Even if Ryan returns to New York next year, his time with the Jets may be running out. The club will bring in a new general manager, one who might want to bring in his own head coach in if Ryan can’t show significant improvement in 2013.
In 2010, Ryan signed a contract extension through 2014.