More things change, more stay same for dysfunctional Jets
The Jets firing Mike Maccagnan now rather than right away after another forgettable last season and letting new head coach Adam Gase win his power struggle shows why the Jets are always the Jets.
The Jets are not just Same Ol’ Jets on the field, but they are off the field, too.
Wednesday morning turned out to be another dysfunctional Jets moment. Apparently, Jets head coach Adam Gase and Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan could not agree on personnel during free agency, particularly when it came to how much the Jets should pay free agent Le’Veon Bell, and in the end, Gase won his power struggle that got Maccagnan and vice president Brian Heimerdinger fired.
This right here sums up why the Jets have been a running joke in the NFL for the last four decades and counting. Buttfumble has nothing on what took place Wednesday.
An observer can say you can’t make this up, but Jets fans and Jets historians say you can make it up when it comes to the Jets.
This was so Jets. This was Jetsing at its finest.
Look, firing Maccagnan is not an issue. He deserved to be fired for his awful draft picks, most notably drafting a reach in quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who struggled to throw in the now-defunct AAF. How bad was he? He never drafted an offensive lineman in his five years before the fourth round until this season.
The question is: Why now? What’s the point?
This should have been done the day the Jets football season was over, not on May 15. By firing Maccagnan to start the offseason, the Jets could have hired a new general manager that would hire a head coach that shared his vision of building an NFL team. This is the way it works in running an NFL team.
Only the Jets do it differently. One would think Jets CEO Chris Johnson would have learned from his brother Woody’s mistake when he forced then-Jets general manager John Idzik to work with then-Jets coach Rex Ryan. The Jets fired Mike Tannenbaum as the general manager, and Jets owner Woody Johnson made it clear that the new general manager inherited Ryan. Of course, candidates such as David Caldwell decided to not take the job, and the Jets settled for Idzik.
Not surprisingly, it blew up on the Jets. Idzik set Ryan up to fail by not making moves to make the Jets better, and his draft picks were awful. In the end, both were fired.
The Jets actually created another shotgun marriage after the Idzik-Ryan marriage fizzled. This time, Chris Johnson hired Maccagnan and Todd Bowles as head coach on his own, as both reported to him, not to each other. Of course, it turned out to be a disaster. Bowles was not Maccagnan’s choice, and Maccagnan was as inept as Idzik.
Remarkably, the Jets tried it again for the third straight time. They hired failed Dolphins head coach Adam Gase to work with Maccagnan. It was peculiar based on the Jets general manager serving his last year of his contract. This means if the Jets did not make the playoffs, Maccagnan would be fired and then a new general manager would inherit Gase.
The working relationship fizzled so fast that Chris Johnson had to do something before training camp started. It was beyond repair. It never had a chance if we are being honest. Remember Gase had personnel say when he was the Dolphins head coach, and he wasn’t changing knowing his new boss would be vulnerable. He wasn’t shy to acknowledge Maccagnan’s shortcomings, and they differed on how the Jets should spend money in free agency and how they should go about drafting.
The Ringer’s Michael Lombardi reported Maccagnan’s job was in danger during the NFL Draft. He cited the Jets general manager and the new Jets head coach could not agree on personnel. Everyone laughed, even though he is plugged in on what goes on around the league being a former NFL executive himself. I shrugged it off as just couple of strong-willed men offering different opinions. Apparently when there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Yes, Johnson stepped in before it got even worse, but this should have not happened in the first place had he done the right thing and fired his general manager after the season.
After watching couple of times where shotgun marriages with the general manager and coach fizzled, Johnson should have not been in a position to create another one. It’s frustrating when Woody and Chris can’t learn from their mistakes, and they deserved criticism for that.
Why should Jets fans ever think the Johnson family will get it right in hiring when they have never got it right? They owned the Jets since 2000, and they have done everything wrong. There was hope Chris Johnson would learn what went wrong, but it turned out he hasn’t.
For Gase to win the power struggle, it’s laughable. No head coach should win it, especially with a guy that has a 23-25 record. No coach should have a say who the next general manager should be.
Only the Jets does this, and then one wonders why the Jets are the Jets.