After leading the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons in New York, it's gotten uglier for Ryan and Gang Green since.
His offense is a mess and his vaunted defense is ranked 20th in points allowed for the second straight year. If you've watched Jets football lately, it's pleasantly surprising that they've been able to put together a 6-8 record. Circumstantially, it seems like they've been much worse.
Of course, Ryan has had his share of obstacles to deal with.
He lost an elite corner for the season when Darrelle Revis tore his ACL, and he lost his only established wide receiver when Santonio Holmes suffered a Lisfranc injury to his foot. On top of that, his veteran team got a little bit older, and Mark Sanchez regressed past his usual mediocrity to a level of truly awful quarterbacking.
That said, Ryan has done little to alleviate the situation.
Outside of Muhammad Wilkerson, he has not gotten great production from any of his defensive players, while the offense has been ugly even in victory. If you want to recap some of the most dismal football imaginable, see the Jets' travesty of a win over the Arizona Cardinals, then remind yourself this will all be over soon.
Rex is a realist; he knows he's at the helm of a broken team right now. The defense can recover with an injection of youth and the return of Revis, but the offense in its current butt-fumbling state is beyond repair.
The Daily News has learned that Ryan, the swashbuckling point man who dominated the headlines for the past four seasons, has intimated to “anyone who will listen” that he would be better off getting fired if Johnson isn’t willing to rectify player personnel and coaching issues on offense, according to sources....
Ryan declined comment about his future when reached by The News. “If Woody’s not willing to do what it takes to fix the team, then (Ryan) knows he’s better off being fired,” a team source said. “If Woody is willing to eat some money and spend to get us out of this mess, then it’s worth staying."
Woody has invested heavily, however; does Rex not recall the ill-advised extension given to Mark Sanchez just this past March? One of Ryan's best qualities is that he stands up for his guys, but supporting below average talent is part of what put the Jets in this situation in the first place.
Ryan is right: Johnson is going to have to shell out if he wants a better offense. However, Ryan has done him no favors in the way he has run the offense, and his defense is regressing, too.
When the Jets finish going through the motions of their Week 17 finale against the Buffalo Bills, they will trade a disappointing present for an uncertain future. Ryan is the man who led them down this path, and he must pay for it with his job.