Jets coach Rex Ryan was rumored to be on the hot seat all season long. After an 8-8 finish, many of Ryan's critics thought that he would be on the way out. The Jets organization saw things differently and offered Ryan an extension. His new deal does not offer much security however.
It has been reported that Ryan's new deal includes a guaranteed salary up to 2015. After that the team will have the option to go in a new direction if the coach does not live up to expectations. There are also playoff incentives included in the deal, although the nature of the deal seems to mandate a playoff appearance with or without incentives.
Woody Johnson spoke highly of both Ryan and this year’s team saying "We're going to keep Rex Ryan, and he'll be our coach next year," also adding "I couldn't be prouder of this team." Despite these optimistic words, the questions that plagued Ryan all year leave a cloud of doubt over next season. The fact that he was kept on as coach might say more about the crop of potential replacements than management’s opinion of Ryan.
If Coach Ryan is to be successful next season, the Jets will need to improve drastically on offense. Geno Smith showed some flashes of excellence this season, but they were coupled with stretches when he looked completely lost. Toward the end of the season it did look like Smith was beginning to see the field a bit better which may bode well for the future.
Acquiring a playmaker on offense should be the top priority this offseason. The running game was steady this year, but there is not one dynamic player that the opposition has to game plan against. It had looked like Stephen Hill might be that type of player. As big and fast as Hill is, he struggled both mentally and physically which led to him being a nonfactor at the end of the season.
It will be interesting to see if the team manages to put some playmakers around Geno Smith and really make an attempt to open up the offense. Every year it seems that the Jets draft standout defensive players, but it is time for a change. If this team drafts well and they get a player who can stretch the field, this could be a team to be reckoned with.