Due to personal conflicts, I have not have an opportunity to write about the two major hires for the Jets this offseason, new general manager John Idzik and new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. I apologize for the delay, but you can listen to my initial thoughts on the hire from Friday’s episode of Flight 5 and yesterday’s edition of “The Blue and Green Review.”
As you’ve likely heard by now, the Jets have hired Seahawks executive John Idzik as the team’s new general manager. The team announced the hire on Friday afternoon and will hold a press conference introducing Idzik to the media and the fan base on Thursday (tomorrow).
So who is John Idzik and what can we expect from his as the New York Jets general manager?
Idzik spent the last six seasons as VP of football administration with the Seattle Seahawks, where his duties included cap and contract deals and player negotiations and agent communications, among other things. So yes, he is indeed coming from a job where his primary responsibilities fell under “cap and contract” work, but Idzik was also actively involved in player evaluations in Seattle, though that may not exactly fall under his technical job description.
Prior to joining the Seahawks, Idzik spent three seasons as Senior Director of Football Operations for the Arizona Cardinals, helping to build an NFC championship team. He also spent 11 seasons with the Tampa Bay buccaneers Idzik and was promoted to assistant general manager in 2001.
Idzik coached at Duke University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and for the Aberdeen Oilers (Scotland) of the British American Football League.
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. At Dartmouth, he also played wide receiver for the Ivy League Champion Big Green. He later earned a master’s degree from Duke University in 1992.
Randy Lange of NewYorkJets.com wrote an excellent blog post about Idzik, explaining his strengths and accomplishments and also dispelling somer rumors about Idzik’s perceived limitations with personnel. I suggest you give it a read if you have concerns about the hire.
So again, in summary, yes — Idzik’s “forte” is with the salary cap and contracts, BUT he certainly has personnel and scouting experience in the NFL. Let’s also not forget that the Jets are currently currently $19.4 million OVER the 2013 cap – a whole dug by the previous “cap genius” general manager – so if you’re Woody Johnson, wouldn’t you want to hire someone with a cap and contracts background in addition to a personnel background? I think so. Moreover, word from the beat writers is that Johnson has guaranteed that Idzik will have final say over personnel matters — not Rex Ryan as has been previously speculated.
The chatter around the league about the Idzik hire is all positive. Early indications are that he is smart, driven, soft-spoken, “no nonsense,” guy that is “well respected among his peers.”
Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan are currently in Mobile, Alabama scouting players at the Senior Bowl.
To fill the offensive coordinator vacancy, the Jets hired former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Mornhinweg – who has coached eight top-10 scoring offenses as a HC or OC, in addition to nine top-10 passing offenses, and six top-10 rushing offenses — signals a return to a more “west coast” style of offense for the Jets and likely means we’ve heard the last of “Ground and Pound” (or at least, we can only hope).
The Star Ledger wrote a comprehensive piece explaining Mornhinweg’s offensive style. A very good read for those wondering what to expect.
For those concerned that with Morninweg comes Michael Vick, Manish Mehta of the Daily News tweeted that a Vick – MM is ”unlikely” and an ESPN report on Sunday confirmed that Vick is NOT interested in coming to New York.
The buzz around the league is that the Jets have made two excellent hires. With that – and as I have said on Twitter – both the media and the fan base need to be willing to have some patience and allow the new staff some time to make changes, and I don’t mean the two months before the draft. There is a lot of work to do and with very limited cap space, we must understand that this franchise won’t get turned around in one off-season. Let’s see how things shape up and how the team looks in August before passing any serious judgement.