For starters, in 17 years under Woody Johnson’s ownership, the Jets are eight games under .500. This, by all means states inadequacy.
What caused this?
Johnson hasn’t shown much dedication to football matters regarding the team like other NFL team owners (Jerry Jones) do. The first item that comes to mind is the idea of spending money to obtain better talent. He has sometimes gone on spending sprees while in other years, he has backed off from that philosophy for some unknown reason. Johnson hasn’t been consistent in this area which disappoints the fan base immensely. Successful teams stand by this type of methodology creating a pattern of indistinguishability and culture that fans can get used to for a long time but not the Jets fans, thus far.
The last three general managers under Johnson all had different management approaches. First was Mike Tannenbaum who was a very aggressive deal-maker but he always gave too much guaranteed money in contracts which put the team in cap hell for a number of years. Then there was John Idzik who was a slow-builder. He didn’t last long, either, and you can probably guess why? It wasn’t a good marriage with him and Coach Ryan and they really didn’t have anything in common, either. Mike Maccagnan is the current general manager who possesses both predecessors’ traits.
See what I’m getting at now?
Then the coaches Johnson hired all had different styles. First, there was Herm Edwards who was basically a players’ coach which is not exactly what the team needed at the time. Eric Mangini followed who many fans liked, including me. He had some good seasons and had the team going in the right direction. He drafted nice players but losing four of five games towards the end of the 2008 season dashed any playoffs hope, so the team fired him. Then the Jets went back to another players coach in Rex Ryan. He also started off good, took the team to two AFC Championship games in the first two years. Then, like the prior coaches, the team began to lose. Bowles is the current coach who is a disciplinarian, just like Mangini was. Most likely, he will be given another two more years, to see if he can right the ship. The only thing all the coaches had in common was that they were defensive-minded coaches. As you probably know, they didn’t get the team to the Super Bowl. This probably also explains why the Jets haven’t had a good quarterback in a while with these type of coaches. Another common thing amongst them was none had prior coaching experience, either. That would explain the struggles the team had during their tenure.
In 2015 and 2016, the Jets had the third largest cash payroll using the win-now approach but they had an older roster then. They ended up missing the playoffs again and again. This probably is the reason why they went with the youth movement in 2017 letting go of the last two veteran players on the roster in Eric Decker and David Harris which signified commitment to one plan. It was a plan that was never instituted by the New York Jets since the other strategies weren’t successful. Let’s see if this one is, because they are certainly running out of plans.