NFL Wire News

Casserly report does not bother Jets’ Ryan

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — After the New York Jets’ 17-16 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, coach Rex Ryan insisted that he hadn’t pondered the possibility he might have just coached the Jets for the last time at MetLife Stadium.

But the thought apparently has crossed the mind of owner Woody Johnson.

ESPN reported Monday that Johnson has decided to retain former NFL general manager Charley Casserly as a consultant if and when he fires Ryan and/or general manager John Idzik.

That Johnson has already connected with Casserly would indicate he is planning on a partial or total housecleaning once this disastrous Jets season grinds to a halt following this Sunday’s finale against the Miami Dolphins. With a loss to the Dolphins, the Jets (3-12) would finish with their worst record since 1996 — the second and final season of the ill-fated Rich Kotite Error.

“I haven’t thought about it for a minute as to how it would relate to me,” Ryan said when asked about the Casserly report Monday. “One thing I know for sure, and I have mentioned it before: Woody is going to do what he thinks is going to help this organization win. Whether it is Charley Casserly or whoever, that is what he will do.”

Ryan’s fate has appeared sealed for weeks, but the chances of Idzik getting a chance to hire his own coach and continue rebuilding the Jets have dwindled ever since his historically bad midseason press conference on Oct. 27. Idzik, whose two drafts as general manager have been underwhelming at best, has since become the focus of the ire of Jets fans, many of whom entered MetLife Stadium on Sunday holding towels that read “FIRE JOHN IDZIK.”

If Monday’s news is any indication, Johnson certainly seems to be considering it.

NOTES: The Jets won by losing on Sunday. Their loss to the Patriots, coupled with wins by the Oakland Raiders (3-12) and Washington Redskins (4-11), vaulted the Jets from sixth to fourth in the draft order. The Jets could select as high as third if they lose to the Dolphins this week and the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12) beat the Houston Texans. … C Nick Mangold (left ankle) appeared to dodge serious injury Sunday, when he suffered a severe sprain in the second quarter of the Jets’ 17-16 loss to the Patriots. Mangold was carted off the field and underwent X-rays that revealed no break. Further testing Monday showed the sprain. … WR Percy Harvin (ribs) was hurt in the third quarter. Coach Rex Ryan said Harvin will play Sunday if he can tolerate the pain.

REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS

–PASSING OFFENSE: D — The perpetual tease by QB Geno Smith (17 of 27, 210 yards, one touchdown, one interception) continues. Smith actually outplayed Patriots QB Tom Brady in the first half, when Smith was 11 of 16 for 117 yards and almost flawlessly executed an 87-yard touchdown drive that he ended with a perfectly thrown 20-yard scoring strike to TE Jeff Cumberland. Alas, that ended up being the only pass Smith completed in the red zone as the bad Geno cropped up in the second half. The Patriots drove for the winning touchdown immediately after Patriots LB Jamie Collins picked off Smith, who locked in on TE Jace Amaro as his lone target, late in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Smith took two terrible sacks deep in Patriots territory, one of which cost the Jets a chance at a go-ahead touchdown and the second of which came the play before K Nick Folk’s 52-yard field goal was blocked. Smith’s lack of progress makes it difficult to envision a new regime giving him another season behind center. WR Percy Harvin (four catches for 44 yards) left due to a rib injury in the third quarter, which left CB Darrelle Revis covering WR Jeremy Kerley, who had three catches for 54 yards but none after Harvin’s exit.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: C — The Jets rushed for 116 yards, but required 32 carries to do so and gained three yards or less on 22 of those rushes. During the first half, in particular, the Patriots stacked the box and dared Smith to beat them through the air. The bulk of the yardage was gained on the first drive of the second half, when RBs Chris Ivory (11 rushes for 53 yards) and Chris Johnson (10 rushes for 30 yards) combined for 46 yards on the first four carries. Of course, that drive stalled out once the Jets got into the red zone. RB Bilal Powell (five carries for 21 yards) actually looked to have the freshest set of legs, especially on a 14-yard gain out of the Wildcat that set up the Jets’ touchdown.

–RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus — The Jets allowed just 85 yards rushing on 24 carries, but an A effort was sullied during the Patriots’ final drive, when third-string RB Brandon Bolden gained 29 yards on four carries, including a 17-yard gain on third-and-1 with 1:55 left that iced the victory. The Patriots had just nine yards rushing on six carries in the first half, which pretty much summarizes the story of the Jets’ season in all facets of the game: Good a chunk of the time, mediocre or worse when it counts most.

–PASS DEFENSE: B-plus — For the second time this season, Rex Ryan worked miracles by figuring out a way for a band of castoffs to shut down Brady (23-of-35 for 182 yards, one touchdown and one interception). The surefire Hall of Famer averaged just 3.9 yards per dropback, just the second time this season he has averaged less than 4.0 yards per dropback and only the third time he has done so since 2012. Almost inconceivably, Brady’s longest completion went for a grand total of 14 yards to WR Brandon LaFell. The Jets did a terrific job of wrapping up receivers and limiting the yards after the catch. Rookie CB Marcus Williams was particularly impressive: Not only did he have an interception and three pass breakups, he also did a very good job of shadowing TE Rob Gronkowski, who had just six catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Gronkowski took advantage of rookie Calvin Pryor, who turned the wrong way on Gronkowski’s 3-yard touchdown catch. The Jets also harried Brady in the first half, when he took four sacks — as many as he suffered in the previous seven games combined.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus — A largely ugly day for the unit was perfectly summed up on its final play, a 52-yard field goal attempt by Folk that was blocked. The snap was actually the second attempt at the kick by Folk, but the Jets called timeout as Folk took a direct snap and appeared to prepare for a pooch punt. Folk nailed his first three kicks, all of which were from within 40 yards, but he has missed five of his last 19 attempts since Nov. 9. Four of Folk’s five kickoffs sailed into the end zone. Punter Ryan Quigley averaged 47.3 yards on four punts. Kerley had a solid day as the punt returner with 35 yards on three returns. Patriots WR Danny Amendola collected 64 yards on three punt returns, the last of which he took back 39 yards to set up the Patriots’ first touchdown. He also had a 47-yard kickoff return that was negated by a holding call on Bolden.

–COACHING: B-plus — Ryan is going to get another job, and soon, because of his ability this year to get overmatched players to play hard and to come up with defensive schemes that minimize the Jets’ talent limitations. It’s hard to argue with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s game plan — 32 rushes, 29 passes — or his savvy utilization of Powell, both in the Wildcat and as a traditional rusher. But why were Ryan and Mornhinweg apparently arguing on the sideline shortly before Folk’s missed field goal attempt? Ryan later acknowledged indecision over whether to attempt the field goal or have Folk execute a pooch punt.


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