Jets fire Mike Tannenbaum, keep Rex Ryan

December 31, 2012

Coach Rex Ryan is in. So’s Jets owner Woody Johnson. The guy in the middle, Mike Tannenbaum, is out. (Kathy Willens / AP)

The New York Jets are keeping Coach Rex Ryan. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum has, however, been fired.

“Mike devoted 15 years of service to the Jets, and I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication,” owner Woody Johnson said in a statement. “Although he helped guide us to two consecutive AFC Championship games, we are not where we want to be, and a new general manager will be critical to getting this team back on the right track.”

Tannenbaum was doomed by weak drafts of late and decisions he made to give Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes big contracts, while bringing in Tim Tebow in a move that has failed spectacularly.

Ryan has twice led the Jets to the AFC Championship game, but the team finished a 6-10 season with a 28-9 loss to Buffalo. He’s 38-32 in four seasons as the team’s head coach, but 14-18 over the last two.

“I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team,” Johnson said.

There’s a considerable mess for the team to clean up, with Sanchez’s confidence shaken to the core after turnover-marked games and the “embarrassing” butt fumble, an iconic GIF of his 2012 season. Sanchez, with the big contract, isn’t going anywhere. Tebow, most likely, is in spite of his two-year contract.

On Sunday, Ryan denied a New York Daily News report that he was prepared to quit if Johnson didn’t make a move to help him fix the dreadful offense, ranked 30th in the league.

“Obviously, with six wins I’m sure there will be some Jets fans that maybe wish I wouldn’t have coached the Jets,” Ryan said. “But guess what? I know I’m the right guy for the job.

“I just want to be here. We’ll see. Obviously, Mr. Johnson has the right to do whatever he chooses, because he’s the owner.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | December 31, 2012