The website, which recently collected money from disgruntled fans to buy billboard space near MetLife Stadium, announced Monday on Twitter its plans to amend the message on the existing billboard. Instead of simply demanding Idzik's ouster, it's calling for Johnson to fire his general manager or sell the team.
The billboard was supposed to go up Tuesday on Route 3 East, not far from the stadium.
Johnson, who purchased the Jets for $630 million in 2000, isn't selling. He also isn't talking, and there's plenty to talk about. Johnson last spoke to the media on Oct. 2, but a lot has transpired since. The Jets are 2-9, coming off an embarrassing blowout against the Buffalo Bills. Coach Rex Ryan is a virtual goner, and the fan base is screaming for Idzik to be fired as well.
Johnson isn't expected to address the media until after the season.
Wilkerson is battling a toe injury that could cause him to miss a game for the first time in his four-year career. The Jets haven't disclosed the nature of the injury, but he "doesn't look great," Rex Ryan said Tuesday. The coach was holding out hope that his best defensive player can play Monday night against the Miami Dolphins.
Amaro also wasn't spotted at practice during the 30-minute window open to the media. The rookie suffered a head injury Monday night and is undergoing the mandatory concussion protocol.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, whose back tightened up late in the loss to the Buffalo Bills, sat out for a portion of the early practice.
On Nov. 27, 1994, Dan Marino capped the 39th game-winning drive of his career with his 323rd touchdown pass. The actual throw was unremarkable -- 8 yards to an open Mark Ingram -- but it is perhaps the most famous of Marino's 420 scoring passes. It endures because, let's face it, everybody loves a punking.
Twenty years later, the Fake Spike still lives.
It lives with their forever coach, Don Shula, 84, who marvels at the number of fans who approach him and ask about the play. He smiles and engages them -- unless they're Jets fans. He doesn't speak to them.
And it lives with the Jets, who wish it didn't.
"Oh, s---," former quarterback Boomer Esiason said. "Why do you want to bring that up?"
The Jets are tormented by the Fake Spike because it cost them a big game, ruined a promising season and sent the franchise into a two-year tailspin. It's not an overstatement to say it altered careers and changed lives.
First, let's set the scene.
The stakes were significant (first place in the AFC East) and the game was filled with stars. It included four future Hall of Famers (Shula, Marino, Ronnie Lott and Art Monk), a former NFL MVP (Esiason) and a future Super Bowl-winning coach (Pete Carroll).
The day began with so much promise for the Jets, who were 6-5 under their popular first-year coach. The Carroll-led Jets held an 18-point lead late in the third quarter; they were that close to a watershed victory.
ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini says it's one thing to look up at the Patriots, but quite another when the Bills and Dolphins also pass you by. That is the reality for the last-place Jets.
1. This has John Idzik's fingerprints all over it. On Tuesday, the feeling around the Jets was that Rex Ryan was planning to keep Vick in the starting lineup. But late Tuesday night, it was decided they will return Smith to his former job after three games on the bench. No doubt, Ryan will present this as an "organizational decision," as he always does, but this smacks of the head coach being overruled by his GM.
3. This looks like Smith's last chance to prove to the organization that he has a future. He went 1-7 this season as the starter before an awful performance in Week 8 landed him on the bench. The fact that he's back in the lineup is no shock -- you knew Idzik wanted to give Smith another audition, so to speak -- but it's surprising that it is coming now. If Smith happens to play well (does anybody really think that will happen with this offense?), it could create a false sense of hope. The Jets got sucked into that late last season, when Smith made some strides in meaningless games.
4. It'll be interesting to see how this plays in the locker room. The sense from the players is they liked Vick as the starter. They respect his experience and, of course, ability to make plays outside the pocket. There was a palpable loss of confidence in Smith after his brutal Week 8 start against the Buffalo Bills. This decision probably will be met with some grumbling in the locker room. Then again, does it matter at this point? The Jets are toast, and so is Ryan.
5. This move is not Ryan-like. One thing about him is that he doesn't have a quick hook. Maybe it's one of his faults. He stayed with Mark Sanchez too long and he did the same with Smith, who should've been benched after missing a team meeting and playing poorly in a Week 4 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Vick gets yanked after one bad start.
6. It never changes with the Jets. This quarterback circus triggers memories of 2012, when it was the Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy fiasco. Unfortunately for Ryan, this will be one of his legacies: dysfunction at the quarterback position.
The team made the announcement shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday after coach Rex Ryan met with the two players.
"As an organization, all of our decisions are organizational driven," Ryan said Wednesday in a conference call with Dolphins reporters. "We just want to get Geno another opportunity to show what he can do. Obviously we like the way he finished last season. We've had some bumps in the road this year. We sat him down for a few weeks and we'll see how he responds."
On Tuesday, after the team's embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Ryan was leaning toward keeping Vick in the lineup, according to a source. But late Tuesday night, the decision was made to start Smith, a source said.
The feeling close to the team is that general manager John Idzik insisted that Ryan start Smith, his underperforming former second-round pick.
Smith's return will happen on a national stage, as the Jets play the Miami Dolphins on Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
"The main factor is you want to give your guys a chance to win the game," Ryan said. "That's the No. 1 factor you look into. But that's what we did. We feel good. Geno last time out had a good game against Miami (in Week 17 last season)."
Say this for the Jets (2-9): Even when they're bad, their quarterback situation never fails to fascinate. This marks the second quarterback change of the season.
OFFENSE (Based on 58 snaps)
Quarterback -- Michael Vick 36, Geno Smith 22.
Running back -- Chris Johnson 32, Chris Ivory 25, John Conner 5.
Wide receiver -- Eric Decker 45, Jeremy Kerley 43, Percy Harvin 41, T.J. Graham 17, Greg Salas 11.
Tight end -- Jeff Cumberland 47, Jace Amaro 16, Zach Sudfeld 8.
Offensive line -- D'Brickashaw Ferguson 58, Oday Aboushi 58, Nick Mangold 58, Willie Colon 58, Breno Giacomini 58.
Offensive analysis: After sitting for two full games, Smith was pressed into action because of Vick’s awful night. ... Bilal Powell took ill about two hours before kickoff, pushing Johnson into the third-down role. That explains his unusually high snap count. Maybe Powell was the lucky one; he avoided this mess. ... Amaro suffered a head injury. Instead of using Zach Sudfeld as the No. 2 tight end, coordinator Marty Mornhinweg spread the field, going with three- and four-receiver packages. The lack of pass protection left the quarterback exposed.
DEFENSE (Based on 66 snaps)
Line -- Leger Douzable 43, Sheldon Richardson 38, Damon Harrison 32, T.J. Barnes 29, Muhammad Wilkerson 28, Kenrick Ellis 21.
Linebacker -- David Harris 66, Demario Davis 66, Quinton Coples 51, Calvin Pace 51, Jason Babin 14, Trevor Reilly 10, Antwan Barnes 1.
Secondary -- Darrin Walls 63, Dawan Landry 57, Marcus Williams 49, Jaiquawn Jarrett 43, Antonio Allen 23, Kyle Wilson 16, Phillip Adams 15, Calvin Pryor 13.
Defensive analysis: It was secondary by committee. Rex Ryan emptied the bench, rotating at one cornerback spot and one safety spot. Bench players Allen, Adams and Pryor each saw a chunk of playing time. Basically, this approach is known as quantity over quality. Ryan said there isn't much separation between the players, so why not play them all? ... Who could've guessed that Walls, returning from a two-game calf injury, would have the most playing time? ... Landry, who sat for only 10 snaps in the first 10 games, was out for nine -- rather stunning. This trend could continue, as Ryan indicated he's planning to give more playing time to younger players. ... Pryor got back into the rotation after one week in "timeout." ... Wilkerson (toe) and Richardson (back) were limited by injuries. ... T.J. Barnes, who played only 25 snaps in the first 10 games, eclipsed his season total in one night. It also was a season-high snap total for Ellis.
"I think we have a lot of talent on this football team," Ryan said Tuesday, still hurting from a 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills. "We might not be as talented or as deep as other teams in certain areas, but I think we have more than enough talent to be competitive and to, obviously, have a better record than we do."
The Jets have a lot on the team. They have a lot of good people. They have a lot of players with college degrees. They have a lot of community-minded players. But they don't have a lot of talent. If Ryan truly believes they do, he's basically calling himself out for being a lousy coach. Make no mistake, he doesn't consider himself a lousy coach.
He disagreed with Sheldon Richardson's postgame claim that the players have let Ryan down. The second-year defensive tackle was emotional, almost in tears after the horrible loss. This was another touchy topic that was broached to Ryan.
"No, I don’t agree with that. We let each other down," he said. "I think that’s the over-riding thing, and we let our fans down, we let the people that traveled to the game, our Jet fans and stuff like that down as well. We feel terrible about it. There is no doubt. (We get) very emotional about it. We all do because it is painful. I think the bigger you are, the bigger competitor you are, it’s painful. There is no question. We never wanted to play that way."
It was a gloomy day-after for the embattled coach. There have been many of those. Ryan said "it was such a poor performance that it's hard to watch." He understands why people might think his team quit in the game, but he claimed that wasn't the case.
He knows the deal. He has five games left in a 2-9 season, and then he'll probably be fired.
"We have to get better in a hurry," Ryan said. "We’re running out of tomorrows."
"He doesn’t look great," Ryan said. "But, hopefully, in a couple of days he’ll bounce back from it."
Wilkerson, the team's sack leader, suffered the injury in the second quarter of the 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills and never returned to the game. He was replaced by Leger Douzable. After Monday night's game, Wilkerson provided no details, refusing to say how it happened. The fact that he wasn't able to return is significant. Wilkerson is one of the most durable players on the team, having played in all 59 games in his career.
The Jets don't play until Monday night against the Dolphins, so Wilkerson will have the benefit of an extra day. The Jets (2-9) have a light practice Wednesday and an off day for Thanksgiving before stepping up the game prep Friday and Saturday.
Rookie tight end Jace Amaro also is a question mark. He suffered a head injury in the game and is being evaluated as part of the NFL's concussion protocol.
Rex Ryan said Tuesday he will wait the extra day because he wants to sit down with Vick and Geno Smith before going public with his decision. The players had a day off after the embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Detroit. The Jets don't play again until Monday night against the Miami Dolphins.
At 2-9, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't exactly high drama. Ryan is leaning toward Vick as long as he's healthy, according to a source -- and Vick appears to be fine.
Vick got "beat up a little bit" in the game, suffering minor wrist and ankle injuries, but his condition isn't serious enough to impact the decision, according to Ryan.
"No, I don’t think that will be the final thing we talk about," Ryan said. "I’ll address it tomorrow and we’ll go from there."
The Jets were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with the loss, so you could make the case for starting Smith and using the last five games as a final evaluation. Ryan acknowledged he's planning to give more playing time to some of the younger players, but he indicated those would be subtle moves, not outright changes in the starting lineup.
The one variable is general manager John Idzik. If he decides he wants Smith 2.0, it'll be Smith returning to the lineup. He was benched after a three-interception debacle in Week 8, which dropped the Jets to 1-7. Smith replaced Vick late in the third quarter on Monday night, completing 10 of 12 passes for 89 yards -- his first action since the benching.
Ryan offered only a lukewarm assessment of Smith's performance, saying he was "pretty decent." He criticized Smith for a late sack and for not sliding on a scramble. In short, Ryan didn't sound like he was eager to get him back in the starting lineup.
Vick was solid in his first two starts, but he struggled against the Bills. Under heavy pressure, he completed only 7 of 19 passes for 76 yards and an interception. He was sacked five times. His worst moment was overthrowing a wide-open Eric Decker on what should've been a 69-yard touchdown pass.
What about third-stringer Matt Simms? Ryan, on his weekly spot on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 98.7, had a curious response when asked if Simms is a consideration to start. Ryan laughed and said simply, "No."
Back in New Jersey once again, center Nick Mangold and safety Dawan Landry answered the usual questions about whether the team lacks the raw talent needed to compete on the varsity level.
Sure, get that cleaned up and win a few games and everything will still be right as rain.
The players are in a no-win situation. Despite the obvious gaps in the roster and the lack of a franchise quarterback -- Geno Smith may have seemed cheap as a second-round pick, but sometimes you get what you pay for -- players have to toe the line and put on a good face.
Like when Landry was asked about Sheldon Richardson's candid concern for coach Rex Ryan's job following the 38-3 loss to the Bills. Does Landry believe players are letting Ryan down with poor play?
And you assume he doesn't mean fighting for the top pick in the 2015 draft.
Yes, times are bleak for the Jets, who have to put up a good front off the field even if they can't manage to do it in pads during regulation.
As Mangold put it, when asked about Ryan's job: "Shoot, right now we've got to worry about Miami and getting better and doing the things we need to do to help this team get a win. That's down the road. That's in the future. We'll worry about that when the time comes."
Maybe that was premature in Week 6, but with this season circling the drain, those questions aren't going away.
How's that for quick?
Vick's line: seven completions, five sacks and one interception. The 7-for-19, 76-yard performance was one of the worst of his long career.
He was under pressure throughout the game, as the Jets did a lousy job against the Buffalo Bills' front four. Six of the Bills' seven total sacks came with standard pressure, as they exposed the Jets' offensive line.
Vick’s Total QBR of 2.5 against standard pressure was the second lowest by a quarterback in a game this season (Jay Cutler posted a 1.8 against the Packers in Week 10), according to ESPN Stats & Information. This season, the Jets have a league-worst 33.4 Total QBR against a standard pass rush. The league average is 65.3.
Get the picture?
After the game, Ryan declined to name his starter for next week. It would be out of character for Ryan to make a change after a bad start, but this entire season has been out of character, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Ryan goes back to Smith.
1. After a performance like that, I can’t help but think of a fitting Marvin Washington quote from a dark time in the 1990s. Washington, always quick with a one liner, once described a particularly galling loss this way: “Three words: Horr-i-ble.” Pretty much sums it up.
2. Reiterating what I wrote after the game, this one’s on Rex Ryan. His team showed absolutely no pulse. He prides himself on having the most physical team in the league, but his players were on the receiving end of almost every big hit. The players can talk all they want about their affinity for Ryan, but you know what they say: Actions speak louder than words.
3. Ryan’s latest quarterback decision will shed some light on what the organization thinks of Geno Smith, who replaced an ineffective Michael Vick in the third quarter. Smith (10-for-12, 89 yards) wasn’t awful in garbage time, and you could make a case for him to get his old job back -- you know, one last evaluation period before the offseason. If Ryan sticks with Vick, it probably means the organization has seen enough. The sense I get is that Vick, if healthy, will get another shot.
4. Halftime numbers: Vick, six completions for 42 yards. Bills wide receiver Robert Woods, six receptions for 64 yards.
5. The Jets faced an excellent front four, but the level to which their offensive line has dropped is alarming. They allowed a season-high seven sacks, six of which came against standard pressure by the Bills, according to the ESPN Stats & Information. In other words, it was nothing fancy. The Jets were dominated by four-man rushes. Right tackle Breno Giacomini, John Idzik’s second-biggest free-agent signing, is working out as well as they had hoped.
6. A couple of players remarked after the game that the Bills used more two-deep safety looks than usual. With starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin, they probably were concerned about giving up big plays. They also may have been worried about Vick’s scrambling. The point is, without the usual number of eight-man boxes, the Jets should’ve been running the ball. But pass-happy Marty Mornhinweg kept passing,; the pass-run ratio in the first half was 18 to 10.
7. Eleven games into the season, the Jets still have no offensive identity.
8. Weird approach by Ryan in the secondary. He used eight players, essentially rotating at one safety and one cornerback spot. Jaiquawn Jarrett and Calvin Pryor shared time at safety, with Marcus Williams and Phillip Adams sharing at corner. Antonio Allen played both spots. It had a preseason feel to it. I think Ryan has taken the “competition” thing too far.
9. The Jets are 0-5 on the road, having been outscored by 89 points. Under Ryan, they’re 1-5 when coming off the bye week. Maybe a return trip to Dave & Busters wouldn’t have been such a terrible idea.
10. I applaud Sheldon Richardson for expressing genuine emotion after the game. He can be surly after losses, but this one hurt him in a way that moved him to the brink of tears. There should’ve been more of that in the locker room, but too many players acted like zombies.
11. Looks like the “Suck for the Duck” campaign is back on.