New York Jets general manager John Idzik mentioned the team's 1-7 record nine times during a nearly 2,500-word opening statement at his midseason news conference Monday. Idzik used variations of the word "disappointed" six times. He used the word "personal" six times and a variation of "responsible" five times. "Care deeply" and "hurt" each made four appearances.
You get the point.
Idzik is reeling in only his second season on the job, and the outlook could not be worse for sixth-year head coach Rex Ryan. He is the 21st NFL coach since 2004 to open a season with a 1-7 record. Nine of the previous 20 were in their first or second seasons as head coaches. All but three kept their jobs. Owners were much more likely to fire the coaches who went 1-7 after being on the job for at least three seasons. Ten of the past 11 coaches fitting that profile -- Ryan's profile -- got shown the door even though their teams averaged more victories by season's end.
Who's to blame for what the Jets have become? It's not Ryan, who is more victim than villain here. Idzik has, by his own admission, done a poor job. He deserves blame on multiple fronts. But the person most culpable for this debacle was invisible Monday, while Idzik, Ryan and recently benched quarterback Geno Smith faced the tough questions at team headquarters.