There are few times in this life when we’re capable of feeling any sympathy whatsoever for Rex Ryan. In fact, for most that will never happen because he’s an arrogant jerk. Personally I’ve always cared little about that because to me he’s a wildly entertaining arrogant jerk, and the results on a football field are far more important than the toxic stupidity that comes from a coach’s mouth. But yeah, I can definitely see how being a spewing meathead would rub people the wrong way.

Ryan is undoubtedly responsible for much of the mess this year with the Jets. Blame is inherent with the head coaching gig, and indeed many a head coach has been canned after falling victim to results that were far out of his control. The epicenter of the burning excrement that is the Jets’ 2012 season is their quarterback situation, and I’ve been among those who are wondering aloud why Tim Tebow isn’t even getting a chance to start a somewhat meaningful game.

But as I’ve also written repeatedly, focusing on that discussion dodges the larger issue of how mangled the Jets are at the quarterback position, a problem stemming from personnel decisions far out of Ryan’s reach. There are also lesser if still glaring deficiencies at other core offensive positions, most notably wide receiver and running back. Toss in the incompetence of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, and you begin to understand an even more concerning problem from Ryan’s perspective. A defensive-minded coach has had to spend far too much time on the other side of the ball.

You’re also beginning to understand why Ryan has reportedly issued an ultimatum of sorts to Jets management: fix this, or fire me.

Ryan still has two years and $6 million left on his contract, so despite the mess under his watch finances make it unlikely that he gets canned on Black Monday in three days. However, that’s his preference according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:

“The million-dollar question is how much dead money is Woody willing to absorb for 2013 with front office, coaches and players?” a league source familiar with the situation said. “If Woody’s not willing to spend, then (Ryan) would want out. He’d be a lame duck. Anybody would want out.”

Sources confirm that Ryan prefers to stay with the Jets if his owner is willing to pour in all the necessary resources to breathe life into one of the most anemic passing offenses in the league. Although Johnson’s bottom-line budget is unknown, sources said that Ryan won’t simply resign if the owner isn’t willing to make sufficient changes.

“He won’t quit,” a team official said.

And thus it begins, maybe. Ryan is often a boisterous fool, but at times that’s likely just pure shtick. No one makes it as far as he has in coaching without a proper gauge of what’s needed to be successful. If he spends another season languishing with the Jets’ pathetic excuse for an offense before mercifully getting fired, then he’ll struggle to get another head coaching gig.

Ryan hasn’t been given any assurances regarding his job status, and although it remains unlikely that he’ll be canned, he’s among a large group of potential pink slip recipients in the coming days. For the first time in a really long time we’re about to go through a whole season without a single head coach canning, which means the carnage awaits Monday. Everybody parties on New Year’s Eve.

Now that you’ve started this fine Friday morning with your daily Jets laugh, continue on the coach/GM firing front and read the in-depth and heavily detailed Black Monday primer by Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks. On the high end, he projects that as many as 10 teams (!!!) could be making a change at the highest spot on their coaching ranks next week, including the Bills (#FreeCJ), Browns, Cardinals, and inevitably the Eagles and Chargers too. Brace for the Chip Kelly worship in Philly, you guys.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • Alright so there was no fantasy talk whatsoever in the preceding 600 or so words. Blame Rex. But here’s this: we live in a world where Michael Vick could honestly, really have value in Week 17. [Sports Jerks]
  • Call Steven Jackson old, but there’s a good chance that old dude could finish with over 1,200 rushing yards this year, and he’s still a solid RB2. Please don’t retire S-Jax. [The Associated Press]
  • Some injury notes for you Week 17 fantasy foot soldiers: Jeremy Maclin still hasn’t practiced this week, but he’ll likely be on a practice field in some capacity today. [SB Nation]
  • There was a rare Thursday Ahmad Bradshaw sighting in New York. [Newark Star-Ledger]
  • And in Chicago Matt Forte practiced yesterdat, but Brian Urlacher didn’t. [PFT]