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Ex-N.Y. Jets GM: Keeping Rex Ryan helps Geno Smith

With the positive vibes flowing from Florham Park, Rex Ryan's future with the New York Jets looks better -- even if a final decision has yet to be made.

Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum believes his successor, John Idzik, should keep Ryan employed.

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"This really comes down to the development of Geno Smith," Tannenbaum said Sunday on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay First." "If they make a change with Rex, presumably they'll bring in an offensive coach, so that would give Geno Smith three offensive coordinators in three seasons. Dana Holgorsen last year at West Virginia, Marty Mornhinweg this year and then whoever would be the offensive coach next year. If you do that, now you have to bring in a 3-4 defensive coordinator because that defense has played well -- they have a lot of the pieces."

Tannenbaum said he believes losing veteran coaches like Bill Callahan and Bob Sutton have hurt Ryan the past few seasons.

The former Jets GM thinks Mark Sanchez -- the quarterback he drafted in the top five in 2009 and gave a crippling contract extension -- still has a chance to play a key role for Gang Green.

"I think going into next year having both (Smith and Sanchez) under contract is actually a position of strength," Tannenbaum said. "Again, if you keep Rex and presumably coach Mornhinweg, that gives you some continuity. Even though Sanchez didn't play this year, he learned the system and that probably would give them the best chance to be successful in 2014."

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