The New York Jets defeated the rival New England Patriots last week, and I urge you to look past the controversial call at the end of the game. The Jets deserved to win the game, because they were less sloppy than their opponents and did a better job of controlling the clock and being more efficient in the passing game. It was a close, ugly game that normally would constitute a win over the Patriots, but any team will take a win.
I have always believed that Rex Ryan is one of the better coaches in the NFL, and his incredible knowledge of defensive schemes is something that can’t be praised nearly enough. He’s also as much of a player’s coach as anyone out there and has bailed out management countless times by taking the blame during press conferences in front of the New York media. Ryan genuinely seems like a great guy, and he has a pretty good resume in this league. After all, he used a ground-and-pound offense and excellent defense to overcome a non-existent passing attack in order to take the Jets to two AFC Championship games. He also out-coached Bill Belichick in a playoff game, despite the fact that the Jets were an overmatched team in terms of talent (they lost 45-3 in that infamous Monday night game earlier in the season).
So yeah, Ryan’s a good coach, but even good coaches get lumped into the hot seat rather quickly in New York when things go sour. While the real culprit for the Jets lack of success was poor cap management and inferior personnel put together by subpar, then-GM Mike Tannenbaum, Ryan faced the wrath of the media.
The Jets, however, somehow managed to salvage six wins last season despite a severe lack of talent, and they are off to a surprising 4-3 start this season. Ryan has his team playing hard for him, and they have looked impressive. They probably won’t be able to keep this up due to concerns in the passing offense and pass defense, but the fact that they are above .500 speaks volumes to the job Rex Ryan is doing.
Jets owner Woody Johnson has certainly taken notice, and he gave Rex plenty of praise, via the New York Daily News’s Gary Myers, “We’re happy with Rex,” Johnson said. “Coaches have to be good teachers and good leaders and I think he’s both.”
He didn’t confirm whether or not he thinks Ryan will be back for another year, but that’s based on principle; Johnson doesn’t like talking about that stuff during the season. Honestly, he would have to be an utter fool to fire Ryan.