New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is seemingly on the hot seat after every season, and it’s a credit to the New York media that Ryan and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin are always under fire despite being two of the best head coaches in the league. Ryan helped lead the Jets to an 8-8 finish, and that’s almost a miracle given how woeful their offense was. Geno Smith was busy throwing interceptions in an uneven rookie year, there were very little playmakers on offense, and, on the defensive side, the secondary was inept. With an expected 5-11 record in Pythagorean wins, it’s a miracle the Jets finished with an even record.
In an interview with the New York Daily News’s Manish Mehta , Ryan, who is one of the most quotable personalities in sports, stated his confidence in his own abilities as a coach but critically gave credit to his players for this ability, “Do I think that I’m a great coach? I absolutely know I’m a great coach. But it’s not just about me. What makes a great coach is the people that surround you, the people that are with you every day. There’s guys that help me be a great coach. My players help me be a great coach.”
Ryan’s confidence isn’t unfounded, but the biggest takeaway for me is the fact that he goes out of his way to send some praise towards his players. That’s something Ryan has always stood for, and I love how he is always willing to give credit to those around him (such as rival head coach Bill Belichick). He has a reputation for being a big-time player’s coach, and it’s quotes like this that remind us why he’s earned that reputation. As Ryan said, he’s clearly no Vince Lombardi, but he’s a great coach in today’s game and one of the foremost experts on running an NFL defense. The Jets will probably win less than eight games last year, but that will be due to regression, as opposed to a decrease in talent or coaching ability.