New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is facing a lot of heat following repeated poor performances by his team and a renewed perception that his locker room has become divided. The Jets coach who usually handles his press conference like a stand up comic now appears to be dazed and confused and resigned to the fact that his team is heading in the wrong direction. So where did it all go wrong for Rex and his Jets? Well for me it started with Ryan’s mouth and his confident/arrogant statements that in the end were just not true.
Heading into this season Rex Ryan stated that this was the most talented Jets team that he has coached. Rex went even as far as to say that his defense would be amongst the best in the NFL. Many, including yours truly, bought into these statements and expected great things from Gang Green in 2012.
The fact of the matter is that the Jets are a poorly constructed team that lacks playmakers at the crucial skill positions. Granted the team has lost Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes for the year but the Jets still do not have the overall talent to compete with the best in the NFL. Is there any player on the Jets offense right now that strikes fear in the eyes of an opposing defensive coordinator? Remember those Stephen Hill/Calvin Johnson comparisons? How about those Shonn Greene breakout year comments? Defensively does Gang Green have any player that can take over the game and disrupt the rhythm of the opposing team’s offense? How is that monster year for Muhammad Wilkerson going? The Jets defensive line amongst the best in the NFL?
Ryan’s second biggest mistake was his comments regarding Tim Tebow and the use of the wildcat formation. Rex presented the wildcat like it was a secret weapon that was going to become a very productive scheme for the offense. Those words could not have been any further from the truth as the wildcat has had a minimal impact on the Jets offense. If anything it appears that Rex Ryan and his offensive coordinator have no clue how to handle Tim Tebow and his unique skill sets.
So where does Ryan go from here? In my opinion it is time for Rex Ryan to lay the hammer down with both his players and the media. Rex needs to stand in front of his team and tell them to shut the hell up and to focus on getting better. If a gag order is required so be it. In terms of the media Ryan needs to stop humoring everyone and providing cute quotes that capture headlines. Rex should address game related questions and that is it. The quicker that Rex Ryan can stop fueling the media fires the better off his team will be.
Now I am not saying that if the Jets talk less that they will win games, but as of right now there are just too many distractions for this team. Rex Ryan has to get his team united and focused on trying to salvage this season. Ryan has to get the attention back to the play on the field. Failure to do so could cost Rex his job.