2012 came along, and Rex Ryan promised “no more Super Bowl guarantees”. To his credit, despite opportunities to do so, coach Ryan never made such guarantees. But, to see where the team is losing credibility, you have to look at the things that Rex HAS said.
First, he talked about this being “the most talented roster he ever had”. What?!?! Any outside observer could tell that this group is FAR from the most talented roster he ever had. You had guys with potential, like Hill and Coples, but they are just that, potential. The proven talented on this team was just hard to find, and still is hard to locate. Was Rex lying to us? Was he lying to himself? Maybe he was trying to convince himself that he was telling the truth. Whatever the reason, even though he didn’t specifically guarantee a Super Bowl, saying that this group is the most talented roster he has had puts just as much pressure on them, and becomes just as hollow as a Super Bowl guarantee. It’s like the boy who cried wolf, you say it too many times, and people stop listening. That is what is starting to happen.
Then we fast forward to yesterday, and you see just how far reaching the culture that Rex has created has grown. We have all probably heard about it by now, but just in case you haven’t, here’s the story. Antonio Cromartie went on the NFL Network yesterday morning, on the “NFL AM” program, for an interview. During that interview, Antonio Cromartie guaranteed that the Jets will make the playoffs. Yes, Antonio has been all-world since taking over for Darrelle, but guaranteeing a playoff spot for a 3-5 team is not responsible. The Jets have to go a minimum of 6-2 to have a realistic shot. They CAN do it, but does anyone feel supremely confident that they WILL do it? I know I don’t. To guarantee something that is quite a long shot does nothing but kind of make you sound ignorant, and hurt yours, and your team’s credibility.
Then, how does coach Ryan respond to the comment? He AGREES with it! To agree with that type of statement does just as much to hurt your credibility as guaranteeing a Super Bowl berth does. You know what the scary part of it is? In a way, Rex had to do it. If he has established a culture where he is allowed to make whatever bold statements he wants, why can’t his players? It would be inconsistent if he takes Cro to task, but makes similar comments himself. The culture he has cultivated with the Jets is to make whatever bold statements you want, no matter how ridiculous they are.
Rex is a great match as coach for the New York Jets. I don’t believe he should lose his job, no matter how 2012 turns out. But, the culture around this team is very loose when it comes to public statements. The result, is that they lose credibility when then talk. It gets worse and worse, and we all are subjected to it.