A lot of times, the media in New York does more harm than good around the New York Jets. They quote anonymous stories, they stir things up, and generally get in the way. But, to their credit, they held coach Ryan’s feet to the fire following the game Thursday night. They asked him the tough questions, including ending the press conference by asking him about next season. They asked him whether or not he thinks he will be back in 2013. As he should, he said yes. What else is he going to say? “Nope, they should fire me.”? I don’t think so. Rex, of course, believes he will be back. The question becomes, is he right?
There are good reasons that he should be back in 2013. First and foremost, Rex Ryan has had success with the New York Jets that, short of Weeb Ewbank, has never been equaled. What Jets coach has taken the Jets to back to back AFC Championship games in their first two seasons as head coach? NOBODY. Bill Parcells was close, taking the Jets from 1-15 to 9-7 in his first year, and then going to the AFC title game in his second, but Parcells had a home game to get to that title game. Rex got this team to back to back title games without earning a home playoff game. The fact remains, no matter what you think of Rex Ryan, or his mouth, you cannot deny his success. He took a team that more often than not was looked at as a joke, coming off of a year that Brett Favre basically took hostage, and brought this team back to the forefront. Rex Ryan arrived, and the Jets earned respect. This, my friends, is fact.
He also deserves at least a bit of a pass for this season. Obviously, the season is not going the way anybody hoped. But, coach Ryan is not entirely responsible for that. Rex Ryan does not make the personnel decisions, he did not design this roster. It was not Rex Ryan’s call to be a “Ground and Pound” team, without a 25 carry per game running back. Does anyone think that Rex Ryan wants to go to battle with 3 running backs? Doubt it. I am also pretty sure that Rex Ryan would not choose to have Clyde Gates, Chaz Schilens, Stephen Hill…etc as his depth chart at wide receiver. Yes, his team in Baltimore was not an offensive juggernaut, but the offensive weapons were not a group of practice squad guys either. And I think we can all agree that the Jets defense is a bit slower than he would prefer, agreed? Rex Ryan is getting as much as he can get out of a less than talented team.
But yet, you CAN make the argument that he might be wrong, and lose his job. Turn the page and we’ll look at the other side.