Jun 11, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan during the New York Jets minicamp session at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

How Rex Ryan Can Keep His Job Past 2013


Rex Ryan is entering his 5th season as head coach of the New York Jets, as we all know. But, as we also know, he enters that season under a unique set of circumstances. Namely, he is here, with a general manager that didn’t hire him. John Idzik has been hired, with the caveat that he had to keep Rex Ryan as head coach for the 2013 season.

Does that mean, however, that Rex Ryan is a complete “lame duck” coach? Can he keep his job past the year 2013? I have heard the “experts” talking about specific win totals that Rex must achieve to keep his job, and I have heard that it doesn’t matter how many wins the Jets have, he is out after this year.

I believe that coach Ryan can keep his job, but my reasons are a little different than just win totals. Let me show you:

FIELD AN ELITE DEFENSE

I know that sounds easy. Heck, Rex has had an elite, or close to elite, defense every year since he has been here. Even when the offense has gone completely backwards (last year), the defense has stepped up. Why would this year be any different?

This year, the defense has gotten the biggest facelift it has gotten since Rex arrived. Several mainstays of the defense are gone, Darrelle Revis, Bart Scott, Sione Pouha, and Mike DeVito. Calvin Pace is here, but not likely for much longer, other than as a mentor.

In their place, we have guys such as Kenrick Ellis, Sheldon Richardson, and Demario Davis. Yes, the group is younger and faster, there is no doubt. But, gone are guys that coach Ryan has felt very comfortable with. Based on past performance, coach should still have no problem putting an elite defense on the field. But it will be the first time with so many new players, so John Idzik will have to see it.

STAY LOYAL TO THE TEAM, NOT SPECIFIC PLAYERS

Whether you believe in Rex or not, he has had one specific downfall. That downfall? Being too loyal to the players that he is comfortable with. A major example of that is Bart Scott. Last year, it was obvious to everyone in the universe that Bart was slower. He couldn’t catch anyone anymore, but he stayed in the lineup. Why? Because Rex was comfortable with him. It was high time to turn the defense over to Demario Davis, but yet he didn’t do it.

The other example that we all know is Mark Sanchez. Yes he led the team to two title games in his first two years, but he clearly was not the same quarterback last season. The move to take Mark out was prime for the doing far earlier than it was done. But coach Ryan’s loyalty to Mark Sanchez prevented him from doing so. The fact is, his loyalty may have prevented the Jets from turning the season around. We’ll never know.

Mark Sanchez may start the season as the quarterback. As I have said, there is a good chance that he wins the job coming out of week one. However, if Mark falters, or if any of his regulars falter, he has to be able to bench them immediately. There is no way Rex stays if not.

FIELD A TEAM THAT DOESN’T QUIT

I know that’s an obvious one but I bring it up anyway. How many times in our lives have teams that are out of contention, quit on their coach? There is the sentiment that the coach is on the way out the door, so the players stop listening.

Rex must keep control of his locker room, and keep his team from quitting.

So, how do YOU think coach Ryan can keep his job, if he can at all?

Tags: New York Jets Offseason Rex Ryan

  • Santee Jack

    Sounds like a Bears/Lovie Smith rerun.

    • Addage

      Yes. And it remains to be seen whether the Bears will be better.

    • TheJetPress

      In some ways it is quite similar.

  • matr dontelli iii

    idzik has said how wonderful it is to work with rex, but he also said similar stuff about the front office he rearranged so that’s a wash. rex now has, for the first time, a competent offensive coordinator. he also, for the first time, has an option at qb in the event the starter falls into the right guard’s butt. rex can spend his time with the defense, doing what he does best and delegate the offense to the coordinator. between the faster younger defense, the removal of inefficient players and rex’s hands-on approach the defense should be better. he does not need to be with the offense in order to motivate the whole team. when the coordinator is competent the coach can leave the offense to him. between the legion of qbs on the roster and the new, qb friendly offense the qb play virtually has to improve from last year. the young tight ends have another year under their belts and should be better. how much did keller give us last year? less than that cornerback did, so even if winslow can’t go we shouldn’t be worse at tight end. same with receiver, it’s possible we don’t improve the way we want, but given who we had and what we got last year we shouldn’t be worse. the line should be better and the running game should be better. given all that, the idea of a better won-lost record is not far fetched. the first round of the draft seemed to be picked with rex’s defensive system in mind. when all the above is considered it certainly seems, as i’ve said before, the duck is not nearly as lame as those who are debating his alleged lameness. truth, justice and the american way!

    • TheJetPress

      I know that we have a great Matr rant when it ends with “truth, justice and the american way!” And it’s all fair points you make as usual. If the pieces fall into place, it might not be as bad as it might appear.

      • matr dontelli iii

        thanks alan. i try to save it for special occasions, and remember, i’m just quoting a famous american football team owner. i am kind of taking for granted that rex knows his job is on the line and he needs to play the guys who are getting it done or find those who can. we can only hope… it would be a shame if woodhead had go find another rookie head coach. i’ve made the point a few times that he’s never hired an experienced gm or hc. have you ever seen that point referenced in the media? i haven’t and i kinda wonder why, other than just the overall lack of insight shown by our local media. another question: i cannot remember which respected head coach was available for an interview just after we had lost our coach and woodhead, instead of dragging his ugly tie in to interview the guy, went to europe on vacation. the coach then removed himself from the derby due to woodhead’s woodheadedness. do you remember which coach that was and after which coach was fired/released? thanks. something tells me it was holmgren, but i’m not sure. and dustin is right about the special teams, they certainly need to get back on track after last year’s mess. the special teams play last year was sanchezian.

        • TheJetPress

          I have never seen that referenced in the media either….and I agree, I think it was Holmgren, the coach you are thinking of is holmgren

          • matr dontelli iii

            Hey Alan, I just looked it up. It was bill cowher they were trying to lure out of retirement after firing mangini and before hiring Rex. Wood head was on vacation and was too busy to be bothered interviewing cowher so we lost out on the chin but, into opinion, won out in the big picture by getting Rex. Cowher was insulted and decided he wasn’t interested.

          • TheJetPress

            I remember that now.. I seem to remember that Cowher took the call out of respect for Woody but never was really interested

          • matr dontelli iii

            From what I read, and the sources were dick cimini and toupee Meyers, they said, of course, that ‘according to sources familiar with the situation’ that cowher could have been enticed to join the team had wood head made himself available for the interview but when wood head couldn’t be bothered to interview him he decided he didn’t want the job. He then committed to CBS.

          • TheJetPress

            ah..makes sense……I have to be nice to Cimini…he was very cordial with me at the event this weekend..he and I sat and talked about the team for about an hour..Really nice guy

  • Dustin Schrank

    The jets defense needs to keep scoring down, they need to generate pressure with the front 4 and get turnovers not just keeping yards down they need to dominate and leave no question who the master of defense is. You are right his stubborn loyalty to his players is his biggest barrier. The special teams must be special, in fact the whole team needs to play with heart because in NY media is king and they have turned on Rex, he must win the fan base back and force the media to embrace him or I believe he is doomed not because of coaching ability but from the preception the media creates and the only way to beat that is by winning games. we need a whole team effort every game.

    • TheJetPress

      1000% agree with that assessment Dustin. The team must play with heart, if they don’t, it will be all over. If they quit on him..that’s it. Hopefully, as I said in the piece, he can shed that stubborn loyalty to failing players.

  • Paul Newbold

    If Rex Ryan takes the field in 2014 as the head coach of this team I will be shocked! Every GM wants to hire his own man (his job is dependent on the coach’s success), I’m not buying the “love relationship” they are putting out to the press! Many of you already know what I think of Rex Ryan as a head coach, so I won’t elaborate. For Rex, I believe the writing is on the wall, regardless of win – loss ratio, Rex will be let go. Idjik really seems to have a plan to turn this organization around, and I don’t believe it includes Rex. Once again…Just my 2 cents!

    • TheJetPress

      Some see it that way Paul. I can understand that.