The second myth was that Rex Ryan was a dead man walking whose team had quit on him and that he would be fired, possibly in season. I was in the minority as most Jets fans I encountered said they liked Rex but he was going to be gone because Idzik wanted to start over and he needed to make the playoffs to keep his job. My feeling was that this has always been looked at as year one of a two year rebuild so Rex’s fate wouldn’t be tied to a win total but instead to how the many young players on the team develop. With six players in their first 3 three years on defense alone it was a wise decision for Ryan to go back to teaching defense as well as calling plays. He understood that he was at his best (2009-2010) motivating the team as a whole while coaching defense predominantly. This time instead of handing off the offense to an incompetent coordinator like Tony Sparano he went with Marty Mornhinweg of the Eagles who had top 10 offenses in eight out of the last ten years. He hired David Lee as the quarterbacks coach to provide an excellent one two punch in the development of a rookie quarterback. If the quarterback and the young players developed then it would set the team back to fire the head coach and staff while starting over again.
How has it turned out so far for Rex? The team is 4-3 and has done it in come from behind fashion each time. Each week Geno Smith gets a bit better and shows you another glimpse of the future as his skills and confidence grows. Led by a spectacular defensive line the team already has 25 sacks, which is five short of the total of the entire season last year. Muhammad Wilkerson has become a bona fide star, Damon Harrison has blossomed from an undrafted free agent in 2012 to someone playing at a Pro Bowl level this year, Sheldon Richardson has been dominant against the run, Leger Douzable has surpassed all expectations and Antonio Allen has stepped up at safety. This team has plenty of holes, especially with very few playmakers but these players are playing very hard and to a man they say they are playing for Rex Ryan. Not bad for a dead man walking.