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Rex Ryan Taking a More Active Role with the Defense

By Alan Schechter
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May 24, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer (middle) talks with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan (right) during organized team activities at their training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

The Jets defense finished 5th in the league last year, which is not bad. However, it suffered, as we all saw, from communication breakdowns, and some genuinely slow and sloppy play that was a big role in an 8-8 season.

The change? Coach Rex Ryan is taking more of a role, sitting in with Mike Pettine on defensive meetings, on almost a daily basis so far.

“I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because of what I expect from this team, what our players expect, what this organization expects, what our fans expect. We want to win, all of us. When I say ‘we,’ I’m including the fans, you name it. We expect to win. Whoever out there, they expect the Jets to be a good football team. We don’t want to disappoint them. Let’s make sure we’re a good football team. We want to be in that race,” Ryan said.

Coach went on to say that like the Giants last year, he “…wants to be special.”

The first two seasons, coach Ryan was highly involved with the defense. In 2011, he left the defenses to its own devices a bit, while taking more of an active role in the Jets offense. With Tony Sparano now leading the offense, Rex is freed up to spend more time with his first love, the defense.

Coach is not in the meetings taking over for Mike Pettine. He is just adding information, to make sure everyone is on the same page.

“He’s teaching a little more in the meetings — definitely a bit more consistent coming in. Somehow he’s in there, every day, every other day. Just giving us more tidbits of information to help us learn and understand. He’s trying to make sure that we’re on the same page,” Wilson said.

Sione Pouha had an interesting analogy:

“For me, it’s like being in an AP class right now, the type of learning we’re getting. Having Rex in there, it is going back to his roots really, I mean, he made his name as a defensive coordinator with the Ravens. So having him in there, having his understanding and just a different perspective. That’s key for us.”

Two years of working hard with the defense, 2 AFC Championship appearances. One year of staying away from the defense, 8-8. If Rex wants to involve himself more, works for me.

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