Rex Ryan Talking about Life After Darrelle Revis


Sept 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan during the first quarter in a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

It’s the day after the Jets version of the apocalypse, ladies and gentlemen. Life without Darrelle Revis, at least for 2012, has officially begun.

For anyone that didn’t see Rex Ryan’s press conference yesterday, it was tough to watch. Coach Ryan has never looked more out of it, even when the team has been eliminated from playoff contention or the playoffs. It’s understandable, losing your best player, and arguably the best defensive player in the league is certainly tough to take. You ever have someone say to you, “You look like you’ve just lost your best friend”? That’s what Rex looked like yesterday.

It’s also time to move forward. Rex talked about keeping the team’s morale up after losing a great player like Darrelle:

I look at it this (way). This is a team game, and as a team, we have to step it up. Our guys, I think, will respond. We certainly have to accept the challenge, and we’re going to come out and compete. We might do it a little differently, but we’re certainly going to give it our best shot, without question. Is it a major blow when you lose a great player like Darrelle Revis? Of course, (it) absolutely is, but this is a football team. I think we showed that yesterday, too. There were plenty of times to get down in that game, but we kept fighting and kept believing in each other and that’s why we found a way to win. That’s (what) it’s going to take, it’s going to take everybody we have, pulling together like we are, and just keep competing, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the day.

He talked about the need to be more aggressive to compensate for the loss:

You have to. The big thing we have to do is stop the run better. If you’re focused on trying to stop the run so much, you’re not going to be as aggressive coming after a quarterback when you’re not stopping the run. I think that’s our biggest thing right now. When you look at it defensively, even though we’re in first place in our division, when you look at it, we have to step up and stop the run better. These two opponents, you better step up, you have the 49ers and then you have Houston coming up. Both of these teams can really run the football, so that has to be it. If you want to get pressure on the quarterback, you have to stop the run on early downs.

Sept 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

What was coach Ryan’s message to the team:

Everybody has to step up, and that’s it. I remember one game my first year here, I believe we lost Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins in the same game. Those are two outstanding football players, maybe one of them regarded as our best, maybe offensive weapon and one of them is certainly one of the best defensive players in the league, in Kris Jenkins. The very next year, we lose Kris after three plays. We have a history of stepping up. I’ve also had some experiences where you lose some corners. In Baltimore, I think we lost three or four corners in one year. Obviously, that was tough. We just have to pick it up and maybe we play some opponents differently. There’s different ways to skin a cat. You can’t just obviously take away their best receiver with one guy, but again, we’ll find a way.

He also talked about Revis’ mood on the flight back to NJ after suffering the injury:

It’s just disappointing. This guy wants to win. When you think of Darrelle, as great a player as he is individually, this guy is a great teammate and wants to win. He wants his football team to win. I think that’s why he was so excited about this year. We know we’re a better football team than we were last year and we’re committed, every man, every person in this building is committed to that. We see it going in that direction, yet, now we have that injury and he might not be able to help us on the field like he really wants to. Clearly, any time a guy goes through an injury, it’s tough. There’s no doubt. You could certainly see that on his face.

Rex is right on the money about team morale, and that they have to step it up now. Nobody in this league is going to have any sympathy for the Jets following the loss of Revis. Kyle Wilson has to step up, no excuses. Same for Antonio Cromartie, Lankster and Trufant.

Not sure if being more aggressive is going to be the way to go, at least not often. Rex’s aggressive style of defense is more suited to having blanket cover corners. The guys they have now might not be good enough for the aggressive man to man defense that Rex likes to run. In order to compensate, we may need to see a bit more of a zone concept than we have in the past. Time will tell us soon enough.