Jets Losing Credibility Each Time They Speak
By Alan Schechter
Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
It has been an interesting 3.5 years in Jets land, has it not? The Rex Ryan era began with a lot of fanfare, some great success, and has had some epic failure of late. But through it all, the fanfare has never gone away. Why has it never gone away? Because the Jets have continued to open their mouths, and bring the expectations and the fanfare on themselves. No matter how they have changed the actual wording of what they say, Rex and the gang continue to put enormous expectations on themselves. It was exciting at first, but it is getting old. Frankly, the team is losing credibility each time they do it. That is not to say that I dislike Rex Ryan as the coach of this team, very much the opposite. I believe he is the right match. But the atmosphere of “say anything you want” has caused nonsense to come out of his mouth, and the players’ mouths, and they sound more and more foolish each time they do it.
The first two years, Rex Ryan guaranteed Super Bowl appearances. As brash as Rex seemed when he got here, entering his first head coaching job, he made the statements. To his credit, he did get close to realizing those statements, taking the team to two straight AFC Championship games. His brashness brought attention to the team, and put them on the national map, not only for their brashness, but for the result on the field. Even though they went 9-7 the first year, they turned it on in the playoffs, and backed the words up, almost perfectly.
However, the beginning of the reckless speak came in 2011. Despite the fact that we were in the midst of a lockout, Rex publically talked about how talented his roster was, how it was the best in three years. That was an odd statement to make since at the time, we didn’t know WHAT THE ROSTER WOULD LOOK LIKE! How do you make a statement about the roster, when you can’t even finalize it quite yet? Seriously? It definitely was an strange boast to make at the time, although there seemed to be differing opinions on how to handle it. Most of us left it as, Rex being Rex.
But as 2011 went on, it became clear that Rex’s credibility was taking a hit. He again made his guarantee of a Super Bowl appearance. Despite the fact that the team had less time to prepare for the season, out his boast came. We again put it on Rex being Rex, but the target was on his team. The Super Bowl predictions made other teams look even more forward to their chances to take out the Jets. It made the Jets more vulnerable. LaDainian Tomlinson pointed it out, but Rex didn’t seen to understand that. Rex also seemed to not have a pulse on what was happening in his own locker room, which is his JOB to know. The result was shown on the field in an 8-8 season, and came to a head in Miami.
But, Rex did humbly admit it was a learning experience, and vowed to be better in 2012. Let’s talk more on the next page.
Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) warms up before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Dolphins won 30-9. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
2012 came along, and Rex Ryan promised “no more Super Bowl guarantees”. To his credit, despite opportunities to do so, coach Ryan never made such guarantees. But, to see where the team is losing credibility, you have to look at the things that Rex HAS said.
First, he talked about this being “the most talented roster he ever had”. What?!?! Any outside observer could tell that this group is FAR from the most talented roster he ever had. You had guys with potential, like Hill and Coples, but they are just that, potential. The proven talented on this team was just hard to find, and still is hard to locate. Was Rex lying to us? Was he lying to himself? Maybe he was trying to convince himself that he was telling the truth. Whatever the reason, even though he didn’t specifically guarantee a Super Bowl, saying that this group is the most talented roster he has had puts just as much pressure on them, and becomes just as hollow as a Super Bowl guarantee. It’s like the boy who cried wolf, you say it too many times, and people stop listening. That is what is starting to happen.
Then we fast forward to yesterday, and you see just how far reaching the culture that Rex has created has grown. We have all probably heard about it by now, but just in case you haven’t, here’s the story. Antonio Cromartie went on the NFL Network yesterday morning, on the “NFL AM” program, for an interview. During that interview, Antonio Cromartie guaranteed that the Jets will make the playoffs. Yes, Antonio has been all-world since taking over for Darrelle, but guaranteeing a playoff spot for a 3-5 team is not responsible. The Jets have to go a minimum of 6-2 to have a realistic shot. They CAN do it, but does anyone feel supremely confident that they WILL do it? I know I don’t. To guarantee something that is quite a long shot does nothing but kind of make you sound ignorant, and hurt yours, and your team’s credibility.
Then, how does coach Ryan respond to the comment? He AGREES with it! To agree with that type of statement does just as much to hurt your credibility as guaranteeing a Super Bowl berth does. You know what the scary part of it is? In a way, Rex had to do it. If he has established a culture where he is allowed to make whatever bold statements he wants, why can’t his players? It would be inconsistent if he takes Cro to task, but makes similar comments himself. The culture he has cultivated with the Jets is to make whatever bold statements you want, no matter how ridiculous they are.
Rex is a great match as coach for the New York Jets. I don’t believe he should lose his job, no matter how 2012 turns out. But, the culture around this team is very loose when it comes to public statements. The result, is that they lose credibility when then talk. It gets worse and worse, and we all are subjected to it.