Is Head Coach Rex Ryan a Great Head Coach, or a Lucky Defensive Coordinator?


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

If you are a fan of this blog, you know that I am a big fan of Rex Ryan. Here is a guy that, as opposed to past occupants of his seat, wants to be here for the long-term. It’s been an interesting ride with him at the helm too, has it not? From 2 title appearances today, it has been a roller coaster. He’s going into his fifth year at the helm, maybe a lame duck season. We know he has hired Marty Mornhinweg to work as the offensive coordinator, and to independently run the offense.

Despite my feelings toward Rex, I have started thinking about his abilities as a head coach. Actually, one of our staff writers got me thinking. Take a look at the piece, published yesterday by Sean Durham.  He talks about keeping coach Ryan and his influence away from Geno Smith.

You know what got me thinking?  Read the piece, Sean is 100% right.  Rex’s knowledge, and ability to coach offense, is limited, and that is being kind.  It’s bad, that is why Marty has to be able to run the offense independently.

Is that a head coach?  I am beginning to wonder.

Shouldn’t a head coach have their hands on everything?  If you watch “A Football Life” when it profiled hoodie, they take note of meetings between him and his quarterback, to talk game planning.  For anyone who doesn’t know, Belichick’s background is defense, but yet he has his hands on the offense.

That is what a head coach does.

If you leave one part of the game to an assistant, and don’t visit with it at all, you run the risk of their being problems that you aren’t aware of.  2011, and Santonio Holmes being benched come to mind as a prime example.  Problems in the locker room that season ring in my head as well.  Don’t we want the head coach to have a hand on everything, so this doesn’t become an issue?

On the other hand, he did get to 2 straight AFC title games, as we all know.  But, this happened despite the dreaded color coded wristband.  Sean reminded us of it in his article, and he is dead on that it may have affected Mark’s development.  But the Jets made the appearances anyway, which could make one think that they made it to the title game IN SPITE of coach Ryan.

Now we are in 2013 and Marty Mornhinweg is here to run the Jets offense.  Rex Ryan is going to be calling the defensive plays, and spending less time with the offense.

Is this what a head coach should be doing?  On one hand, they should have their hands on everything.  On the other hand, a good coach should also be able to delegate.  Maybe that is what we have here, a perfect example of delegation, because Rex knows he doesn’t handle offense well.

So, we have a guy that led us to 2 AFC title games, but since then has shown his flaws as a coach.  Now he brings in a coordinator to run the offense so he doesn’t have to.  So, with all of this information, what do you think?  Is Rex a great head coach?  Or, is he a defensive coordinator that got lucky in 2009-2010?