Rex Ryan Begins to Reflect on the New York Jets’ 2013 Season
By Alan Schechter
Dec 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) runs the ball while being pursued by New York Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison (94) at Bank of America Stadium. Panthers defeated the Jets 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets are playing the last couple of weeks for pride, as Justin Tucker’s foot took us out of playoff contention. With that, coach Rex Ryan is beginning to be asked about 2013, and not just about his job status. As he met with the media yesterday, he was asked about who are some of his most improved players this year. One of the players singled out was our good buddy, Damon “Snacks” Harrison:
Well, I don’t know. There’s a lot of guys that have made strides. A lot of guys have improved. But, I think the ones that would jump out at me, clearly you have, I think the communication starts with (Dawan) Landry. (He’s) done a great job back there. But, Demario Davis, I think his play has really improved, which you’d expect from a young player, but I see him getting better. You look at the young safeties, Antonio Allen specifically; I think he’s improved quite a bit. The d-line, Snacks (Damon Harrison), the way he’s played, is nothing short of impressive. So, there’s guys. But a guy in my opinion, it sounds crazy and he’s played 11 years in the league, that is playing as good now as he ever has is Calvin Pace. And I think that just shows you the commitment that he’s had, that he’s had in his offseason condition. The fact that we’ve asked him to do several different roles and he’s accepted every single one and he’s gotten better. He’s gotten better as a pass rusher. I think he’s got nine sacks on the season. His play, it’s been super. Hopefully, he’s able to get that 10th sack. That would be a little cherry on top because you want to get to double digits, but it’s been more than just the sacks for him. His play has been outstanding.
All definitely fair choices. If he isn’t playing the best football of his career, Calvin Pace is certainly playing the best football of his Jets’ career. And we all know how good Damon has been.
He also talked about the areas that Geno is improving in as the season has rolled along:
think one of them that is, I think he’s accurate with the football, he’s more accurate with the football, but I think he’s done a nice job on the move. And I think the other thing he’s done is he’s used his legs better than he has at any point and this is going to his college career as well. He’s had mobility, but never necessarily ran with it in college. I think when you look at his average, I think we’d be surprised. He’s maybe one yard or something, but he’s certainly made some plays that way. His footwork has been much better as far as his depth – three-step drops, five-steps, seven-step (drops). I think he’s got a better feel for pressure in the pocket than he’s done. And the thing that I know has been greatly improved is the way he’s protected the football in the pocket and that’s something that’s hard to do. But, I’ve definitely seen that.
I am not so sure he has “greatly” improved the way he has protected the football in the pocket, but he has gotten better. Definitely good enough to continue into 2014 as the starter.