Rex Ryan: “We’ve Got to Get Takeaways”

By Alan Schechter

Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan speaks to the media following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rex Ryan is a defensive guru, maybe even a genius. The way he got the Jets’ defense to perform last season, despite the failings of the offense, was nothing short of remarkable. The defense kept the team in games, almost every single week.

But something was missing. The Jets were beaten badly in the turnover department. You can probably count on one hand the amount of times the defense gave the offense a short field.

At least it felt that way, and Rex Ryan knows it:

We’ve got to get takeaways. That’s number one. We talked about it our first day and every day. We have to find a way to get more takeaways. It’s not just good enough to stop them or something like that; prevent points. We need to get the ball back to our offense as fast as possible and find ways to score with it ourselves. I think that’s the big one. We’ve emphasized that we’ve got guys really trying to get the ball out and practice things like that so we’ll see. It’s not just, we’re going to talk about it but we’re going to do something about it on the practice field as well and that’s what we’re really trying to do and as a team understand in the big picture that it’s not just good enough to keep people off the scoreboard, or whatever it is, like that’s obviously your number one goal, but it’s also to score points with turnovers, and set your offense up to score and I think that’s the team big picture.

The defense was good last year, aside from the back end. If they can get some turnovers, it might be scary.