New York Jets Fans Should Judge Rex Ryan on Total Package Not Latest Results


There are five games left in the NFL season. Consequently, there are likely only five games left in the Jets head coaching tenure of Rex Ryan. With the team 2-9 and looking listless in doing so, the marriage between John Idzik and Rex Ryan is likely to come to an end when Black Monday comes around. Whether we agree with that decision or not, it is likely the one that is coming.

A lot of fans that are in favor of letting coach Ryan go make reference to his record since the AFC title game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s not an unfair point, 24-35 from 2011 to the present is not good. Head coaching is a “What have you done for me lately” business, and by that standard, Rex Ryan should be shown the door.

All I am saying is, when you think about the tenure of Rex Ryan, think of the entire tenure, not just the most recent results.

Dec 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Mark Sanchez

(6) and Jets coach Rex Ryan react during the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

These two were joined at the hip from day one. The first major decision made under the watch of Rex Ryan was the trade to fifth in the 2009 NFL draft, and the selection of Mark Sanchez to be the quarterback of the future. The two of them worked magic together over their first two seasons, with a 20-12 record and two AFC Championship appearances. The future seemed bright for Rex Ryan and the Jets.

Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver

Santonio Holmes

(10) looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of a preseason game at Metlife Stadium. The Jets won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In 2011, the trouble began to surface. Santonio Holmes began to have his temper tantrums, causing a divide in the locker room. Mark Sanchez started his downward plunge to a daily turnover machine. In 2012, the Jets carried a certain backup quarterback that was the biggest distraction in many years, again causing issues within the locker room.

In 2013, the problem was injuries and a lack of talent. The Mark Sanchez injury forced a rookie named Geno Smith into the limelight. He was a turnover machine, partially because he had a team that lacked weapons. In digging the team out of their salary cap problems, new general manager John Idzik didn’t have a lot to work with, and the team struggled to score points.

Despite that, coach Rex Ryan took them to the following season records in succession: 8-8, 6-10, 8-8. With all of those problems, coach Ryan held them together at only four games under .500. Many called the job he did in 2013 the best job he did with the Jets. It’s not fair to take that away from him because the doors have fallen off now.

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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Now we arrive at today. The Jets are 2-9, and the effort that the players have shown Rex Ryan has been spotty as of late. We all saw how they looked on Monday night against the Bills. It’s getting ugly out there, folks. And Rex Ryan doesn’t have a lot of answers. We know where this is headed, probably in five weeks.

The time is drawing near for Rex Ryan. It has been an up and down tenure to say the least. My point is a simple one. Don’t judge him on two AFC title games. Don’t judge coach Ryan on 2-9. Judge Rex Ryan on all of it.