The New York Jets are coming off of one of their worst seasons in Rex Ryan’s tenure with the team. Fans and media alike are questioning the leadership in the Jet’s locker room after failing to reach the post-season for the first time with Rex Ryan at the helm. The beleaguered head coach and his franchise’s struggles have been well documented, perhaps signifying a personnel change in New York.
Apparently, nobody told that to Rex Ryan.
Despite the constant media blunders, questionable roster moves, and an inability to perform on the field, the Jets head coach has told WLNY-TV that he hopes to coach Gang Green “for the next 20 years.”
These are strong words from a man that might be on the proverbial “hot seat” headed into this season. Though admirable, Ryan must take his confidence handling the media and turn that into success on the football field.
But can the Jets overcome the drama?
Recent memory tells us no. After a drama-filled season that saw the Jets add Tim Tebow, New York finished the 2012 season with a record of 6-10. Seemingly every off-season, the New York Jets dominate the headlines, and typically for all the wrong reasons.
From Rex Ryan’s tattoo of his girlfriend nude in a Mark Sanchez jersey, to Tim Tebow’s infamous and brief stint with the club, to drafting an immature prospect in Geno Smith, the New York Jets are always facing questions from one of the most difficult media cities in the entire country. There appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel with Ryan leading the team.
New management, in the form of GM John Izdik, threaten Ryan’s coaching career in the short-term, let alone for the next 20 seasons. It is highly doubtful that the 50 year-old Ryan will be coaching into the 2033 season, let alone remaining with the troubled Jets.
The boisterous Ryan has had career record of 38-32, with three post-season appearances in four seasons. Among the highlights are Ryan’s back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances in 2009-10. A highly successful defensive coordinator, Ryan helped coach a dominant Baltimore Ravens defense. The tools are there for Ryan to be successful, but it may be time for a change in the Jet’s locker room, starting with the head coach.
In the end, it will come down to what Ryan does with the group of players this season and how he handles the quarterback debacle that will determine if he remains on the payroll beyond the 2013 season.
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