Rex Ryan is an excellent defensive coach. But he leaves much to be desired as a head coach.

Rex Ryan is an excellent defensive coach. But he leaves much to be desired as a head coach.

I am solely writing this blog because I’m pissed off. Pissed off at the joke my team, the New York Jets, have become. I’m not one to normally call for anyone’s job. But, like I said before – I’m pissed off! 

The Jets this past Sunday lost the second game of the 2014 season, 31-24 to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. It wasn’t the fact that they lost, but how they lost this one that burns me. And this isn’t the first occurrence of foolishness on the sideline in critical moments during the Rex Ryan administration.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Jets were at a crossroads. They had already squandered a substantial lead in the first half. The Packers overcame the deficit and led with 3:37 to go in the fourth, 31-24. On 4th down and four from the Green Bay 37, Geno Smith hit Jeremy Kerley with a phenomenal pass for a touchdown that brought the Jets to within a point, 31-30, pending the extra point which would’ve tied the game. I say “would’ve” because the referee signaled that the Jets had called a timeout prior to the snap. Apparently Jets Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg saw something amiss in the formation and gestured hysterically at Rex Ryan along the sideline to call timeout before the play went off. But the crowd was so loud, he couldn’t be heard. By the way, what was Rex doing that was more important than communicating with his offensive coordinator during a critical possession? It turns out Mornhinweg ultimately was willing to let the play go on due to the fact that he’d realized Geno Smith had fixed whatever the formation problem was at the line of scrimmage. But Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson saw Mornhinweg trying to call timeout and whispered timeout in the referee’s ear. Hence the timeout was called before the ball was snapped, negating the game-tying touchdown. You can’t blame anyone for calling it the “same old Jets” syndrome.

To call this pure and simple incompetence is an understatement. Rex Ryan’s teams are too undisciplined to be successful in this league. Too many penalties. Too many drops on offense and defense. Too many wide open receivers being overthrown downfield. The coaching staff is a travesty. The running game was doing so well, they abandoned it. I don’t know whether the wide receiver coach, Sanjay Lal is the problem with the wideouts or they just aren’t talented enough. More than likely it’s a combination of the two. The offensive line is the epitome of inconsistency. The cornerbacks simply aren’t NFL-caliber starters. Dee Milliner saw the back of Jordy Nelson’s jersey all afternoon long. Their best defensive player, Muhammad Wilkerson, gets tossed from the game for throwing haymakers at a Packers lineman. All that remains is the image of Rex standing there with a look of total befuddlement, as usual.

It appears that Ryan’s approach to head coaching has come back to bite him squarely on the ass. Because he prioritizes the defensive side of the ball, the offense essentially gets its own, separate coach. By rule, the only person who can call a timeout from the sidelines is the head coach. That’s why Morninhweg was trying to get Rex’ attention. What purpose Richardson had in sticking his nose in it is beyond my ability to simulate foolishness so we’ll leave it at that. But that also is part of the discipline problem. This isn’t brain surgery, folks.

Rex Ryan is known around the league as a player’s coach. Unfortunately he can’t coach his way out of a paper bag. Defensively he is innovative. But even his defense isn’t that good. And, unfortunately, that’s supposed to be the strength of his team. He doesn’t coach his offense which explains why it is ranked in the lower half of the league on a yearly basis. It doesn’t help Marty Mornhinweg has got a lot of former Jets’ OC Brian Scottenheimer in him. And that’s not a particularly good trait to have. This team is built to run the rock. But once again the Jets’ OC just couldn’t resist getting into a shootout against a team with a real offense. This played right into Green Bay’s hands. They know the Jets can’t hang with them scoring- wise. Game, set, match Packers. 

I doubt that Rex Ryan will correct these flaws any time soon because they are a part of this Jets team’s persona. And the problems have existed from game one of the Ryan era. I would call for owner Woody Johnson to do something but I don’t think he’s capable of a lucid thought,  football-wise. Next are the Chicago Bears and their potent offense led by QB Jay Cutler. Bears WR Brandon Marshall must have a puddle of drool at his feet just thinking about the swiss cheese Jets’ secondary he’ll face next week. 


About Luis Fernandez

I am a NYC native & have followed New York sports for the last 45 years. Attended Fordham Preparatory H.S., Manhattan College, & C.W. Post. Former co-host of "Truth Be Told" & "Real Talk Sports" podcasts. Began "The Empire State Of Sports" in 2014.
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