The eccentric no-holds barred coach of the NY Jets, Rex Ryan, is doing something this season that he hasn’t done perhaps…ever. Ryan is biting his tongue and thinking before opening his mouth. He’s done away with his attention seeking Superbowl predictions and has decided to devote his time to trying to make his team Superbowl worthy, but are they too far gone? Two consecutive trips to the AFC Championships may have masked a deeper problem from within, and lulled the team into a false sense of security. They were all too keen to flash smiles, act goofy and proclaim how much fun it was to be a NY Jet when they were winning games and keeping the critics at bay. Even with the Jets sub par season last year no one would label the Jets as a ‘bad’ team, while they’re far from elite they’re a good team that plays average a lot of the time and one of the biggest reasons for that was how poor the chemistry throughout the entire team was. The combination of Rex Ryan’s fun loving, say what’s on my mind carefree approach to coaching mixed with the head strong personalities on his team are proving to be a volatile mix.
The Jets situation of being the most dramatic team in the league has gotten all the more publicized with the addition of media darling Tim Tebow, and the controversy over the pending rivalry between him and Sanchez. Not even a full week into training camp and already fights have broken out, with Antonio Cromartie bashing the team’s receivers and even physically striking Santonio Holmes and causing a minor rib injury. The team is becoming a circus right before Ryan’s eyes and somewhere deep down he has to be wondering if he’s responsible for this, and if so how can he repair the damage?
The team has 10 different subplots leading into the upcoming NFL season, the biggest of course being Tebow-mania and finding out who they are offensively. Ryan has to address the issue of repairing his team from a playing stand point and also he has to fix the intangible–general chemistry and this lax attitude they all seem to manifest where they feel that they can carry on recklessly and act as an individual and not as a team. The Jets have reeked of a very ‘Im gonna get mines’ attitude ever since Ryan took over the team, and with that came both the good and bad. The good being the team’s signature toughness, which was predicated off their defense which they took pride (a bit too much, in fact) in the way they operated. The bad side affects are of course just what we’ve been seeing week after week, the team crumbling from the inside out.
There’s the famous adage about how a house divided cannot stand, well, it defines the Jets perfectly. Rex Ryan came into his job for the Jets with the mantra ‘work hard, play harder’ when as a coach his mindset should be ‘work hard now, tomorrow and the day after that’. As a coach it is your job to set the disciplinary tone for the team as whole, first impressions are key so when you grow to have reputation of a lackadaisical boss don’t be surprise when the workers take advantage. It seems to me that the team has pulled the wool right over Rex Ryan’s eyes and now the patients are running the asylum. What once may have seen like a fresh new and fun opportunity for Ryan may soon tail spin into something he never saw coming, if he doesn’t establish martial law and stop the mutinies things will get ugly fast.