Here are a few quotes from Jets' brass regarding their newest head coach.
“Rex is revered by his players and respected by his peers around the NFL for his innovative schemes. There is no doubt in my mind that Rex has the expertise and instincts to build on the foundation that we have in place and take this franchise to the ranks of the NFL’s elite. He will bring an aggressive, physical brand of football that will captivate our fans and ignite their passion. I appreciate Mike Tannenbaum and all those involved for the time and energy they invested during this search. Thanks to their efforts, we got the right man for the job.”
“During our search, we were looking for a great football mind and a passionate leader. Rex is a coach with an established track record who is universally respected by players and coaches for his skills as a communicator and his creativity.”
And now, the man himself, Rex Ryan:
“I’d like to thank Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s been a dream of mine to become a head coach in the NFL. Coming here to the New York Jets, where my father once coached and was part of the Super Bowl III staff, is fantastic. I look around at the facilities and the people they have in place and see a first-class organization. I’m just proud to be part of it.”
Finally, I'll leave you with a few statistics regarding Ryan's defenses in Baltimore. These are all from a press release sent out by the Jets.
"Ryan spent the last 10 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, including 2008 as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. During Ryan’s tenure, the Ravens defense never ranked lower than sixth in the NFL. Since 1999, the Ravens rank first for fewest points allowed (17.1 per game), fewest rushing yards allowed per game (87.3), most shutouts (9), most takeaways (337), most interceptions (212), most interceptions for touchdowns (29) and third down conversion defense (33.9 percent). They rank second in the NFL since 1999 in total defense (280.7) and fourth in sacks (416). In those 10 seasons, the Ravens allowed an NFL-low 18 100-yard rushers, including none over the last 35 games."
Now, for a few more odds and ends.
*The Rex Ryan press conference will officially be Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM.
*Rich Cimini reports that Ryan's deal is worth $11.6 million in total.
*Cimini also reports that assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox and DB coach Jerome Henderson are gone to Cleveland with Eric Mangini. He also says that LB coach Jim Herrmann and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton will both probably be gone. Expect Mike Pettine, the Ravens' outside linebackers coach, to be named the new defensive coordinator.
As for some of the offensive coaches, Ryan could try to keep the offensive staff intact. That includes Brian Schottenheimer, who still might bolt if a promising job opens elsewhere, and Bill Callahan, who may stay on as offensive line coach.
The best news of all is that Mike Westhoff is expected to stay as well! He is still under contract now, and Ryan will likely want him to come back.
UPDATE (2:38 AM):
Can't get enough of these Ryan quotes! Here's a bunch more, from the perspective of those who have played under or coached with the Jets' new HC.
DL Trevor Pryce: "If he becomes a head coach, I'm going to find out, and I'm going with him." (note: Pryce is under contract until 2010)
LB Ray Lewis: "Rex is the guru. He's not afraid to be different and move guys around to take advantage of our athletic ability. He trusts us that much."
CB Samari Rolle: "Rex is a better person than coach. He cares about you, and he keeps us under control. We're his guys. I mean, look at this locker room. There are some strong personalities on this defense to deal with, real strong personalities. But Rex handles it. He's got a strong personality, too. Nobody disrespects Rex — nobody. We all play for him."
Former CB Gary Baxter: "Every time he gets up to speak in a defensive meeting room, all eyes and ears belong to him."
LB Terrell Suggs: "You want to give your heart out for Rex. I don't know what it is about him, but I hope he never changes. That's exactly why in a heartbeat, no matter what he'll ask me to do, I'll do it. I love Rex Ryan." (note: Suggs actually IS a free agent)
Head Coach John Harbaugh: "This is a great football coach and even a better person. Rex is going to be a great head coach in the NFL, without a doubt. He's got all the talent, all the ability to do it. He's built something here that is one of the best in the National Football League, and that's the foundation for us to stand on."
General Manager Ozzie Newsome: "Rex has always been a gym rat for football. It's not work for him. It's pure enjoyment."