I love Rex Ryan more every day.
In case you haven't heard Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder's comments regarding Rex Ryan, here they are again.
"Oh, he's going crazy. He's going absolutely nuts. I know it's his first chance to be a head coach, and I know he's excited about life. But, like I said, I've never played a football game in June in my whole life. So congratulations to him. He's the OTA, the OTA Super Bowl winner."
So today, with the first open practice giving him another opportunity to speak his mind, he unleashed a few gems.
"I don’t know this Channing Crowder," Ryan said. "All I know is that he’s all tatted up. He’s right about one thing. I’m a first-time head coach, but I’ve been around the game all my life. I'm no different than I’ver ever been, just that more people are listening."
And what does he think about Crowder saying that teams don't win in June?
"I think he’s wrong," Ryan said. "You do win in June. You win with your preparation. If I were younger, I’d handle him myself. He’s a good player and all that kind of stuff and it is fun to ruffle some feathers. I’ve got no problem doing that. I’m confident in our football team. I'm confident in myself, the players, the coaches and the entire organization. That’s why I say the things I say. I make no apologies for any of those types of things."
There are more quotes if you follow the link at the top of the page.
Clearly, there are two factions starting to develop among Jets fans: those who agree with Crowder and think Ryan should shut up and coach, especially considering the lackluster track record of Baltimore assistants, and those fans who are getting excited that the team is finally getting some swagger.
I definitely fit in the latter category.
I LOVE Ryan's quotes so far. After Eric Mangini's three year crusade on eliminating all the fun in football, Ryan is bringing it back. He's boosting his own players' confidence, and he's building expectations, rather than downplaying them. What's wrong with that?
For so long, the Jets have been an afterthought. Sure, there have been several playoff years recently, but the Jets have never scared anybody, and part of the reason is because they never really have had an identity, especially in the last few years.
Mangini's teams were predicated on smart football players who loved the game and could adapt to any situation. And while there's nothing wrong with that at some point, for a team to make the leap to a legitimate contender, an identity needs to emerge. Last season, it looked like the Jets were finally getting one. Despite the addition of Brett Favre, for eleven games the Jets were clearly a team that ran the ball and stopped the run. When Jenkins got banged up and Mangini panicked, the season went down the drain. Favre didn't help either.
Ryan's team will certainly be based on the same two things, and they won't be afraid to tell you about it. Now, if the Jets go 4-12 this year, the defense disappoints, and the offense is inept, then Ryan will have to eat his words, and he will look completely stupid. However, on paper, the defense has a ton of talent, and it's much easier to have a swagger and an identity on that side of the ball than it is offensively. And it's much easier to scratch together an offense, especially when there is a young (potential) franchise quarterback already on the roster in Mark Sanchez.