Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ryan Talks Tough In His Jets Debut

The New York/New Jersey media got a big taste of what Rex Ryan has to offer Wednesday morning when he was introduced as the 17th coach in New York Jets history.

Ryan immediately made reference to new President Barack Obama, saying, "We have a new president now, and, hopefully we can meet him in a couple of years," referencing the tradition that the year's Super Bowl Champion makes a trip to the White House to meet the President of the United States.

Ryan came across as the anti-Mangini. He was stoic, confident, cocky, funny and socialble in his press conference. That was in stark contrast to Mangini, who was tight-lipped, unemotional, humorless and who came across as a man who was anti-social and unfriendly. Some have speculated that Mangini's prickly behavior may have lost the team down the stretch this season, ultimately leading to his departure.

Ryan was not shy about letting the NFL know how he feels about his new ballclub: "The message to the rest of the league is `Hey, the Jets are coming, and we're going to give you everything we got. And I think that's going to be more than you can handle.'" (Qtd. A.P. in the Star Ledger). Ryan went on to add that if any opponent should take a swipe at a Jet player, the Jets will retaliate. In other words, maybe Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should consider staying on the DL when the Jets and Patriots meet again next season.
In addressing the Brett Favre issue that has been in the atmosphere for the Jets this off-season, Ryan said that any coach would want to have Favre on his team. One could get the feeling that Ryan would welcome the Hall of Famer back, and why not, considering that Kellen Clemens is not that good, and top prospect Brett Ratliff may not be ready to take over as the starting quarterback.

Ryan also mentioned he is bringing with him Ravens linebackers coach Mike Pettine as the new Jets defensive coordinator replacing the pathetic Bob Sutton. Ryan welcomed back special teams coach Mike Westhoff and offensive line coach Bill Callahan, but did not welcome back offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Ryan wants to meet with Schottenheimer personally to gauge his interst in returning.

Year one will be a challenging one for Ryan. If Favre doesn't return, he will need to find someone to develop Ratliff quickly so he can take over as the starter; otherwise, the Jets can turn to a veteran in Clemens, or sign an average veteran like Kerry Collins or Jeff Garcia. No wonder Ryan would welcome Favre back with open arms.

Ryan is going to bring his style of blitzing defense to the Jets and there is good chance that second year player Vernon Gholston and veteran saftey Kerry Rhodes will have a big impact in Ryan's plans.

Now a coach is in place, and it is time to see how he does. Hopefully, for Jet fans, Ryan may represent lucky number 17.

No comments: