I am irritated. I am frustrated. I am confused. I am a Jets fan. Add to that that I’m a Sanchez fan and the totals double basically any week you talk to me. Add to that again that I am a Rex Ryan supporter and, well, you get the picture. Why did I throw Rex in there? I’ll explain.
Last year it was clear that the Defensive Minded Head Coach had lost all touch with the reality of his offense and the team as a whole long before he admitted to it post-meltdown in Miami. Fans saw it. Other teams saw it. Well, as much as I never want to admit it, I’m starting to see it yet again. All of the bravado and confidence is something that makes me love Rex as the head coach of this team. He has it in him to motivate and incite, especially when compared to some other coaches we’ve been shown the ins and outs of their working environment on and off the field (I see you, Joe Philbin). But he’s also obviously a master, pardon my French, bullshit artist. All company guys know what to say and how to say it. The difference is that Rex allows some of his true feelings and emotions to peek through the barbed wire fences of his mostly pro-company speeches. If you look closely, you can read between the lines.To have a head coach say that he’s been busy in meetings and has no idea about the health of some of the biggest players on his team is bizarre and sends up warning flags to me.
In yesterday’s press conference he was irritated by questions about Tebow and supportive of what was easily the dumbest play of the game by saying Cromartie had great coverage on Wallace as he burned him for a TD that was one of the key factors in what changed the entire vibe on that field. Yes, it was barely a touchdown, but Cro looked to be trying to figure out whether the cloud above was shaped like a fire truck or a bunny rabbit as opposed to, I don’t know, paying attention to the guy he was supposed to be preventing from making that catch. While it’s fine and dandy to say that he assumed the ball was going out of bounds how do you not make sure that on the off chance that it’s not, your guy doesn’t get it? But hey, if Rex said he covered him as well as anyone can cover a guy then that’s well and good, right? It seems as if the only time he’s specific in his criticisms is when it’s against the offense. “Obviously you have to catch that.” “Mark has been inconsistent.” “The offense has to do better.” Well, guess what. The JETS have to do better.
The defense, despite being the only facet of the team that the front office actually bothered to improve in the off season with the wonder signings of Safeties Landry and Bell, looks messy. They can’t tackle. While it’s obvious that Roethlisberger is a rough guy to bring down, if Denver could do it on three consecutive snaps why couldn’t the Jets manage to do it on, oh, one? Somewhere? Instead they looked like a desperate housewife (see what I did there?) clinging to her husband, sliding down his body as he walks out the door upon telling her he’s leaving her for her secretary. They started at the shoulders and eventually ended up at his feet. There was even a nice reacharound move that had Big Ben finally on the other side of some unwanted molestation, but that’s neither here nor there. There’s no pass rush. Tackles get broken by opposers with ease. Our guys are more often than not just too slow or just straight up not capable.
And while Westhoff is a genius on Special Teams, where’s the fire? Imagine what a shit show this is going to turn into next year, as he’ll be retiring after this season. Now Rex will have TWO parts of his team he’ll have to pay attention to in addition to his defense.
He may not have admitted it until after the team imploded in Miami on New Year’s Day, but it was obvious to many for most of the second half of the season (at the least) that Rex had no idea what was going on with the offense for whatever reason you choose to decide to believe, because there are multiple options as to why this happened. A defensive minded coach turning into a head coach that maybe sometimes forgets that he has to pay attention to each part of his team. Sparano is an offensive minded head coach turned into an…offensive coordinator, and while he is basically the equivalent of Rex, that does not mean that the head coach shouldn’t be as concerned with what goes on in their meetings as he is with what goes on in the others.
Look. I like Rex. I love him, actually. I love his bravado and his never back down way of thinking. But he has got to back it up. This team is doing something, but they’re not doing enough. It’s the dawn of week 3, so when will we see more from them? The Buffalo game exposed a few flaws but gave us fans some hope that there was true promise. The loss to Pittsburgh doesn’t bother me because it was a LOSS, it bothers me HOW they lost it. Because they lost themselves. They are not the team we saw play Buffalo, but I don’t believe they are the team we saw play Pittsburgh either. Somewhere in between are our 2012 New York Jets (not NY Tebow, so go to hell NFL.com). Let’s just hope that Rex finds the pulse of that team soon or we’re all going to be staring down the barrel of a very dangerous and sadly familiar gun.
Sydney Kira is a regular contributor to The Green Room. You can follow her on Twitter @SydneyKira1.