Rex Ryan Finds Himself Running Out of Time

By Melanie Watson

The Jets have several areas of concern starting with their quarterback situation. With their starting quarterback listed as day-to-day near the end of the preseason, their only other option right now is going with the newly drafted Geno Smith who is not yet ready to lead this Jets team. While that’s a major question the Jets are facing right now, it’s not the only one. Is head coach Rex Ryan capable of leading the Jets anymore?

Ryan isn’t exactly the best at managing quarterbacks (see Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Tony Sparano) and the team clearly isn’t winning like they were two years ago. So how did Rex Ryan find himself in this situation?

Rex Ryan joined this team as head coach back in 2009 which is the same year the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez fifth overall. In his first year as coach, Ryan took it upon himself to eliminate all forms of distraction from the team so they could focus solely on bonding and winning games. That year the Jets made it to the AFC Championship game where they lost to the Indianapolis Colts 30-17. Not a bad year for the rookie head coach but the next season would prove to be a bit more rocky for Ryan.

Heading into his second season as head coach, Rex Ryan brought more attention to the team after boldly announcing the Jets as “soon to be champs”. During the same month, he received public criticism from former head coach Tony Dungy for his foul language. Additionally, cameras followed the team for the television series Hard Knocks. Suddenly the Jets find distractions all around them unlike the year before. However, they still managed to advance to the AFC Championship game yet again where they fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19.

In his third season as head coach, the Jets began the season with an uncomfortable 2-3 record. Tension grew in the locker room and players began questioning the system of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Ryan backed away from his more “hands-on” approach with the team and gave his assistant coaches more leadership. The Jets failed to reach a playoff berth that year and Ryan made the telling revelation that he “lost the pulse of the team.”

The year 2012 would bring Tim Tebow and intense media coverage to the Jets. Fans vocalized that they wanted Rex Ryan to bench Mark Sanchez for Tim Tebow and the media echoed this sentiment. Then came the controversial decision to keep Tebow in the Thanksgiving Day game against the New England Patriots despite Tebow playing with two broken ribs. In the following game against the Arizona Cardinals, Ryan benched Tebow and chose Greg McElroy over the struggling Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was named as the starting quarterback a week later before playing poorly in a crucial game against the Tennessee Titans. This became the first losing season for the Jets under Rex Ryan as the team finished with a 6-10 record. Tebow, who was brought in to mentor Sanchez, was traded and the Jets GM was fired.

So here we are in preseason and the Jets are under pressure at Rex Ryan’s expense once again. Sanchez, their starting quarterback, is listed as day-to-day due to suffering a shoulder injury in a game he wasn’t supposed to play in. The only explanation Ryan gives at this point is that the Jets were trying to win – a preseason game. Ryan’s job has been in question for quite some time now and with a new GM presiding over him, one has to wonder how much longer he’ll be allowed to re-establish and prove himself as head coach. That could largely depend on how this Sanchez situation turns out at the start of the Jets season on Sept. 8.

However, it must be noted that Rex Ryan continues to excel in one area: defense. If the Jets defense can remain solid and win some games for Ryan, then he may be able to re-adjust his footing and stick around for a while longer.

This entry was posted in Blogs, Homework posts, NFL-AFC on by .

About Miss__Melanie

Ever since I was in 6th grade I've aspired to become a sports journalist. I'm currently in college studying Journalism with an emphasis in Magazines. I love personal interest stories. I have a passion for finding out interesting things about entertainers/athletes and things that make them tick and sharing those interesting stories about them to the world. I root for athletes & stories more than teams. I also love music and feel that it complements my life. I create soundtracks for different times of my life and I highly respect artists and their creative processes. Interviews are my passion and I look to conduct several of them over the course of my life. My dream job is to be a publicist for athletes and entertainers because I love and respect them so much that I want everyone else to see them and love them the same way that I do.

4 thoughts on “Rex Ryan Finds Himself Running Out of Time

  1. Ben Bolton

    I enjoyed reading your blog. It was a good recap of what has occurred during the Rex Ryan-era of the Jets. I think the emphasis on the trouble his mouth got him in was an important point to make, and you did that very well. One thing I would change is to add some hyperlinks to parts of the articles so you can reference the timeline of events. Since Rex Ryan is known for his mouth, maybe having a couple of interesting quotes would have been good too. The only other thing is like the other comment said is that you have to make sure you have a source and not just write your opinion. Overall, I think you did a great job in echoing the consensus assessment of the Jets, but just watch out with putting too much of your opinion in the piece.

  2. Connor Smolensky

    Melanie overall this was a very informative blog. You went through Ryan’s coaching history and some of the mistakes that he has made. Some things to be careful about is making claims that you cannot prove. When you say that Geno Smith is not ready to lead the Jets, you need some sort of proof to back it up. If there was a hyperlink there to say that either Ryan or offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg didn’t believe in him then you would be alright. Also, the Jets have not named a starting quarterback yet, and it has been an open competition throughout training camp between Smith and Sanchez. Try to be careful about making claims that you cannot backup with a source.

    1. jamiehannn

      Overall, I think this was a very well written blog. It first introduced the main idea then went on to chronologically show Rex Ryan’s coaching history with the Jets then tied it back in together with the introduction if the blog. Like Connor mentioned, don’t include naked assertions because we don’t know 100% what’s true and what’s not. But other than that, it was very well written and informative!


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