Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rex Ryan's on Board

Now that I got some of last season off my chest, we can move on to what's happening with the team now.

Rex Ryan was brought on board last week to replace Eric Mangini who was fired within hours (and possibly minutes) after the team's final loss to the Miami Dolphins. My first impression was a very cliched "Wow, what a breath of fresh air."

Ryan, who spent the last 10 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, took command from the moment he was introduced in front of the media, members of the organization and about a dozen players. The new head coach appeared completely at ease and opened with an allusion to the fact that the Jets would win a Super Bowl in the next couple of years.

With a lot of energy and a lot of humor he gave a brief glimpse into both his personality and philosophy - something he entertainingly referred to as KILL. Keep It Likeable and Learnable. Sounded good to me and from the looks on the faces of the players in the room, it sounded good to them too.

For those of you who don't already know, Ryan brings quite a pedigree with him to his new team. His father is the legendary Buddy Ryan, who created the 46 defense that sent the 1985 Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. Although not as successful as a head coach, Buddy will go down as one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL history. In a strange twist, Rex's twin brother Rob just signed on as Eric Mangini's defensive coordinator for the 2009 season. I'll be keeping an eye on that!

But back to Rex. Following his opening press conference, he held a private meeting with beat reporters so that we could all get to know each other a little better. From everything I saw that day, he's the real deal. He was pleasant, funny, articulate and relaxed. He appeared perfectly happy to be hanging out with us and getting to know us and letting us get to know him. The best description of him came from either Woody Johnson or Mike Tannenbaum (I can't remember which one) who said "Rex is very comfortable in his own skin."

Obviously he hasn't coached a down here yet, but if he is who he appears to be, Jets fan should be very excited.

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