3 New York Jets Who Will Benefit Most from Rex Ryan's Renewed Attention
The New York Jets were a mess last season, as a late-season tailspin led to a three-game losing streak and an 8-8 record.
They missed out on the playoffs after advancing to the AFC Championship Game in each of the last two seasons.
Over the final three weeks that ultimately doomed their 2011 campaign, locker room dysfunction and team turmoil was made public and became one of the main reasons many believed Gang Green faltered down the stretch.
A recent report by Brian Costello of the New York Post, reveals that head coach Rex Ryan has been taking a more hands-on approach with the team this offseason after apparently not being aware of some of the more fundamental team issues last year.
These three players will benefit the most from Ryan's renewed attention in 2012.
Quinton Coples, DE/OLB
Playing for the University of North Carolina last season, Coples did not experience a Jets locker room lacking chemistry or camaraderie, but he'll greatly benefit from a more involved head coach this season.
Ryan's a renowned defensive mind and Coples is a special talent that needs to be motivated and coached on the finer nuances of the game.
The team's first-round pick will be dramatically influenced by a hands-on Ryan who's present in defensive meetings and in on-field drills this summer.
To get the most out of Coples, a guy that can flash brilliance then disappear for long stretches, Ryan needs to be around the defense more often during OTAs, training camp and the preseason.
David Harris, ILB
Harris is a sound inside linebacker who's been one of Ryan's favorite players over the last three seasons. He's the leader of what has been an above-average defense. Although a major facet of his job is taking on blockers for others to make plays and dropping into coverage, his tackling numbers have decreased every year since 2009.
He totaled 86 last season after accumulating 99 in 2010, although he did reel in four interceptions in 2011.
At 28, he's in the prime of his career and has a few athletic and youthful players in front of him like Muhammad Wilkerson and Coples.
With more coaching and instant feedback from Ryan, Harris can take the next step as a linebacker and has the ability and experience to be among the league's elite.
Santonio Holmes, WR
Holmes was at the center of the Jets' controversy last season. The rift he and quarterback Mark Sanchez had caused a major negative impact on the rest of the team.
It was an unnecessary distraction that came about at the worst possible time for a team fighting for a postseason berth.
Costello's article says that Ryan is specifically being more participative in defensive meetings and scheme installations, but Holmes will definitely benefit if his head coach has a better grasp on what's going on in the locker room.
When he's happy, Holmes has proven to be one of the more clutch wide receivers in the league, a slot guy with the ability to shake coverage and make the big play when it's needed most.
If Ryan is more attentive to the situation in the locker room, there's a better chance he'll understand how to make Holmes content and to make his club behave more like a team than ever before.
Although he tied a career high with eight touchdown grabs last season, he set a career low with only 654 receiving yards.
Holmes has to be on the same page with his quarterback and coach to reach his full potential.
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