3 New York Jets Who Will Benefit Most from Rex Ryan's Renewed Attention

Chris TrapassoAnalyst IMay 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Quinton Coples of North Carolina holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #16 overall by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

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. 

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 04:  Quinton Coples #98 of the New York Jets works out during the Jets Rookie Minicamp on May 4, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

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. 

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 6: Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets gives instructions to David Harris #52 during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbows
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

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. 

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 9:   Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets celebrates with  Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets against the New England Patriots  at Gillette Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 30-21. (Photo by
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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.