The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE
Rex Ryan has vowed to be a changed man after being humbled by a miserable end to the 2011 season and revelations about discord in the Jets locker room.
So far, so good for the most part.
Although Ryan had a brief lapse back to his previous behavior when he declared himself the best defensive coach in the NFL, he has avoided the type of bluster that made his team the villains of the NFL.
As far as actual football is concerned, Ryan is said to be very active this training camp. With the players, he is back to being the old Rex Ryan, which means he is as hands-on as he was during his first season.
Ryan is making himself so involved that he has said he will take a bigger role in calling the defense and, according to Bart Scott, that's probably the way it should be. In a New York Post article, Scott praised his head coach:
“It’s Rex’s defense,” Scott said. “Nobody can teach your defense the way you can. He’s the defensive version of ‘Rain Man.’ He sees things that others don’t see. I’m sure everybody chuckles when he said he’s the best defensive coach in the league, but I dare you to check over a 10-year period what defensive coordinator’s been.”
Not many people have questioned Ryan's defensive mind, but he did draw huge criticism when he admitted to losing the pulse of the locker room in 2011. He vowed that would change and he is more on top of things for sure.
The first early blip came when Santonio Holmes questioned whether a two-quarterback system would work. Ryan met with Holmes personally to clear the air and also joked in the media that Holmes wasn't hired as an offensive coordinator.
The second incident came when Chaz Schilens took exception to Antonio Cromartie's claim that he was the second-best receiver on the team. Again, this incident was cleared up in person and then joked about in the media when Ryan said he was surprised Cromartie didn't say he was the best receiver (h/t Jane McManus).
They may be minor incidents and if they happened in Seahwaks camp, for example, they probably wouldn't make news at all. But, because it's the Jets, it's a big deal.
The final area Ryan has done well in is diffusing any quarterback controversy. He has done this through his actions on the field. Tim Tebow has had a very limited number of reps with the first team, thus showing a true commitment to Mark Sanchez as team's starter.