New York Jets Must Shut Up and Focus on Football
Rex Ryan certainly isn't New York City's next coming of Joe Namath.
His exuberant and brazen Super Bowl guarantees have grown exceedingly tiresome with the masses—so much so that it struck a chord with the Jets' head coach this offseason.
Ryan was apologetic during his press conference at the 2012 combine. He went as far to say that the guarantee was a "huge mistake," via the AP (per the Boston Globe). Via SportsRadioInterviews.com, Ryan stated, "I don’t know what I accomplished out of it."
If the team's slimmed-down head man is indeed aware of his "huge mistake," you'd think he and the rest of the New York Jets organization—players included—would silence their outlandish claims and simply get back to football.
Sadly, that hasn't been the case.
First, Ryan said, "I look at myself as the best defensive coach in football," according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Fine. I can't knock confidence. Although, an array of complex blitz packages and a top-10 defense at the end of the year would more adequately demonstrate his coaching genius.
But then, to add to what's become empty rhetoric, Ryan had the following to say about where his defense will rank in 2012, per Jenny Vrentas of the New Jersey Star-Ledger: "I said top five. That's a given. I don't care who's out there."
He didn't go a step further and declare the Jets as the No. 1 defensive unit like he may have done in years past, but was it a necessary comment?
I think not.
Following that relatively restrained assurance by Ryan, rather candid linebacker Bart Scott voiced his opinion on the expectations for quarterback Mark Sanchez (via the Washington Post): "To take that next step, to be one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league."
As if Sanchez needed more pressure packed into his shoulder pads with TV-ratings-driver Tim Tebow as the team's backup.
One can't forget cornerback Antonio Cromartie's proclamation that he is the team's second-best receiver on ESPN's First Take on August 1.
All right, maybe he was unfairly prodded by Skip Bayless' question. The more compassionate fans and media members can give him a pass there.
But have the Jets and their coach not learned from their previous "huge mistakes"?
Some are seemingly desperate to steal a portion of Tebow's media thunder.
The funny thing is, Tebow's the most polarizing player on the team—if not the entire world of sports—but he's one of the few guys who, thankfully, lacks obnoxious bravado and never gives the media a controversial utterance.
Regardless, an 8-8 2011 season that ended with their stadium-mate New York Giants winning a second Super Bowl title in five years should have been humbling for the Jets. But I'm not sure how humble they are heading into the 2012 campaign.
The media attention won't go away. It can't. Tebow is too big of a draw, and the Jets represent the Big Apple.
But it's not about how much media attention Gang Green receives, it's about how the team handles it.
Remember, to truly pronounce a Joe Namath-esque guarantee, the Jets need to get to their respect championship game first.
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