Rex Ryan doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, and his recent comments set him up to be fired at the end of the 2012 season.
According to the New York Daily News' Seth Walder, Ryan said:
Overall, in my opinion, I think this has a chance to be the best team that I’ve had since I’ve been the coach here. And I say that because I think we understand complementary football; sometimes your offense is going to be rolling. Sometimes you’re going to have to ask your defense to — that old hockey term — stand on their heads.
Ryan's line of reasoning here is wrong on so many levels, the first being that he felt he needed to come out and say this in the first place.
It certainly isn't wrong for him to believe it, but he should have kept it to himself. If he does truly believe this, then he could let his team know his opinion in private, but what he should be focused on right now is working out the kinks from what's been a horrible preseason.
The Jets are coming off of one of the worst preseason performances from any team in recent history (h/t AP). While we know that the outcome of preseason games can not be used as a legitimate predictor of how a team will perform in the regular season, it's clear that New York's offense is in big trouble.
He is coming off of a subpar performance in 2011 that saw him turn the ball over a whopping 26 times. It's not all his fault, though. He hasn't had much help from his offensive line—both in 2011 and thus far in 2012.
If Ryan really believes this year's team is the one to take him to the promised land, he should not have talked to the media.
Now, if the team can't fix what's clearly a broken offense, Ryan will look like an even bigger fool than he did when he blustered about knowing the Jets would go to the Super Bowl last year—doubling down on what he said in 2010 (h/t USA Today's Mike McCarthy).
The Jets are a team in need of cohesion and chemistry, not big talk. After all, it's only been a little over five months since Ryan admitted that his Super Bowl guarantee was a mistake and said he'd never do it again (h/t the New York Daily News):
Looking back, obviously it was a huge mistake to make that guarantee. At the time we were coming off two championship games, I really thought it would be a thing that would actually motivate our team, you know to really talk about the Super Bowl, to focus on the Super Bowl. But in hindsight I think it put undue pressure on our team and we kind of lost focus and really we lost focus on what we do best.
So, how is Ryan's newest claim any different?
It's not. Ryan may not have used the same words, but he's saying exactly the same thing. He understood that what he did in 2011 destroyed his team, yet he is setting the Jets up for the same fate less than half-a-year later.
Leaders create other leaders, and the fact that Ryan had to send his top players to leadership training classes speaks for itself on this matter (h/t the Star Ledger's Jenny Vrentas).
It's time for Ryan to go. He's one of the greatest defensive coaches in the history of the NFL, but he is a terrible leader. Attitude reflects leadership, and the attitude of the members of the New York Jets franchise has been repugnant for the past couple of years.
Ryan has set his team up to fail once again. He could have rescued it by being honest about where his team stood in the media and by keeping his boasts confined to his locker room, but he didn't.
Let the mayhem begin.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.