Gauging the Hot Seat for Rex Ryan Following Loss to San Francisco 49ers

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Heach coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 16, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat after an embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. 

The Jets are under-performing once again and are more of a distraction that garners media attention than a football franchise that is going to threaten for a Super Bowl any time soon. 

Whenever a team struggles like the Jets are currently, the head coach is the first one to receive the blame and get fired, and rightfully so. 

In Ryan's case, it is still very early in the season, but the signs are not good. Let's examine why Ryan is on the hot seat and conclude by determining the exact temperature of his seat. 



In four seasons, Ryan has appeared in two AFC Championship games as the head coach of the Jets. He has been hailed as a defensive guru, and that has shown. 

Unfortunately for Ryan, his teams have been inconsistent at best. After two straight AFC Championship game appearances, last season the Jets were mediocre throughout, ending the season at 8-8. 

The offseason saw the Jets attempt to improve, and on paper they did. However, a 2-2 record to start the season, an unnecessary quarterback controversy and the loss of his best player on either side of the ball means the Jets could go 8-8 or worse in 2012 when all is said and done. 



What Ryan brings to the table as a coach is completely negated by his immature relationship with the media and his incessant ability to cause distractions on his own. 

Whether Ryan is flipping off fans and getting fines from the league or simply making ridiculous offseason predictions, he does more harm than good for his team. It's no wonder his team lacks discipline on and off the field. 

There's also the addition of Tim Tebow.

Now, the decision to add Tebow may have come down from upper management, but Ryan has done a beautiful job of spinning it as a positive addition to the media. It is clear that the addition of Tebow was little more than a publicity stunt to sell jerseys, but Ryan has defended it wonderfully. 

Obviously, in Ryan's situation, he is doing exactly what his bosses expect of him—act happy publicly about the addition or lose your job. 

That also makes Ryan expendable. Adding Tebow appears to mean management cares more about making money than winning games. This would also lead us to believe that if Ryan should falter, the front office would have no issues getting rid of him. 


Gauging the Hot Seat

Just how hot Ryan's seat is right now is a serious issue for the Jets. If Ryan believes his job is in jeopardy, he could make drastic decisions in a last-ditch effort to save his job.

Inserting Tebow as the starting quarterback in place of an inefficient Mark Sanchez is something that could backfire, but Ryan could possibly attempt the maneuver in the hopes that he won't be fired. 

In all actuality, Ryan's seat is hotter than it should be thanks to his big mouth. Not many coaches can brag about being one game away from the Super Bowl two out of the four years they have coached somewhere, but Ryan's bragging is what is costing him.

If Ryan had kept quiet and controlled his locker room, any kind of season in 2012 would not have cost him his job unless they only won two or three games. 

Now, Ryan is in danger of losing his job if the Jets do not at least make the postseason via a wild card. If the Jets miss the playoffs again, Ryan is likely gone. 

Ryan has made his bed, for better or worse. There is plenty of time to turn things around, but Ryan better do it quick. The head coaching position for the Jets could be vacated if something doesn't change.