A good attitude is contagious, especially when that attitude comes from the head coach. It's one of those intangibles that, no matter how much analysis there is, you can never put it on a stats sheet.
It's what makes the mediocre teams overachieve, and it takes the good teams to the next level. That's what Mike Tannenbaum hopes new head coach Rex Ryan brings to the Jets.
Jets fans were initially skeptical and impatient bringing in another defensive-minded head coach.
That all changed Coach Ryan's first week with the Jets, as, after his first press conference as Jets head coach, he warned the league "The Jets are coming...you take a swipe at one of ours, we'll take a swipe at two of yours." This had both the reporters and players salivating, counting down the hours until the start of training camp.
The Jets have the players, and now they have the attitude. It's an attitude that says "I don't care who you are, we're not backing down."
This is exactly what the Jets need while facing nemesis Bill Belichick. Instead of dreading those two games every year against the Pats, Jet fans are now saying "bring 'em on!".
There shouldn't be a long adjustment period with the coaching change, since Ryan utilizes a seemingly interchangeable defense from last year. He plays a 3-4 defense, which is what the Jets already have in place, with monster-man Kris Jenkins in the middle and Calvin Pace right next to him.
One change in the defensive play-calling Jets fans may see is a lot more blitzing. Whereas Mangini was conservative with blitzes, Ryan is a believer and has no problem rolling the dice in order to get quick pressure on the opposing quarterback.
It also seemed obvious at times to the average fan that Mangini was on a learning curve, figuring out certain situations by trial and error. Ryan has great defensive football genes pumping through his blood (his father Buddy was the famed defensive coordinator on the 1985 Bears).
Ryan is coming into this job much more seasoned than Mangini, who had only one year's experience as defensive coordinator before joining the Jets. Ryan is confident in his play calling and will not second-guess himself, because he has been in all the tough situations before.
Ryan brought Mike Pettine with him from Baltimore, naming him defensive coordinator, which means they should be on the same page as far as a defensive scheme.
Pettine was formerly the outside linebackers coach for the Ravens, who employed one of the most fearsome linebacker corps in the league.
One thing to watch for is if Ryan employs the 46 defense to free up the linebackers. Ryan brought back the 46 in Baltimore, which his father made famous with the '85 Bears.
Mangini was always a little too much of Belichick, but without the rings. His expressionless face on a failed play would sometimes anger fans more so than the play itself.
Jet fans who bleed green and white want to see someone getting fired up after a play backfires, and Ryan just may very well be the guy for that.