Rex Ryan is a good football coach.
His record as the head coach of the New York Jets may not particularly reflect that, but there are a lot of layers when it comes to Ryan's story as the Jets' leader.
Let's not forget that it wasn't too long ago that Ryan was receiving copious praises and compliments from a number of NFL pundits and personalities.
Hell, if it weren't for the embarrassing collapse of his handpicked quarterback there probably would've never been any doubt surrounding Ryan as the team's coach.
Before casting the entirety of the Jets' chaos and misfortunes solely upon Ryan's shoulders, one must look at what he's endured these past two seasons. Not many people have done as good a job of rolling with the punches as Ryan has, and he's still managed to keep this team from completely falling apart.
In looking at the changes between this season and last season alone, it would've been hard for any coach to do as good a job as Ryan has.
One of the biggest changes of the Jets' last two seasons came when the franchise parted ways with the man who originally brought Ryan in, a situation in which not many coaches in his spot would survive. The Jets hired three new coordinators, nine new assistants and also employed 11 new starters—including a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith with an iffy reputation at best.
In spite of all the shifting parts and rough patches, Ryan was able to keep this team on track and in the playoff conversation for a good part of the season. It's hard enough to win games with a rookie quarterback, but New York has strung together seven wins and impressed many along the way—mainly because no one gave the Jets a chance at the beginning of the season.
Not one other coach this year has gotten his players to perform above their talent level better than Ryan, and that alone should be what keeps his job safe.
The Jets have started building their future, and Ryan has them off to a great start. I mean, who really thought that New York would win seven (possibly eight) games, including wins against the Patriots and Saints, with Smith quarterbacking the team? If it weren't for some bad luck here and there, the Jets would be firmly in the playoff race with just one game left to play.
Now, Ryan may not have had an accelerated learning curve for his quarterback or a roster littered with talent, but he's shaped a team that fights hard to win games. Not to mention the fact that he's built a defense in New York that consistently ranks amongst the best in the league, and—most importantly—the players love him and swear by him.
Ryan has done a better job than most anyone thought he would and still has time left on his contract. Especially after what he's done this season, he deserves to live out his deal and see how far he can take this team.
Lots of coaches have run out on their team when the going gets tough, but he's seemed driven by it.
Ryan has put together a good team that had almost no hope for any sort of success coming into this season; just imagine what he can do when this team gets some big talent. The Jets currently have 10 picks in the upcoming draft and over $25 million in cap room according to OverTheCap.com. If I'm John Idzik, I'm letting Rex get some talent and make this team a true winner.
At the end of the day, he's a tremendous football coach, and his type of coaching style is a pretty perfect fit for New York's most wily franchise.