The Rex Ryan Effect:

sam greeneContributor IFebruary 15, 2010

TORONTO - DECEMBER 3:  Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets looks on from the field after their NFL game against the Buffalo Bills on December 3, 2009  at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Jets defeated the Bills 19-13. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

In one year, Rex Ryan's presence has made more of an impact than any coach in the history of the NFL.


Ok maybe not. But now that I have your attention, let me break down why Rex Ryan has had a huge impact on the Jets.

1. He brought in an identity. From the very first day, Rex knew what he wanted to do and did it. The jets tuned from a soft-spoken, gentle, cerebral football team into a blitzing, snarling, loud-mouthed team who truly believed it was the best in the league. Whether or not they were doesn't matter because, come playoff time, it's not whose better, it's whose better that day .

2. He took an absolutely gigantic risk and I'll tell you why: had the Jets not won this year, the players would have immediately lost faith. It's easy to say "buy into my system, have confidence, and hit some people in the mouth" when you're winning, but if you're not, it falls on deaf ears.

It's kind of like the Canada episode of South Park when all the Canadians blindly follow their leader until it becomes apparent what they've done to their country. Luckily, in this case, they got lucky and got into the playoffs. If they didn't, the rex experiment may have been a failure. We would have seen many, many more crying moments.

3. SOJ is a thing of the past-hopefully: for the first time in jets' history, the Jets lost to a better team in the playoffs, not an inferior opponent they choked against or had a stupid, costly penalty against. The Jets played a game in which they truly played their best and just lost to a better team . While the Falcons game or the two losses to the Dolphins may have brought back Vietnam-esque flashbacks, the Jets ended on a lucky note. a.k.a.-completely opposite of the Jets normal history. 

4. He saved Sanchez from complete ruin midway through the season. Had Ryan not stepped in, Schotty would have pushed and pushed until Sanchez was just an empty shell of the charismatic leader he was at the beginning of the season. He truly began to grasp what his coaches were saying about letting your team win.

5. He brought in 3/11 of the Jet's starting defense ! Without Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, or Marques Douglas, the Jets would have gone nowhere!!

Rex Ryans team collapsed many times during the season, losing on last minute drives multiple times. They eventually lost to the second-best qb from this generation when he was playing the best in his career, but that could hardly be considered a collapse.

Was their run luck? mostly. It would be hard to contest that. But they still managed to overcome a 4-6 record by winning 5 of their last 6 road games. For having a rookie qb who constantly threw away games and a new defensive system, thats pretty impressive. whether they can build on it will be another story, mostly because of Rex's emotional instability. he has to learn how to manage himself in bad situations too, because with sanchez's knee limiting sophomore progression, there may be many more coming. i will say this though: with the way the jets are built, he may have been the only one for the job