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Ground and Pound! Rex Ryan Cannot Afford To Listen To the Critics

Rex Ryan
Rex RyanJim McIsaac/Getty Images
Jayson LoveCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2010

If there is one thing that can get a head coach in trouble it is the media.  A second thing would be the fans. 

In New York, you can multiply that trouble ten-fold in both cases.

Everyone is an expert from the two radio stations, the local sports television networks, to the fans themselves.  It is very easy to watch a game like what happened Monday night, and overreact.  I am not going to give the "it's one game" lecture because frankly, I don't believe in that theory myself. 

Every game is important and the fact is, that a conference loss at home has put the Jets well-behind the proverbial eight-ball.

Coach Rex Ryan has heard it all week,  The game plan on offense, too conservative!  That "c" word has haunted Jets fans as much as the "c" word, "collapse" has haunted Mets fans.  New York fans can't stand that conservative approach on offense.  They want the ball thrown down field and the scoreboard to be lit up. 

What happened last week was not all the result of a conservative plan. 

While it did seem like the Jets could have thrown it more on offense, you would have needed to see the game live to see if indeed receivers were open for Mark Sanchez, or if he simply balked at opportunities and settled for his safety blankets Dustin Keller and LaDainian Tomlinson.

The Jets should not simply abandon their philosophy. 

When you want to run the ball and play the field position game, a running game is essential.  What happened Monday night was an inability to run the football and costly turnovers.  The fact is that if Shonn Greene didn't put it on the ground, the Jets likely win that game.  I know, if, if, if, but the point is, it doesn't mean you abandon your identity.

There is a danger that if Ryan lets himself be swept up by media and fan pressure, he could get away from what made the Jets successful at the end of last year and that is a good running game and timely passing, not reckless.

The Jets need to do a better job running the ball this week against the Pats.  Last week, they ran into a defense that is good against the run and the Jets could not adjust. 

This week they cannot play into the Pats hands by changing identity.  

It isn't an issue of a problem in philosophy, it is an issue in execution of that philosophy.  Greene didn't execute, neither did Keller, and most of all Sanchez and the wide receivers. 

They need to play better this week.    

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