Rex Ryan likes to talk almost as much as he likes to eat, so he always has a lot to say.
That habit could be dangerous when a big part of your job is dealing with the New York sports media.
Unfortunately, Rex Ryan is like the NFL version of WikiLeaks: Release it all today and worry about the consequences tomorrow.
Here are four insights Ryan revealed to the press in the past few days that for the good of the team would’ve better remained unspoken.
1. He considered pulling quarterback Mark Sanchez during the third quarter of the Dolphins game.
It’s a head coach’s prerogative to take out a player who he feels is not performing up to par. But if the player isn’t pulled, there is nothing to talk about. In other words, there is no need for the media to know every thought that comes into your head, Rex.
You can be sure lots of damage was done here to the confidence level of Mark Sanchez and to the relationship the quarterback has with his coach. Just another set of things for Mark to think about when he should be concentrating on where he’s throwing the football.
Should Rex Ryan be less chatty with the media?
2. He supports offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
“Brian does a heck of a job,” Ryan said after the loss to Miami. “He’s been around football all his life. He’s a smart guy. He works his tail off.”
In mouthing such nonsense, which can apply to virtually every coach in the NFL, Ryan is revealing his belief that he is stuck with Schottenheimer for the remainder of the season. He’s forgetting that unlike players, coaches are expendable. Instead of giving the inept Schottenheimer a halfhearted vote of confidence, Rex Ryan should have threatened to give him the hook if his play calling doesn’t improve immediately.
By issuing a wishy-washy statement, Ryan also reveals what little control he has over his team. It’s better to say nothing when you have nothing to say.
3. The team needs to “find a way” to play better.
Using that phrase reveals to the media that Rex Ryan doesn’t have a clue as to how to fix his offense, and neither do his coaches.
“I don’t care if you have Jim Brown back there,” he said during one of his many press conferences this week. “Jim Brown isn’t going to run through if you have a free hitter to the football...a linebacker standing there at the line of scrimmage.... Those are things we have to correct. We have to give our guys some chances to run the football.”
That analysis would make sense coming from a high school football coach at the start of the season. But it is a shocking revelation when it comes from an NFL coach facing his final three games. Isn’t it a little late to start addressing fundamentals?
By the way, thanks for boosting the confidence of the Steelers, the Bears and the Bills. They’re looking forward to seeing you.
4. The opposition was awesome, again.
“As far as the play on the field is concerned, you’ve got to give Miami credit,” Ryan said about losing to the Dolphins. “That’s the second time in two years that they found ways to win when they never had their best effort on offense.”
Here, Rex reveals that he’s incapable of learning from his mistakes—that even when he knows what’s coming, he can’t adapt. That’s a major drawback in a league driven by innovation and change.
There’s an old saying that covers this: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Looks like Rex is being fooled all the time by everyone—his coaches, his players and his opponents. No wonder he talks so much. He’s got a lot to get off his chest.
Meanwhile, the team and its fans are the ones who are suffering. As of a few weeks ago, the Jets looked like solid playoff contenders. Now they look like pushovers, and Rex Ryan’s yammering isn’t helping matters.
Here’s a new twist on an old proverb that sums it all up: Loose lips not only sink ships; they can also knock Jets out of the sky. The same old Jets.