When trying to describe Rex Ryan, I come up with an identity cocktail of Jackie Gleason, Bum Phillips and say, Bon Jovi with the new leg tat. The Jets are the perfect place for this flamboyant cult character. Rex embraces the media circus and he's in a great position to needle his antithesis colleague Bill Belichick.
This is a critical year for Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez to move forward to the next level. Otherwise, Rex might be remembered as more of an entertainer than a successful football coach. As ESPN Anchor Radio Host Colin Cowherd points out, being funny and drawing attention to yourself doesn't always translate to results, especially in the labor-intensive environment of NFL coaching.
The Jets have indeed been competitive in Ryan's short tenure. The question this year is, have the Jets hit their ceiling as a second fiddle, as a Houston Oilers clone in the Hard Knocks and Big Laughs system. Is Rex just a Bum?
Here's a capsule of how I see things shaping up in the NFL this season:
Green Bay 12-4 Much the best in a weaker division...still hard to repeat
Detroit 10-6 Healthy Stafford & surging defense key to a run at playoffs
Minnesota 6-10 McNabb Mojo waning with limited offensive weapons; defense solid
Chicago 6-10 Offensive line the worst; regression inevitable with new kickoff rule
Atlanta 10-6 Opening it up on offense doesn’t translate to more success
Tampa Bay 9-7 Opens season against the other NFC upstart; head coach a plus
Carolina 3-13 Deep hole only gets deeper with Cam at QB; Andrew Luck next?
Philadelphia 11-5 Only the over-expectation hype can hold them back (again)
Dallas 10-6 Better vibe with Garrett; another Dallas upset of a “Dream Team?
NY Giants 8-8 Weaknesses in defensive backfield will cost them (again)
Washington 6-10 My favorite owner Snyder right where he belongs; scrubs at QB
Arizona 9-7 Any semblance of a quarterback rights the ship here
St. Louis 8-8 Sound fundamentals in this Division will make a team competitive
San Francisco 7-9 Harbaugh will be proven over his head just like Singletary
Seattle 5-11 Enthusiasm can only carry you so far, Pete. Get Charlie in there
Pittsburgh 11-5 Provided James Harrison doesn’t start writing poetry to Goodell
Cleveland 9-7 The Holmgren era begins; McCoy sharper; good early schedule
Baltimore 9-7 Another overrated Harbaugh; lost too much on the outside; aging "D"
Cincinnati 4-12 Where's Sam Wyche when you need him? Owner needs a Wonderlic
Houston 9-7 By default with Indy’s lingering pain-in-the-neck; too finesse
Indianapolis 8-8 2nd half rally might get them close if Peyton returns
Tennessee 6-10 Lost top-5 NFL Head Coach Fisher who was coaching them up
Jacksonville 5-11 Lackluster offense overachieved last year, C-ya Jack
New England 12-4 Improved defense/special teams play enough in regular season
NY Jets 11-5 Becoming the Oilers of the 70s?; or what Phil was to Tiger?
Buffalo 6-10 Fairly competitive in most games last season; a few weapons
Miami 4-12 House started to crumble when Parcells bailed
San Diego 10-6 Soft early schedule benefits perennial slow starter; Norv still a scrub
Oakland 8-8 Have some talent; as competitive as they can be with current QB
Kansas City 8-8 Tougher schedule this year; minor regression likely in store
Denver 6-10 Expect better defense and discipline under Fox; Orton OK
Upstarts: Detroit, Tampa Bay, Cleveland
Regression Alert: Chicago, Baltimore; Indy, Seattle, Miami, Jacksonville
Semi-Resurgence: Dallas, Arizona
At Ceiling with Current Personnel: Atlanta, Houston, Oakland
Dead as a Doornail: Carolina, Cincy, Miami
NFC Championship Philly over Green Bay Hard to repeat, so the Pack get beat
AFC Championship NY Jets over Pittsburgh Knock the door down Rex, its not a hex
Super Bowl Philly over NY Jets Lots of hype from Joe Willie, but not over Philly