28 July 2010
|Sorry, Rex. You can't actually eat those timeouts.|
For a team as hyped as the Jets, there are a lot of question marks entering this season. Some are bigger than others, but there’s one big question that’s sticks out: Rex Ryan. Don’t get me wrong; I love Rex, the players love Rex, and most non-Jet fans can’t stand him (a good thing). Face it Rex is the man. There hasn’t been this much excitement going into the season in a long time, and that’s mostly attributed to the swagger and style he has brought to the team.
All the trash talk last offseason was refreshing after the Mangini Era of Silence. But I’m sure I wasn’t the only one hoping and praying that Rex would be able to back it up. The start of the season looked promising. The defense was killing it and the rookie head-coach/QB combo looked like veterans. Then they went on to lose six of seven, only defeating the JaMarcus Russell-led Raiders.
The rough stretch in the middle of the season was depressing on many levels, and it showed me one thing I wasn't happy to see. Rex’s defense was awesome, anyone could see that, but he struggled as a head coach. The idea that he only needed to coach the defense, letting Schotty control the offense, didn’t work. The team needed a unified leader. The new, young offense needed a leader and it was lacking that.
Rex looked overwhelmed at times, too. The team regularly finished games with timeouts that should have been used, burned timeouts because the wrong players were on the field, and the overall clock management was piss-poor for most of the season. That’s on the head coach. He needs to know the game situation and be more involved in the overall flow of the game.
This raises the question: Is he ready to be the head coach? I say yes. I hope yes. I blame that sad stretch on rookie jitters. With a year under his belt and another year to put his system in place he should be able to prove his critics wrong. But until he does, he remains a large question mark going into the season. With the expectations and big personalities this Jets teams boasts, they can ill afford to falter for even a few games. It's Super Bowl or bust. Let's hope Rex is the General we all think he is.
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