By Eric Saddler: New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat this year. The Jets performed poorly last season and it’s unclear how the owner of the team will put up with a losing team without making changes in the head coaching position, and that would mean Ryan could become a casualty if the Jets don’t turn things around.
A lot of the criticism that the Jets team has taken has been aimed at Ryan because he’s the captain of the ship, and some NFL fans think he’s not done a good job in developing the talent that he’s had to work with, such as quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
Ryan seems defiant about his own role in the Jets poor play, saying to Newsday “I’m a hell of a lot better football coach than I’m given credit for. I don’t care. I don’t need the credit. But I can tell you one thing, when it’s said and done, they’ll look back and say, ‘Oh man, this dude can coach his butt off.’ And you know what? It’s true…I don’t have to brag.”
It seems like Ryan does care because he’s taking the time to talk about it. However, the barbs that are thrown Ryan’s way center around his failure and the other Jets’ coaching staff failures to develop Sanchez and Tebow into good quarterbacks. Last season, Ryan failed to use Tebow in any real way during the year, even when it was clear that Sanchez was totally lost and playing poorly.
Instead of putting Tebow, a former 2010 1st round draft choice and former Heisman Trophy winner, in to replace him, Ryan put in former 7th round draft choice Greg McElroy and he, not surprisingly, played poorly. At that point, Ryan then put Sanchez in as the starter. It didn’t seem like a logical move, especially given that Tebow had completed 6 of 8 passes in his brief times in getting a chance to run the Jet’s offense. It’s not as if Tebow had messed up when he did get a chance to play.
If Tebow does well with the New England Patriots this season, then it’s going to give some NFL fans the perception that Ryan didn’t do what he to do to develop Tebow – or even give him a chance to play.