After Rex Ryan took the New York Jets’ head-coaching job in January, he didn’t wait long to bring in some of his guys — players he coached when he was the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator.
Free-agent LB Bart Scott was the first to sign with a six-year, $48 million contract. Then the Jets signed safety Jim Leonhard and DE Marques Douglas. All three of them were Ravens last season, and all of them know what Ryan wants in a football player, the coach told the New York Post.
- “It’s not only that they know the system, but they know how things are done, what the expectations are, and understanding that we don’t accept anything but that,” Ryan said. … “This is the type of player I want to surround myself with.”
The fact that Ryan brought the players with him to New York wasn’t lost on them, the Post reports:
- “We have a special situation,” Scott said. “It’s almost like Rex is starting his franchise and he decided to bring us with him to start his franchise, his legacy with us. For us, that’s a tremendous honor to be part of what his story is going to be.” …
- “He doesn’t care who you are or where you came from or what you look like,” Leonhard said. “If you get the job done, you get the job done. If he can trust you, he’s going to use you. Players appreciate that.”
Of course, it’s still early, but the moves already seem to be paying dividends in the locker room and during team meetings, according to the Post:
- “The one thing I noticed was everybody was really tight when I first got here,” Leonhard said. “I think guys are starting to relax. With Rex and his staff it’s more like the coaches are working with you. They’re not above you, talking down to you. I think the guys are really open to that now.”