As HBO’s Hard Knocks is now demonstrating to us (as if there was ever any doubt), Rex Ryan and his New York Jets are a team made for the media.
In a way, Ryan and the Jets have become omnipresent. Simply put, is that a good thing?
Two voices at the NFL Network believe the brash style on display from the Jets, and the frequency at which it’s heard, could ultimately work against them.
“When you have a coach like Ryan, who is out there saying that you’re the team to beat, and then you’re watching Hard Knocks and everyone is talking about the Super Bowl, you put a target on your back,” NFL Network analyst Rod Woodson said. “They have to go to the Super Bowl if they’re going to say this week in and week out. People are listening. That’s going to put a bullseye on their backs [every week]. It’s going to be one of those battles. People want to beat the Jets and shut them up.”
Brian Baldinger believes the Jets are now the team everyone wants to beat.
“They want to beat the Jets more than any team in the league right now,” Baldinger said. “The Saints have been quiet, they’ve been respectful, they’ve been low-key. They’re still the champions until they get knocked off. This Jets team has now created this atmosphere that [other teams] want to see Rex up there [like] when he had tears in his eyes when they lost and it looked like they were out of the playoffs. That’s what they want to see. They want to humble this guy and this team.”
Surely the Jets will have something to say on this. It would make for good television.