The New York Jets have looked like a disheveled mess in the preseason with question marks on the offensive line and a media-fueled quasi-quarterback controversy leading some to consider the temperature setting on Rex Ryan’s office recliner.
“This isn’t all on Rex,” NFL Network and NFL.com’s Steve Wyche said Tuesday morning on “NFL AM” when asked of the head coach’s precarious predicament. “This is on (general manager) Mike Tannenbaum, who put that personnel in place, who signed some guys to some contracts that have become prohibitive. They don’t seem like they have a lot of depth in a lot of areas; the talent really isn’t there.”
The question about whether Ryan is on the proverbial coaching hot seat assumes an oncoming disastrous 2012 season as well as dismisses the previous positive seasons the Jets have had since his hire.
“Now Rex could go into ’13 on the hot seat if they don’t make the playoffs,” Wyche said. “If this is a 3-13 record, OK, now you are talking about him possibly being on the hot seat. I don’t think right now if they started out slow, I don’t think he’s necessarily going to be on the pressure cooker.”
The problem for some is that Ryan’s boisterous bloviating often belies that his defenses have been solid, when not spectacular.
“This is an embattled head coach,” analyst Mark Kriegel said. “They wanted to be a back-page team, well guess what: Now they are a back-page team. The idea that his authority has survived intact from last season until now is just way off base. It was fractured then; it’s probably more fractured now.”
For former Pro Bowl cornerback Eric Davis, Ryan’s media tactics are what will keep him off the chopping block.
“They wanted to be a backpage team; they are. And that is why Rex is not in trouble. Right now you look at this roster, there is no way this roster is equipped to win a Super Bowl,” Davis said. “Ownership is getting the bang for the buck. They are getting the attention. They are able to compete with the media for attention with the Super Bowl champions. Why? You have Rex Ryan there, you have all these things going on with (Tim) Tebow, you’re getting the attention. If you go 3-13, of course, I’m with Steve, then you have to re-evaluate the situation. But he’s not going 3-13, he’s got the club in the playoffs. They went 8-8 last year, so if this team is anywhere in the fight, Rex Ryan is fine.”
Another assumption that mediocrity is acceptable for Gang Green.