The collapse of this season’s Jets finds it’s root in last season when then Jets coach Sal Alosi tripped an opposing player on the sideline. Only two conclusions could have been drawn from that incident. Either Rex Ryan had advocated his coaches in taking cheap shots or Ryan was not as close to his staff (and by extension players) as he believed.
In Ryan’s three years as Jets coach player personnel has changed at an alarming rate. Much has been made of quarterback Mark Sanchez‘s chemistry with tight end Dustin Keller but that could e that Keller is the longest running starter at the offensive “skilled positions” for the Jets. In other words in only his third year Sanchez has worked with keller the longest. You could argue that the Jets have gotten better at wide receiver with the types of players they’ve acquired at that position over the last couple of years but at what price? It’s hard for a team to gel when players keep getting shuffled in and out.
Another sign of the Jets eventual demise was their attitude when they were winning. When questioned about a particular failing in a game the Jets won we’ve heard coach Ryan say time and again that it doesn’t matter as long as we won the game. This answer has been echoed by players, coaches and even team management. This answer totally ignores what makes winning teams win more. Even the most lopsided wins show areas to improve in. You always have to be looking to make a good thing even better. (Ironically this is how the Jets defend their turn over of offensive personnel.)
Watching Rex Ryan after the season ended and hearing the things he’s said makes me think he’s learned from this experience and that it’ll make him a better coach going forward. Only time will tell if my thinking is, indeed true.