Originally Posted by Jetsfan80
I don’t think it can be over-stated how amazing this whole season has been.
True, we ended up with the same record as last season (9-7), and a shallow onlooker would say that what we’ve done is no big deal.
However, in just 1 season, Rex Ryan has COMPLETELY changed the way things are done when it comes to the New York Jets.
For decades, we’ve been a joke. An afterthought in our own city. It’s bad enough we had to play in “Giants Stadium”, but to watch our intra-city rival rack up 3 super bowl wins, 1 in each of the last 3 decades, made it all the more painful.
Maybe Eric Mangini THOUGHT he could change the culture of the Jets, or at least get us back to the level of respect and pride we had in the Parcells days. However, the true colors of our team were out there for the world to see after we lost 4 of our last 5 last season.
There was in-fighting in the locker room, our QB (“what’s-his-name”) was aloof, injured, selfish and a horrible team motivator (“whatever happens….happens”) and overseeing our collapse inside and out was Mangini. To think some people argued he never deserved to be run out of town is laughable when you think back.
Enter Rex Ryan. Brash. Unabashedly prideful. Loud and jovial. Love him or hate him, you always have had to account for him and the rest of the Ryan brood.
He’s also a genius.
And no, I don’t ONLY mean when it comes to defensive football. Yes, we were the # 1 defense after years of toiling in that mediocre group that only a few teams couldn’t move the ball on and no one feared. Yes, we came out in week 1 and hit the Texans in the mouth so hard that the fans in Reliant Stadium, one of the toughest places to win, booed their own team at halftime. Yes, we had more 3-and-outs than any other NFL team.
I also mean he is a genius when it comes to people, psychology, and identity building.
If there is one thing our franchise needed, it was to become a team that was HATED and RESPECTED, not laughed at. Those who say you should win with class need only look at the 2007 season for proof that that is not necessarily the way to go.
The Patriots stomped on nearly every team they faced in 2007. The only two they DIDN’T were the Giants and the Ravens, with Rex Ryan at Defensive Coordinator. We could easily focus in on Rex here, but I’d prefer to look at the Giants.
That Week 17 game just before the playoffs (a Giants loss at home to New England) was an outstanding game, which gave the Giants confidence heading into the postseason. They reeled off 3 straight before, again, meeting the Pats, and before the game, Plaxico Burress spouted off about how the Patriots would only manage 17 points, to which Tom Brady said “17 points? Yeah…okay”.
They only scored 14.
Brady was punched in the mouth again and again, proving once and for all that the only way to beat a bully is to hit back and take on the role of the aggressor. The 1980 USA Hockey Team did it to the Russians, Buster Douglas did it to Mike Tyson, and the Giants defense did it to Tom Brady.
Perhaps some swagger is a good thing after all, and Rex brought plenty of it to the 2009-10 Jets.
The additions of Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, and Marques Douglas from Baltimore’s defense helped change the Jets culture, as those new players took on leadership roles on the defense (particularly Scott and Leonhard) and bringing over the style of play, tenacity, and personality of that Ravens D along with Rex and his Defensive Coordinator, Mike Pettine.
Then the trash-talking began.
“If you take a swipe at one of ours, we’ll take two swipes at one of yours. We’re going to turn the heat up, we’re going to let the fur fly, and let’s see what happens. This is a good football team. It’s built to play the kind of style we’re going to play.”
“I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings. I came here to win, let’s put it that way. I’m certainly not intimidated by New England or anybody else.”
“If I was younger, I would handle [Channing Crowder] myself. He’s a good player. It is fun to ruffle some feathers. I have no problem doing that. Again, I’m confident in my football team. I’m confident in myself. I’m confident in our players, coaches and this entire organization. That’s why I say the things that I say.”
“We want it to be miserable for Brady and Company and seem like there’s 13 or 14 guys out there on defense.”
And those were just some of Rex Ryan’s quotes, before October even came around. Never mind Bart Scott, Kerry Rhodes and several others spouting off. Clearly, these were not the “Same old Jets”.
Rex even went ahead and left a message to every Jets season-ticket holder that he needed the fans to be loud this season. They happily obliged, despite the ups and downs of the season.
And from beginning of the season to the end, the players supported him. From 3-0 to 4-6 back to 9-7 and in the playoffs.
After Week 1, after throwing around 300-pound linemen like rag dolls, Kris Jenkins was quoted as saying that Rex’s pre-game speeches were like “performance-enhancing drugs”. After the Jets found themselves in the playoffs after a 37-0 blowout over the Bengals, cameras inside the Jet locker room painted an emotional scene. Thomas Jones gave his Game Ball back to Coach Ryan, the reason being that “We f***ing LOVE playing for you!” After which there was a team-wide embrace and, we imagine, an enormous celebration.
Then, with a short week to prepare, the Jets went back to work and, again, beat the Bengals after a week of back-and-forth trash-talking, as per usual in the Jets new culture. The Jets now find themselves a win away from the AFC Title game, with a distinct possibility of it being played in front of a raucous home crowd in the final FINAL game in the Meadowlands.
Everything about the Jets has changed in one short year. The players are willing to run through walls for their coach, the fans are, perhaps for the first time since 1998, practically smelling a championship, and through it all, the Jets are very likely hated throughout the league for the very un-PC-like behavior of the players, coaches, and fans.
And you can be sure that Rex is perfectly OK with that.
The Nomination: “I got chills reading this. POTY consideration right here!!!” JiF
Editor’s Note: Damn it feels good to be a Jets fan.
Wow. An all around great week to be a Jets fan and easily the best week of posts in my tenure as Lord of POTW. Many deserving winners and it was difficult to pick one between all of them. Many posts received multiple nominations. Boozer79 should have waited a few hours to get in on next week.
Anyway, congratulations JetsFan80 on a great post about the ride this whole season has been. Let’s hope it’s just the precursor to more next Sunday.