Rex Ryan often gets a lot of credit for the Jets defense, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine is the one who is running the defense, and now is running it almost exclusively for his head coach, Rex Ryan.
Via Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger.
Pettine is the lead play-caller this season. Rex Ryan held that role in his first year as head coach, and the two shared duties last season, before shifting to this arrangement in Year Three.
“We’ve collaborated some, but I’ve handled the majority of it,” Pettine said. “A lot of them are pre-set based on the situation, and he and I have been around each other enough, and he trusts me enough, because we think the same thing a lot anyway, that he’s given me that freedom.”
Secondary coach Dennis Thurman, who radios the call he hears on the headset to middle linebacker David Harris, projects that Pettine makes about 98 percent of the defensive calls.
Pettine has been awesome for the Jets over his three years, and I’ve really come to appreciate the balance he brings to Rex Ryan. I do think that this season started out a little bit rockier than the team might have liked, but if he was running the defense on his own now, it starts to make a little more sense. Were there execution issues too? For sure. But at this point it looks like it’s starting to work a lot more smoothly for the Jets as the team’s defense has jumped up the rankings in recent weeks.
I think we saw the maturation in Pettine’s playcalling, even within the last Patriots game … let’s see how it works out this time around …