The reunion of Red Ryan and Ed Reed along with the Jets three game losing streak caused the Jets head coach to remember a tradition that used to take place in Baltimore. In recent weeks, Ryan has used some of his veterans to impart “wise words’’ to the rest of the team. A while back it was Ed Reed who shared some words, this week it was eleven year NFL veteran Calvin Pace.
Ryan told the New York Post on Friday that while Pace might not talk much, he delivered a impassioned message to his teammates that they took to heart.
“Some guys may only see Calvin Pace as a guy who doesn’t talk much, other guys may see him in a different light,’’ Ryan told The Post Friday. “The man’s smart. He’s an 11-year veteran and he’s telling you a powerful message. The message was great, because it was from the heart.’’
Right tackle Austin Howard, who made it to the playoffs in his rookie year in Philadelphia and hasn’t been back since, was riveted by Pace’s words.
“His message was, ‘Take advantage of what we have in front of us. We don’t know where we’re going to be next year, so take advantage of the here and now. We have to go out there and take advantage of this opportunity, have faith in the guy next to you, have faith that we’re a good team, have faith that we can go out there and win this game.’ ”
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comI’m glad to hear that the message was well received by the players and they appreciate that they still are playing games that matter and are taking it to heart. That has to be factored into the ultimate decision about this coach and this franchise come the offseason.
Yes, the Jets are mathematically still in the running for the playoffs, but that could all change after this weekend. With the Ravens and Dolphins in the driver’s seat and the Chargers stating their case, there’s going to be precious little room for error for the Jets.
One of the biggest ways to stay in the hunt is to post what seems an unlikely victory on the road against one of the league’s better teams this year on both offense and defense. The Jets have a chance, but it is going to come down to pressuring the quarterback, playing airtight in coverage and getting Geno Smith to carry a significant part of the load by decisively delivering the ball on time to matchups that favor the Jets.