Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
In the last few days, the Jets head coach and the team’s likely quarterback have had some exuberant things to say about their team.
Ryan spoke to the New York Daily News about his expectations for the season. Will 8-8 suffice?
“I believe we’re better than that. I believe we’re a lot better than that,” Ryan told the Daily News. “Eight and eight would be a hell of a disappointment for us. I’m just telling you that I believe this team is on the cusp of doing some special things. . . . I’m confident we will be a playoff team.”
What are the national analysts missing when it comes to this team?
“What they’re missing is — and this isn’t their fault — is they don’t see what I see in the building every day,” Ryan said. “I think it’s a transition year, but we’re going to bring it to another level. I know where I want this team to go and that’s where I expect this team to go. So, you know, are we a better team? Dang right. . . . That may be a fact that we’re rebuilding this team, but by no means does that mean that I don’t expect to improve on where we were.”
“I think time’s going to tell how much better we are,” Ryan said. “I believe this football team is a hell of a lot better right now than we were at any point last year.”
Beyond his team, Rex thinks he’s a pretty OK coach too … and isn’t afraid to say it.
Rex’s quarterback and second year player Geno Smith seems optimistic as well.
“I feel good about our team making a Super Bowl run,” Smith said earlier in July to NFL Network. “You know, why not us?”
Meanwhile in New England, Patriots fans and their most disgraced columnist will go out of their way to take offense.
Why not you? Because you play in the same division as Tom Brady.
Why not you? Because you play in the same division as Bill Belichick.
Why not you? Because you play in the same division as the Patriots, who have won 11 of the past 13 division titles.
Why not you? Because you haven’t even won the division since 2002.
Why not you? Well, you.
Apologies to Ron Borges and all of New England for everyone not adopting the Patriot way as the only way to win at football. I know it’s won the Patriots a bunch of titles, specifically the ones in the last ten years …
Heaping gasoline on a Foxboro dumpster fire, Ryan followed up his comments in an recent interview with the New York Post by saying it is the Patriots who should be worrying about the Jets.
“Somebody asked me if we focus on New England. Bullsh–,” Ryan told The Post. “We’re focused on us. We’re focused on us and how are we going to be better. I have to be honest, I don’t worry about them. They need to worry about us. I think that’s really where we’re at now.”
The Patriots offense still has questions, but the Pats defense might finally emerge from the ashes, led by Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in the secondary and a healthy Vince Wilfork up front.
Regardless of what the Patriots might be doing, Ryan told the New York Daily News that change comes from within and for an fanbase and organization that was caught in an spiral before he arrived, a jarring change was required.
“When I came in from Day One, this team was way different back then,” Ryan said of his previous Super Bowl guarantees. “This team just lost Brett Favre, a Hall-of-Fame quarterback. This team had that same moniker, ‘Same Old Jets.’ Well, I wanted everyone to know. I wanted to make damn sure they knew that it wasn’t the Same Old Jets and it was never going to be the Same Old Jets as long as I was here. And so I think that’s why I said what I said. I wanted to make sure my team believed that I believed that we were going to win Super Bowls.”
“Now, it’s more the fact that, ‘Hey look, I know who we are,’ ” he added. “My team is very well aware of who we are. But if (making Super Bowl predictions) will add pressure where we can’t be at our very best and possibly add some fuel to the fire to the opponent, I don’t need to do that. So I’m not going to do it.”
Ryan knew that the team and the fanbase needed to get out of familiar patterns. His brashness and boldness was the best way to do it and with the team’s talent, Ryan took the team to two AFC Championship games. As Ghandi famously once said “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Rex toned down the rhetoric some last year for his new GM and it seems he won’t be making predictions about games in Arizona next February, but he believes in this team and isn’t afraid to say so.
He’s not alone, Bill Polian thinks the Jets are closer to relevance as well, but that it will come down to quarterback play … a familiar refrain for the Jets.
Personally? I like the high hopes coming from the Jets. It matches my feelings about this team. It doesn’t bother me that the team’s coach and quarterback have lofty goals for this team and are willing to share them. I’d much rather have players and coaches who expect the best from themselves than players who are resigned to something else. I’ll never knock a player or coach for thinking they can win on any given Sunday.
I’ve always asserted that I don’t care whether the Jets coach is a media darling for his transparency or a Napoleonic despot. All I care is that they can put together the best football team possible with the talent they were able to procure, know how to coach those plays and (most importantly) win. If Ryan goes for his fourth straight season without a playoff berth, then all the questions that raised themselves last December are likely to come up again.
Ryan is positive and has good reason to be. The team is deeper than it has been in three years. The team filled the most crucial positions on offense through free agency. The team has a potential quarterback of the future in Geno Smith along with a ripcord in Mike Vick. The team’s 2013 rookies finished the season on an encouraging note.
Why not us?