Get better every day. That’s the name of the game. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan hasn’t been able to contact his players during the lockout, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting better this offseason.
Instead of talking to his players, Ryan picked the brains of ex-Washington Redskins Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs and former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore, according to the Jets official website.
“I called Joe Gibbs,” Ryan said. “When they went through some work stoppages, the last two times the Washington Redskins won two Super Bowls. So I figured that would be a good guy to call.”
In 1982, there was a work stoppage due to a player strike that started in the middle of September and lasted into November of that season. In a nine-game regular season, Gibbs coached the Redskins to an 8-1 record and a Super Bowl championship.
Then five years later in 1987, a 24-day player strike caused the loss of a game and replacement players filling in for three weeks. But the Redskins went 3-0 in those games, 11-4 overall, and won their second Super Bowl.
“He said take this time to get better,” Ryan said. “Take time to gain an advantage on your opponents and whatever you think that is. He gave me some ideas and I followed them to a tee.”
He also talked with former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore to try to fix some of the red zone woes that have plagued the Jets the past few years.
“We’re bringing in former coaches in this league, the top guys: Tom Moore, the former offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts. We brought in Bobby Jackson, regarded as the top running backs coach for probably 25 years of coaching…,” he said. “We’re bringing in all kinds of guys to come in here and speak to us and pick their brains. We have Dan Reeves coming in.”
“I think the biggest area we have to improve is in the red zone efficiency by our offense. For a top team, it doesn’t add up. We do everything else well except when we get in the red zone. We absolutely struggled in the red zone — I believe we were 26th in the league in red zone scoring efficiency…,” Ryan said. “We are going to change our practice schedule. We are going to practice more red zone and we are going to practice two-minute.”
Moore is the perfect coach to bring in for a team looking to be more efficient. The Colts have always had an efficient red zone offense under Tom Moore, and while a lot of credit has to go to Peyton Manning of course, you cannot overlook Moore’s presence either.
I think it’s fantastic that Rex Ryan is being proactive in trying to improve as a coach in whatever way possible. The fact that he can’t coach is players is tough, but he refuses to let it affect his desire to get better every day. That’s why he’s one of the NFL’s best coaches.