New York Jets Are Smart to Give Rex Ryan Control of Defense

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Among many important decisions that need to be made for the New York Jets, one was the delegation of play-calling on defense. As ESPN reported, head coach Rex Ryan has been named the defensive play-caller for the Jets in 2013.

Dennis Thurman was hired by New York as defensive coordinator early this off-season. Thurman served as the team’s defensive backs coach over the past five years, and will supposedly have a role in the team’s  preparation.

This announcement is hardly a surprise. While Ryan slowly gave up this authority to former coordinator and longtime colleague Mike Pettine, it was clear that he would try to assume a bigger role.

The Jets’ new chain of command appeared to favor an approach that was different than before. Owner Woody Johnson said that new general manager John Idzik will have final say in personnel. This was not always the case when former general manager Mike Tannenbaum was in charge. Ryan personally selected defensive end Quinton Coples.

If Johnson is true to his word, and Idzik has total control in this department, that would mean Ryan’s place in the organization is diminishing. Putting Ryan in charge of the defense benefits both parties.

While Thurman has a solid relationship with his players, Ryan is a defensive genius. His varying schemes were able to pressure a quarterback and force him into making mistakes. In addition, allowing Ryan to call plays provides an illusion that Johnson still supports his coach.

Possessing too much power partially helped lead Ryan to where he is currently. Any time a coach is able to have free reign over his team presents a difficult task. They may desire such freedom, but it usually does not work.


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