New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has had two great years and two bad years as the team’s head coach. In order for Ryan to be the team’s head coach next season, he has to impress owner Woody Johnson.
Ryan led the Jets to consecutive American Football Conference Championship appearances in his first two seasons with the team. He was off to an unbelievable start as the team’s head coach, but the team’s performance has not been the same since.
The Jets’ performance has been much worse the past two seasons, as they finished with a combined record of 14-16. Ryan has been continuously in the spotlight, in a negative way, since the start of the 2011 season.
Ryan’s terrible decision-making since the start of the 2011 season has shown that he cannot handle being a head coach in New York. The media has routinely commented on his decisions, because most head coaches would not make some of the same asinine decisions he has made.
The worst decision Ryan made was during a preseason game against the New York Giants on Aug. 24. Ryan decided to start Geno Smith at quarterback, and in the fourth quarter he inserted Mark Sanchez into the game.
The majority of coaches would not insert a player that is competing for the starting quarterback job into the fourth quarter of a week three preseason game, because there would be a huge backlash if the player sustained an injury. Sure enough, Sanchez sustained a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of that game, and he will miss at least two weeks.
This terrible decision leaves the Jets with very little depth at quarterback if Smith struggles in his first NFL start on Sunday.
Ryan has two years left on his contract, but it is not a guarantee that he will be the team’s head coach next season. According to Gary Myers of nydailynews.com, the Jets will make a decision during the offseason as to whether or not Ryan will be the team’s head coach next season.
Johnson told Myers, ““I’m very happy with Rex. I think Rex is a great coach. He’s a good head coach. He’s a great teacher. I have a lot of confidence in Rex.” Despite Johnson’s statement, the team has not offered Ryan a contract extension.
This shows that Ryan will have to lead the Jets to at least an 8-8 record this seaso, in order to be the team’s head coach next season. If Ryan can lead the Jets to a playoff appearance this season, then he should receive a contract extension in the offseason.
The Jets will begin this season facing cornerback Darrelle Revis, who the Jets traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the offseason. If Revis dominates that game, there will be a lot of chants for Johnson to fire Ryan.
The Jets’ tough schedule this season will make it tough for Ryan to earn that extension. They will play five games against teams that made the playoffs last season, including the Super Bowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens.
The media will magnify every decision Ryan makes this season, because he may not be with the team next season. If he does not receive a contract extension from Johnson in the offseason, he should be able to find a defensive coordinator job with another team.