One statement that you hear often is that the NFL doesn’t have too many “lame duck” coaches. Just to clarify, these are coaches entering the final year of their contracts. Either they tend to be fired, or are given a long-term extension. Well, New York Jets GM John Idzik split the difference here with Rex Ryan. Recently, Ryan was signed to an extra year that takes him through the 2015 season. This vote of confidence comes after great speculation that he could be fired. Expectations were defied in 2013, as this seemingly rebuilding squad finished 8-8. Yes, they were 5-4 at one point, but many still thought five victories could be their maximum. Pedestrian offensive talent plagued them while their rookie quarterback took plenty of lessons in failure.
Geno Smith seemed to improve though in those closing week, and hope from early season success reemerged. Defensively, they remain a formidable unit despite suspect pass coverage causing Ryan to endure his first total ranking outside of the top 10 as Jets coach. Players rejoiced as his return was announced last week. His team loves him, which is important. Of course, should the Jets go something like 4-12 next year, Ryan could still be fired.
There is simply something to be said about peace of mind. If Ryan went in without any security beyond 2014, he would have been distracted. Honestly, you couldn’t blame him either.
Now, all focus can go towards returning to the playoffs.