Head coach Rex Ryan has as much pressure as anyone to deliver results this upcoming season. It’s been three long years since the New York Jets have been in the NFL Playoffs which has caused concern all across the organization that the drought needs to end immediately. Always known as a strong defensive minded coach, Ryan tweaked his philosophy just a bit this past offseason and put the green light in adding some offensive weapons. Will it be enough for the Jets to make the postseason?
Nobody knows — not even Ryan.
While the Jets added big names on offense like wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Chris Johnson and a plethora receivers via the 2014 NFL Draft, it will take time for everything to come together. Ryan’s defense should easily become a top ten unit this season, but if the offense can’t put points on the scoreboard, he will have much to worry about throughout the season.
Putting up an 8-8 record last season was decent considering all the injuries and handing the keys to a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith who did the best he could. This time around, though, there are no excuses for the offense not to be competitive enough to be successful.
Owner Woody Johnson understands what happened last season and enjoyed the fact that Ryan kept the Jets competitive throughout the year, even after they were eliminated from playoff contention towards the end.
Johnson’s patience is wearing thin, however, and Ryan knows he’s on a short leash in 2014 as he needs to prove why he’s a legitimate option as head coach for the future. For the Jets to make the playoffs, Ryan needs to understand that he’s coaching for his job here and must be as close to perfect in every decision he makes.
Ryan is a player-friendly coach who knows how to get the most out of everyone on his team, which means he has a good shot to turn the Jets into a contender again. While many believe the Jets are better now than a year ago, especially on offense, it won’t mean anything if they don’t win.
If this playoff drought extends to four years after this season is over, Ryan will no longer have to worry about his responsibilities as his tenure with the Jets will come to an end. Hopefully this fuels Ryan to kick it up a notch and back up the words being said throughout training camps about certain athletes being the best. They need to prove those statements by leaving it all on the field to ensure Ryan keeps his job.