You have got to hand it to Jets head coach Rex Ryan. He knows how to create a controversy, and how to do it well.
We all know Rex Ryan has a way of making it into THE headlines, even if he doesn’t mean to (and believe me, he always means to). He’s a coach who, early on in a season, will guarantee that his Jets team will play in the Super Bowl. Then the Jets will suck and won’t even have a chance making at the playoffs. The next preseason, he’ll take the same road as he did the previous season, and make a guarantee that the Jets will play in the Super Bowl. Again, they will suck. Every year he puts that pressure on his team, and every year his team buckles under the pressure and makes him the fool.
But I like Rex Ryan. He’s not the coach of my team, so why wouldn’t I like him? He’s got some great oneliners that we’ve all taken from his Hard Knocks days. (“Lets go eat a goddamn snack!” is my favorite.) He’s got a ravenous foot fetish. Who doesn’t like feet?
Rex Ryan is a comedy of errors. He’s the loudmouth class clown. He is 100 percent entertainment, unless, of course, you are a Jets fan. Jets fans are probably sick and tired of Ryan’s antics, and are hoping someday soon, the Jets front office will get smart and hand Ryan his walking papers, trading him in for a coach who garners a little more respect around the league.
Well, if the New York media has its way, after last weekend’s preseason blunder in which a bad Ryan decision may have cost him his starting quarterback, Ryan could be soon packing his bags. In the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the Giants on Saturday, Ryan made the odd decision to play quarterback Mark Sanchez behind a bunch of scrub third-string linemen. Although the game was close, fourth quarters in the preseason is garbage time and, playing a starter is generally frowned upon.
For whatever reason, Ryan decided to play Sanchez anyway. To nobody’s surprise, he was drilled by Giants defensive lineman Marvin Austin, and helped off the field with a shoulder injury. According to ESPN.com, he left the stadium in a hospital gown.
I have always viewed Sanchez as kind of soft. He’s not a tough guy by any means, especially with that stupid hair-band. This time, though, he took a good whack from Austin, who said after the game that the hit stung him as well.
Just three days after this stupid injury took place, and nobody really knows how bad the injury is. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that an MRI has revealed a bruised right shoulder joint, but that source didn’t know how long that might sideline Sanchez. So for now, that question that’s been lingering ever since last year’s draft has yet to be answered. Will it be Sanchez, or rookie Geno Smith, as the Jets’ starter? The answer to that question, before last weekend, was presumably Sanchez. But now that he has an injury, and nobody really knows how long it will affect him, it could be Smith, who is coming off a tough game. Going into the fourth preseason game, you would like to have a starter in place, ready for Week 1.
For obvious reasons, Jets fans are pissed. It’s the third week in the preseason. It’s the fourth quarter of that game. Fat Rex decides to go rogue and play his starting quarterback during garbage time. He gets hurt, and now there’s a chance that Rex will have to go with a rookie who threw three interceptions in 12 pass attempts against the Giants. He also put two points on the board for the Giants when he stepped out of the back of the end zone.
That right there is the heart of the controversy. It was a stupid football decision made by a guy who is supposed to know good football, despite his big mouth. For this reason, the New York media, and national media for that matter, are jumping all over Ryan, like he’s committed a deadly sin. Never mind his foot-fetish video or his loudmouth predictions that never come to fruition, this guy just injured a starting quarterback with a bad preseason decision. It’s funny because the media has almost made it seem like Ryan has already lost his job, even though he hasn’t.
I turned on some sports talk radio during my lunch hour on Monday and the two obnoxious Fox Sports Radio guys were talking about who should replace Ryan now that he’s gone. I had to get back to the Internet to see that he hadn’t been fired. It doesn’t matter what form of media you like – TV, radio, podcasts, or newspapers – you can find a host of reporters saying that Rex Ryan’s days in New York are done. He’s finished. It’s almost like they are reporting that it’s true, even though it’s not.
Now maybe this preseason blunder may be a step toward Ryan’s eventual firing, but he has not been fired, despite what you can read and hear everywhere. It’s like the New York media believes that if they report Ryan has been fired, then maybe it will come true? I don’t know, the media seems more whacked out in all of this than Ryan’s stupid decision was.
Was Ryan stupid for playing Sanchez? Maybe. Maybe not. If I’m a Jets fan, perhaps an early season injury to Sanchez and a subsequent start for Gino Smith is a blessing in disguise. I mean, are people really that angry if Sanchez can’t start? He may have been the future of the Jets, but I ask, what has he done for the team lately? Sanchez isn’t that good. Maybe a fourth quarter start in a preseason game was Ryan’s way of showing him that his job is up for grabs if he doesn’t start winning some games. And having Sanchez in a close preseason game toward the end of the game is exactly what Sanchez needs practice at. He needs to learn to win close games.
Rex Ryan wasn’t that stupid in his decision. It may be time for Gino Smith, despite his youthfulness, to take the leadership role of the Jets and lead them to greatness. Something’s got to change. Right?
For that, I say Rex Ryan is a genius and should be the head coach of the Jets as long as he wants. After all, us non-Jets fans need him for his entertainment value. And during these slow weeks in the preseason, I need something to write about.