In a move that could be interpreted either as stubborn perseverance or full-blown delusion, Jets coach Rex Ryan has vowed to do in 2011 that which he vowed — and failed — to do in 2010.
Win the Super Bowl.
Attending Friday night’s Lakers-Knicks game, Ryan told the New York Post that “there’s no way we don’t get it done next year.” He also said to MSG’s Jill Martin at halftime,”[N]ext year I know we’ll win it.”
Confidence is a good thing. Persistently sharing that confidence with the rest of the world arguably isn’t. It’s safe to assume that Ryan will continue his annual boast until the Jets win a Super Bowl. (If the Jets win a Super Bowl.) Along the way, however, players and team employees and fans and the media and possibly owner Woody Johnson will have high expectations for the Jets, and every season that doesn’t end in a Super Bowl win will be viewed as a failure.
Technically, every season is a failure for 31 teams. But success can be determined in other ways, based on the expectations that applied before the season. With a 10-6 record, the Buccaneers grossly exceeded expectations for 2010. At 6-10, so did the Lions.
For a team that takes a “Super Bowl or bust” mentality into every season, it doesn’t take many consecutive busts to cause problems for the coaches and the front office.
Though “Rex being Rex” has provided plenty of entertainment for Jets fans and NFL observers generally, Rex would be wise to find a way to not make public guarantees about each and every “next year,” especially since so much still has to happen between now and September. The Jets could get a lot better in the offseason, or they could get a lot worse.
The best hope for Ryan is that folks will embrace his confidence while also not holding him accountable for failing to convert it into reality. If the latter occurs, Johnson eventually will feel compelled to make a change.