Rex Ryan: Marvin Lewis asked me not to run the Wildcat


Jets coach Rex Ryan offered an odd explanation when asked why his team didn’t use the Wildcat at all in Friday night’s preseason opener against Cincinnati: According to Ryan, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis asked him not to.

Ryan used the call as evidence that opposing defensive coaches are concerned about what the Jets will be able to do with Tim Tebow this season.

“I know nobody’s worried about Wildcat and all that stuff. It’s real easy to stop,” Ryan said sarcastically, according to the New York Post.That’s why I got a call at 7 a.m. the day before we played by Marvin not wanting to see the Wildcat. I guess I’m the only guy who thinks it has a place in the NFL, me and every defensive coach in the league.”

The New York Daily News also reported that Lewis made that request of Ryan, with whom he was once on the same coaching staff in Baltimore. It’s an odd request — doesn’t Lewis want his defense to be ready for the Wildcat if someone runs it against them in the regular season? — but it’s not the first time there has been talk of gentlemen’s agreements between opposing coaches before a preseason game. Last year Saints coach Sean Payton and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t see eye to eye about whether they were supposed to touch base and discuss strategy before their preseason meeting.

In any event, the Jets are free to run whatever plays they want, regardless of whether the opposing coach wants them to. The Jets chose to keep Tebow in the base offense (and as the personal protector on the punt team), and we may have to wait until the regular season to see Tebow in the Wildcat.

47 responses to “Rex Ryan: Marvin Lewis asked me not to run the Wildcat

  1. How lame. If Ryan is planning on using the Wildcat throughout the season, It makes no sense to cut it out of the game. Doesn’t Tebow need to practice running those plays, along with the Offensive line? If I were Ryan, I would of respectfully told Lewis that we don’t cut plays from pre-season, that is the time to practice and get plays struck into your memory, especially plays that involve a big part of our playmakers.

    I can’t wait until Week 1, Buffalo vs NYJ, payback time Jets.

  2. Since most NFL coaches want to use the first preseason game to evaluate 90 players in basic situations with no gameplanning, doesn’t seem so crazy that Lewis would ask Ryan to tone done the specialized stuff for the purposes of this particular game. Third preseason game? Might be different.

    It’s not like the Wildcat won’t have its moments even when defenses have specific gameplans for it and their first string guys on the field…but if it was such a scary weapon that made such a huge difference, Tony Sparano would still be a head coach.

  3. Meanwhile I’m paying full price for these games ,the same as regular season prices and the fix is in.

  4. It’s the FIRST preseason game. Teams worry about Wildcat and the other special packages the week they are playing a team. Lewis may have just wanted to get a feel for his players in a live game setting and if the Jets are going to run option looks out of the Wildcat with Tebow all it does is waste the Bengals practice time when they are staging for the WHOLE season to come or risk having his players look stupid because as a coach he prioritized practice time differently.

  5. The NFL is ripping off season ticket holders in the preseason. Full price to watch bland football and guys that won’t even be in the nfl in a month? You can’t give away tix to preseason games. Are the stadiums even half full?

  6. The way the Jets’ offense looked last night, they better hope their Wildcat is the second-coming of the Rams’ early 2000’s passing game. Their offense look atrocious last night & it is abundantly clear they don’t have a single QB on their roster, aside from Greg McElroy, who can effectively run a basic, pro-style offense under center. The Jets are in serious trouble this year. The Wildcat is a gimmick offense that was effective when successful team’s based their offense off the run. Today’s NFL promotes high-octane, passing offenses that gains large chunks of yards each play. You don’t win by eating up 3-4 yards per play anymore. Last year was not an aberration, it was a sign of where the NFL is going. The Giants, Super Bowl Champion Giants, were #32 in rushing offense, DEAD LAST; and the Patriots were #20 in the NFL. On the flip side, the Giants were #5 in passing offense; the Patriots were #2. Furthermore, each team ranked in the top 5 in passing offense made the playoffs last year (1 – Saints; 2 – Patriots; 3 – Packers; 4 – Lions; 5 – Giants); whereas only 2 of the top 5 rushing offense teams in the NFL made the playoffs (1 – Broncos (in); 2 – Texans (in); 3 – Panthers (out); 4 – Vikings (out); 5 – Eagles (out)).

    I’m sorry Mr. Ryan, Mr. Sparano & Jets fans everywhere who think this so-called “ground & pound” and Wildcat offense is going to carry the Jets to success this year, but it just isn’t happening. I could see it being moderately successful if they had a top featured back, such as AP or CJ, but Shonn Greene is not a very good back; his 3 YPC isn’t going to cut it. It seems like every team in the NFL is adapting to the changing NFL by building their team around a good throwing, accurate, franchise-type QB & explosive, good-hands WRs; that is, every team except for the Jets. The two most important positions in the NFL today, QB & WR are two of the biggest deficiencies the Jets have on their team. It’s okay though, they’re going to “ground & pound” it all game. Good luck with that. They’ll be lucky to win 5 games this year. You heard it here first, the Jets will go 4-12 this year; maybe they’ll get a playmaker with their top 5 pick in June.

  7. NY Jets Calvin Pace on the Wildcat: “I can’t respect that stuff, all that Wildcat. We’re in the N.F.L. Don’t come here with that nonsense.”

    Of course, Pace is gone, and the Dolphins did beat the Jets with it. Funny how things change. That said, the defenses around the league have gotten better against it over the last couple of years.

  8. I remember back in 08 Rex criticized Miami for having to use trick plays to beat them. Now as a Dolphin fan I will also admit remembering Miami having to turn to the wildcat out of desperation being that the offense was so stagnate. My question is if the jets offense has no such problem with their offense why do they have to use “trick plays” to beat opposing teams.

  9. I get it. as coaches, you want to see how base offenses square up against base defenses so that you can see how some of the new guys and the fence players fare in a “mock game”.

  10. So is Marvin Lewis going to get fined for that call? I thought after the Harbaugh/Payton debacle last year we learned that discussing the game ahead of time was illegal.

  11. Coaches talk to each other before preseason games – especially the first game. This is all about evaluating talent and getting ready to make that painful first cut. Lewis asked for a favor from an old friend.

    The silly thing is Ryan shooting his mouth off about it, but that’s Rex.

    I wouldn’t read too much into the game, other than whose NFL dreams are about to come to an end.

  12. Just waiting for the Florio post specualating that Ryan and Lewis MAY be seen to have damaged the reputation of the game and COULD be investigated by the league, and POSSIBLEY be summoned to the Herr Goodell’s office…plus other lawerly, sanctimonious, I like the smell of my own farts, “speculation” that Trollio passes off as reporting.

  13. Seriously guys, when were we ever supposed to take anything Rex says seriously? He obviously made a joke, based on the report New York Daily News wrote.

  14. What is the deal with Rex? Why even offer any this crap up to the dopey media? Joke or not FOCUS on your team and their issues. And btw, you can guess Big Bill’s rings any time now.

  15. And that click you just heard was the sound of 31 NFL head coaches taking Rex Ryan’s number off their speed dial. :rolleyes:

    This guy just can’t shut up. Why would any NFL coach or player talk to this guy again, knowing that whatever they say, could be on the back of the NT tabliods the next day

    Lewis asking that a gimmick offense not be used, because it would hinder his evaluation of his players is SOP for most HC’s in the first preseason games.

    With the new CBA rules severely limiting the number of practices and hitting days, its more difficult than ever to do a decent job evaluating talent. Watching his team go against an offense that he’ll never see during the season would just make it more difficult for Lewis, He asked, and to Ryan’s credit, he complied.

    The was absolutely no need to broadcast to the media. It makes Lewis look weak, and Rex good… Lewis’ expense. If I were another HC in the league, I’d never talk to Rex about anything of substance for obvious reason.

  16. They have been friends for a long long time.They’ve won a SBowl together in BALtimore..I saw them hanging out for a long time yesterday before the game..Both were just laughing about something and I thought it was about the Refs coz Ryan kept looking at one of every once in a while before he would let out a loud laugh. Anyways his friend ask him about favor, its the preseason so why not.I’m sure Lewis wouldn’t ask him if it were the regular season..No big at all…

  17. Don’t buy it not-so-sexy-rexy. The bengals had Mohammed Sanu run te practice squad running the wildcat to prep all week. That’s why he didn’t many snaps at wr. Seriously doubt they would prep that much for it and then ask it not to be ran. Rex is making excuses for getting their asses handed to them.

  18. As a Dolphins fan, I have to say that I am worried about the Jets this year. The reason the wildcat failed in Miami is because Ireland and Sparano were unable to find a passing threat that could also run the ball (i.e. Pat White?!).

    The Jets have that in Tim Tebow, and if the offense is administered properly, that is sparsely and at the right times, then the Jets will have perfected the “gimmick offense”. Ronnie Brown was a great option for the wildcat, but lacked the pass threat that Timmy has. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

    Obviously, I hope they fall flat on their ugly green faces, but the pieces are certainly all there.

  19. really weird ….

    Tebow can’t run wildcat anyway… to do that the carrier has to hit the hole or turn the corner like Ricky or Ronnie

    Tebow do that? never…..

  20. I hate to break the news to PFT but 98% of the time coaches do this, the reason why Marvin did not want Rex to run the wild cat is he had diffrent packages he wanted to see the second stringers perform, if you run a wild cat you need to change the Defense.
    Raiders and Cowboys do this every year and this year is no exception.
    People don’t understand that this game is practice The only players that actually try are the guys trying to either make a roster spot or auditioning for Candidan leauge.

  21. Equally plausible that Marvin agreed to let Ryan use this cover story for why they didn’t run the wildcat. Who the heck knows. These preseason games are usually vanilla, though, so I’m sure it was to their mutual convenience.


  22. You could tell the Jets took it super easy on the Red Rocket and his team of Fancy Lads covered in kitty stripes.

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