It’s no secret that Jets coach Rex Ryan’s future is on the line this year.
And if that’s the case, he’s going to take hold of it the best he knows how.
Ryan said he intends to take a more hands-on role with the Jets defense this year, but not because he doesn’t trust new coordinator Dennis Thurman.
“It has nothing to do with Dennis’ ability,” Ryan said, via Kimberly Martin of Newsday. “I mean, there’s a reason for four straight years people wanted him to be their coordinator and we denied it every time. So it has nothing to do with Dennis’ ability.”
Even if only subliminally, it has everything to do with Ryan himself.
He scaled back in his third season as head coach, letting Mike Pettine have more control. But Ryan’s going back to running walk-throughs and installing, the kind of stuff that was delegated in the past.
He’s also replacing seven starters, including several elders and the best cornerback in football in Darrelle Revis. That means more teaching defense, leaving the offense more in the hands of Marty Mornhinweg (and in the process taking a little poke at departed coordinator Tony Sparano).
“I’m going to go back to doing what I do, and that’s teach and coach primarily on defense,” Ryan said. “We hired a great offensive coach. Will I be involved there? Of course. But I do my best down there on defense. . . .
“I think we’re better served if I’m on the defensive side and making sure we’ve got the rules set the way I see it set.”
Translated, if he’s going down, he’s going down swinging.