Jets coach Rex Ryan has taken a lot of criticism as his team has missed the playoffs in the last two years, but he doesn’t believe that criticism is justified.
In fact, Ryan believes that he should be viewed more as the coach who took the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons than as the coach who had the Jets out of the playoffs in his next two seasons.
“I’m a hell of a lot better football coach than I’m given credit for,” Ryan told Newsday.
That quote may sound defensive, but Ryan insists that it doesn’t bother him if people don’t give him the credit for being the great football coach he is.
“I don’t care,” Ryan said. “I don’t need the credit. But I can tell you one thing, when it’s said and done, they’ll look back and say, ‘Oh man, this dude can coach his butt off.’ And you know what? It’s true. And I’ll let the people that know best talk on my behalf about the kind of coach I am. I don’t have to brag, even though statistically, I can brag about anything I’ve ever done defensively.”
Ryan is surely right that he can brag about what he’s done defensively: The Jets have played well on defense for all four of his seasons in New York. But Ryan is the head coach, not the defensive coordinator. And head coaches are judged by wins and losses.
So if Ryan is going to get credit for being a good coach, he just needs to win. If he does, he won’t have to talk about what a good coach he is because other people will say it for him.