Jets’ Ryan going back to defensive roots

Rex Ryan.
ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES

The Jets and head coach Rex Ryan are going back to basics on the defensive side of the ball. Even though the Jets were the No. 5 total defense in the league last year, a unit that had carried the team the previous two seasons suffered from serious breakdowns and poor communication.

That means Ryan is spending more time with his defense than in years past, including far more involvement in defensive meetings this spring. According to several players on the team, Ryan has been a constant presence in their film sessions, joining defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on an almost daily basis.

“I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself because of what I expect from this team, what our players expect, what this organization expects, what our fans expect. We want to win, all of us. When I say ‘we,’ I’m including the fans, you name it. We expect to win. Whoever out there, they expect the Jets to be a good football team. We don’t want to disappoint them. Let’s make sure we’re a good football team. We want to be in that race,” Ryan said.

“I want us to be in a home playoff game. Is that difficult? Yeah. You got a team up the road. New England has been to a million of ’em in a row. We know there’s a lot of work to do, but we want to be there; there’s no question. Pressure, it’s not a security thing for me. It never has been about that for me. I want to win; I want to be special. Just like the Giants were last year, I want to be special. So that’s what’s driving me.”

As a head coach, Ryan was highly involved in the defense his first two years with the Jets, but backed off in his involvement last year, focusing more on the struggling offense. Now, Ryan doesn’t need to be as involved on the offensive side of the ball with former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano as the offensive coordinator, freeing him up to focus his attention on his much beloved 3-4 defense.

Last year, Ryan would occasionally attend meetings of the defense, but nowhere near the amount of he has attended this offseason. Cornerback Kyle Wilson told Metro New York that Ryan’s chief involvement this year has been getting the defense on the same page and hopefully, a better understanding of the scheme and why certain calls are made during the course of the game.

For a defense that conceded a number of heartbreaking, big plays last season, it is a call for responsibility and accountability.

“He’s teaching a little more in the meetings — definitely a bit more consistent coming in. Somehow he’s in there, every day, every other day. Just giving us more tidbits of information to help us learn and understand. He’s trying to make sure that we’re on the same page,” Wilson said.

“Giving us a little bit of a different voice, a different perspective on things. It is cool – different, but really it is about bringing all three levels of the defense on the same page.”

But even with Ryan returning to his proverbial roots — before becoming the Jets head coach he was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore for four seasons — there isn’t friction with his presence in the film meetings. It would be easy for Ryan to butt heads with Pettine, but Wilson said that his coach is there to add guidance, not take control of the meetings.

Nose tackle Sione Pouha likened Ryan’s presence to an advanced placement class in high school where the instruction is just a notch deeper and more specific.

“It is really intense and great at the same time having him in there with Mike Pettine. It really is, because you have two defensive minds in there who can help break down things and help you understand things,” Pouha told Metro New York.

“For me, it’s like being in an AP class right now, the type of learning we’re getting. Having Rex in there, it is going back to his roots really, I mean, he made his name as a defensive coordinator with the Ravens. So having him in there, having his understanding and just a different perspective. That’s key for us.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for all your offseason news.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.