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
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.