Opinion: Rex Ryan made a mistake taking Jets to Dave & Busters

Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan made a big mistake off the field Saturday night blowing off normal team meetings.
Credit: Getty Images

The fun and games stopped for the Jets in the second quarter of Sunday’s blowout road loss at the Bills and suddenly they became the mole in “Whac-a-mole.”

The Jets skipped normal offensive and defensive meetings at their team hotel on Saturday night, instead opting for a trip to Dave & Busters to play arcade games and eat bar food. But the Jets were apparently so wrapped up in the good times they forgot to play football on Sunday afternoon, a 37-14 loss, dropping them to 5-5 and erasing their cushion for a wild-card berth.

Rookie quarterback Geno Smith should have been focused on making smart passes against a healthy Bills secondary and not passing the plate of cheese fries. By the way, that probably got picked off as well.

The Jets didn’t need an excursion on Saturday night in Buffalo and everyone from general manager John Idzik to head coach Rex Ryan are culpable in this one. Coming off a bye week, the focus had to be on being mentally sharp against the Bills. A night out in Buffalo with the boys shouldn’t have been on the agenda.

Last Wednesday, four days before the game against the Bills, Ryan termed the team’s practice that day as not “as sharp as I’d like.” That is not surprising coming off a bye week where players have to wipe off the rust and perhaps a little lethargy. Mental preparation should be key in a game like this.

So after a bye week and a week of practice that wasn’t as sharp as the head coach would like, Ryan inexplicably put his team on the field against a divisional opponent not as prepared as they could be. A trip to Dave & Busters was not necessary from a mental standpoint and it surely didn’t help them physically.

After the game, Ryan was a tad bit dismissive about the whole situation, but it is his job and his reputation on the line.

It is known that he is a player’s coach, but Ryan has to know better than this. He has a new general manager over him now and he is walking a very fine line. A Saturday night out with no team meetings created the perfect storm for him, and left the Jets looking lackluster from the start. A 20-0 halftime score underscored Ryan had made a mistake.

Where the Jets go from here is anyone’s guess. A glum Ryan took to the podium on Monday afternoon, looking as down as he has during any of the past two seasons. Ryan summed it up succinctly as he gripped the podium and barely looked up.

“Obviously we didn’t play anywhere close to where we thought we would,” Ryan said. “We know we have to play better. That’s not hard to figure out.”

It is plain to see that the fault for this blowout lies on his shoulders, on a lapse back to the loosey-goosey style of leadership that created a mess out of the 2011 season. Those were the kind of poor decisions off the field that put him on the coaching hot seat earlier this season.

Ryan can say, “We have to play better. That’s not hard to figure out,” but that’s only half the truth. Ryan has to have the Jets playing smarter, too.

Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.