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Big Daddy Rex shares his wisdom

It turns out that father does know best.


It turns out that father does know best.

Even after his offense scored nine points in nine quarters, Jets coach Rex Ryan continued to rally around quarterback Mark Sanchez and oft-criticized offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer last week. Fans scoffed at Rex’s rah-rah act, but no one was doubting him after the Jets’ 22-17 in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

“Rex is like a father,” fullback Tony Richardson said. “Sometimes the father believes in you more than the kid does.”
The public persona displayed a cool, almost cheerleader like confidence
in his team. Away from the camera and the podium, however, Ryan showed a
different side to only his team.

His main rallying cry came Saturday night at the team hotel. There were no goofy antics like wearing a wig and impersonating his brother, a defensive coordinator on the Browns. There were no gimmicks such as burying a game ball from the disastrous 45-3 loss at New England two weeks ago. And there certainly wasn’t any crying in front of his team as when Ryan broke down after a loss last season and openly wept in the locker room.

Instead, Ryan found his voice with a serious, impassioned plea to his team that called on them to stop underachieving and come out and get a win in Pittsburgh, a city where the Jets have never come away victorious in seven tries. Their head coach singled them out, calling on a team considered preseason favorites to make the Super Bowl to stop the bleeding and get a win. Enough is enough was the message from Ryan.

“I think he did it because he knew we can do it,” said left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

The Jets offense finally did something, scoring on a 9-yard bootleg from Sanchez, while the defense did its best against a solid Pittsburgh offense, bending but never breaking.

And now, a Jets team that had more question marks then answers a week ago has once again found its proverbial swagger after an emotional speech from Ryan put the season in perspective.

“That’s overblown I’m sure,” said Ryan, refusing to take a major chunk of credit for his team's spirited performance. “I’m just an average person that speaks from the heart.”

The heartbeat, however, came at a time when the Jets season was on life support.

The Jets needed this win in the worst way as Calvin Pace put it, to “get that bad taste out of your mouth.” After getting blown out two weeks ago in Foxborough and then dropping a sloppy 10-6 game to Miami last week, New York was in danger of missing the playoffs with a loss on Sunday.

Now, the resurgent Jets can clinch a postseason berth this week with a win at Chicago, making consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 2001 and '02. That should be all the motivation the Jets need.

“It’s not like I script a speech,” Ryan said. “I am who I am every day. We just want to win.”

 
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