Jets head coach Rex Ryan is entering a contract year. The New York Jets have not offered up an extension, instead opting to give their coach the last year of his contract to convince them that he’s still the man for the job.
If, however, the Jets get off to a rough start, Ryan will quickly inherit the “lame-duck” status, something that he’s not too concerned about.
“I’m not worried about being a lame-duck guy,” Ryan told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “I’m not worried about that. I am not. I look at this as an opportunity. . . . Look, I’m disappointed in the product that we put on the field (in 2012) both personally (and for) our fans. Because I’m a Jet fan. I’m no different than anybody else.
“At the end of the day, we’ll see what happens,” Ryan continued. “I’m certainly not worried about it. In fact, I’m doing just the opposite. I can’t wait. I’m popping out of my skin, because I feel in my heart I know what it’s going to look like.”
Even with the team’s shortcomings over the past two seasons, Ryan’s team hasn’t given up on him, in fact, quite the opposite has happened if you believe cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
“There’s no such thing as a hot seat. You just got to go out and win games. . . . He’s beyond the right guy for the job,” Cromartie told the Daily News. “I think everybody that’s here wants to come in and play for Rex. That’s what it’s really all about. When you get guys to buy into Rex’s system and what he’s doing and what he’s saying, then you can go out there and play better.”
With a new general manager and few playmakers on offense, the deck seems stacked against Ryan heading into a make-or-break season with the Jets. If the Jets find that they have a serviceable quarterback on their roster, suddenly Ryan has a chance to make things work in New York, especially with a very good defense. If things go sour early in the season, however, that “lame-duck” label will appear, and once it’s there, there’s not much he can do to turn things around.