Should It Be Playoffs or Bust for Rex Ryan?
Rex Ryan has undeniably become one of the more polarizing names in all of New York sports, but his status as head coach of the New York Jets has come into question over the last year or so. Rex Ryan was actually somewhat expected to be fired last off-season in the aftermath of Woody Johnson appointing John Idzik as the new general manager for gang green because the common notion was that Idzik was to handpick his own head coach to help turn this franchise around, but it is believed that Woody Johnson insisted on keeping Rex Ryan for at least one more season, or so we thought.
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Now Rex Ryan has coached his way onto a new lease on life and has inked an extension to remain as the head man in charge for a few more seasons, albeit not fully guaranteed, because after all this is the NFL. In short order the New York Jets can opt-out of said contract early if they wished to elect to do so.
So with Rex Ryan squeezing out an 8-8 season out of a team that included one of the more depleted offenses seen in quite some time, along with a depleted secondary, the Jets were in position for a wild card spot in the NFL playoffs as late as week 15. However 2013 also marked the 3rd straight season in which the Jets did not make the playoffs, all under the watch of Rex Ryan, so this begs for our question of the day: Should this be playoffs or bust for Rex Ryan as head coach of the New York Jets?
Well, I’m here to help you all out, because I am that kind of guy…
Back in 2009 and 2010, the first two seasons of the Rex Ryan era, the New York Jets finished with records of 9-7 and 11-5 respectively, and went 2-1 in each year’s playoffs, all of which were road games, that gives Rex Ryan a combined record of 24-16 in his first two seasons as Jets head coach. Since then he and his troops have missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons while going 8-8, 6-10, and 8-8 again, which is a combined record of 22-26. This gives Rex Ryan a regular season record of 42-38, and a combined record of 46-40, and oh by the way he has the second highest winning percentage in the history of a franchise that is still looking for its first Super Bowl appearance, let alone victory, in 45 years. Rex Ryan’s regular season winning percentage is just about 53%, and with the all-important six playoff games that percentage gets bumped up to just about 54%, second only to Bill Parcells who racked up 60% of victories over three seasons.
We are disregarding Al Groh’s one season in which the Jets went 9-7, which equates to a win percentage of 56%, because it was only one damn season.
And while we’re at it, let me add that Rex Ryan owns these following New York Jets franchise records:
- Most playoff games coached (6).
- Most playoff wins (4). Second place has 2.
- Most road playoff wins (4).
- Tied Weeb Ewbank, the only Super Bowl winning head coach in Jets history, for best playoff win percentage; 66.7%.
- Best winning percentage of any Jets head coach who coached for over 3 seasons; 53%.
- Only Jets head coach to have at least a 50% winning percentage after 4 seasons of more.
So should he be coaching–again–for his job next season even if all of this reigns true?
Well here’s the issue at hand; we are all well-aware that this is a what have you done for me lately business, and as of late Rex Ryan has missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. I believe that despite all of this, and despite my feelings personally because I do believe that he was worthy of an extension after arguably his greatest coaching job to date, that Rex Ryan may be in some serious trouble if the Jets finish 8-8 again and miss the postseason.
Missing the playoffs four straight times is not something to take likely, as good as a coach as he has proved to be. This season, excuses will be minimal judging by the off-season in which John Idzik and company have had thus far. Rex Ryan may finally have a legitimate offense for the first time since he’s lead his 2009 & 2010 Jets to the AFC championship game in back-to-back seasons. Coach Ryan has shown that he can do more with less, and this season is critical for his career, as well as everyone else involved including his general manager John Idzik.
Rex Ryan has fielded elite defenses ever since he stepped foot in East Rutherford for the first time, but has not had a variety of offensive weapons since the Jets made two AFC championships. The feeling is that New York Jets are on the uprising; however another thing that Rex Ryan has never had is a very good quarterback. Will they have one in Geno Smith? Will Michael Vick step in and be that guy?
We don’t know yet.
In my opinion, John Idzik has every right to let Rex go if the Jets don’t make the post-season for the fourth straight year; however I do think that the Jets will get a wild card spot this season, and that Rex Ryan will ultimately live to fight another season.