Lack of focus and discipline sinks JetsNovember 18, 2009
Before I delve into the Jets’ problems, I want to say a few words about the whole Rex Ryan “crying incident.”
First, Damien Woody is a done in my book. What a rat. How does a player violate the sanctity of “what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room?”
Despicable. As a fan, I want to know what happens in the locker room, but I respect a team that keeps its business to itself. It’s a sign of trust and unity.
Second, I don’t understand the fuss being made over Ryan shedding a few tears when he addressed his team after Sunday’s 24-22 loss to the Jaguars. It’s one thing to cry and whimper or plead to your team to play better. If that was the case — which I don’t think it was — then I would lose all respect for Ryan.
But I don’t peg Ryan as the type of coach to plead through tears. I think he simply got emotional when trying to rally his troops from a debilitating loss. He is a passionate leader, who cares about his team, his players and the fans. If he’s saying, “You’re better than this. We’re better than this. We need to stick together. We win together, we lose together, but God Damn, we do it together!!!” then you know what, I can’t blame the guy for getting emotional.
Ryan is the antithesis of Eric Mangini. The “Mang-idiot” was lifeless, emotionless and was a walking zombie at times. The media hated him because he never gave them anything to run with. Ryan, on the other hand, wears his emotions on his sleeve, and the same people who criticized Mangini for giving so little, are berating Ryan for giving too much. Just be yourself, Rex. Don’t change for us. If you tone it down, everyone will call you a phony.
But to more pressing matters.
The Jets have lost five of their last six games, two by the hands of the offense, and three by poor defense. In those three loses, Ryan’s vaunted defense could not make the stop it needed to win the game. I actually think the defense is overrated.
They miss tackles, miss assignments, lack focus and overall, don’t create turnovers. The only teams in the AFC to have less interceptions than the Jets are Kansas City, Oakland, Cleveland and Denver. They are in the bottom of the league in sacks, and are ranked 18th in the NFL in 3rd conversions.
The defense is good, but don’t let the fact that they stop the run well and only give up 18 points per game fool you. When the team needed it most, it failed.
I put that on Rex Ryan. When they burn timeouts because, not once, but twice had too many men on the field, it’s a sign of a dearth of focus. Then, when it looked like the Jets were prime to make a stop late in the 4th quarter against the Jags, the team had the wrong defensive alignment in and couldn’t change it in time. Mercedes Lewis caught a 33-yard pass that essentially ended the game.
To add insult to injury, Ryan called his final timeout to tell the defense they would play a “free way” defense, basically allowing Maurice Jones Drew to score. They couldn’t even get that right. Someone in the secondary tackled MJD. When MJD saw that the Jets would let him score, he did the right thing, and took a knee on the next play, ending the Jets hope for a victory.
When a team has two weeks off and comes out in the first half, blows multiple tackles, gives up 100 yards rushing and 21 points, there is a lack of focus.
I don’t know if Ryan’s tears can make this team re-focus.