I really like Rex Ryan but he aspires to something he will never be -- a great head coach. Ryan is one of the best defensive coordinators in professional football but he will never find success running an NFL team.
Like his father Buddy (one of the best defensive coaches and innovators in the history of the game), Rex was not satisfied with the distinction of being a great defensive coordinator and insisted on head coach status despite lacking the leadership abilities necessary to helm a team. For both Buddy and Rex, compassion for their players and friendships with them worked successfully for both as defensive coordinators but proved ineffectual after they became head coaches. To blame the Jet's failure on Geno Smith is unproductive and ultimately unfair. Smith is a 23 year old rookie whose success will be determined by how well he is nurtured and developed by his head coach, and I don't believe Ryan has the ability nor the interest in doing that. The mediocre performance of special teams and lack of execution by the Jets as a whole has to ultimately be the responsibility of the head coach. I also blame Jet's the continual inertia on lack of strong leadership from Rex Ryan.
There are many head coaches lacking Ryan's football IQ who simply have better managerial and leadership skills. It should be a more satisfying achievement to attain prominence as a brilliant defensive coordinator than to find only mediocrity as a head coach, yet Ryan will damage his legacy -- and perhaps finish his career prematurely -- for the sake of gratifying his ego.
Rex Ryan is an exemplary Colonel, but in order to win, the Jets need an exceptional General.
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