So the New York Jets have their new head coach, Rex Ryan. The Jets were able to lure the defensive guru away from the Baltimore Ravens, where he has been for the past 10 years. New York offered Ryan a 4 year deal worth about 11 million dollars. He now takes over a Jets defense that was all over the map in 2008.
The Jets pass defense was the team's achilles heal all throughout the 2008 season. They ranked 29th in the league in passing yards against, giving up 235 yards per game in the air. A very odd stat considering you have Kerry Rhodes and Darelle Revis in the secondary. This is an area that needs to be addressed for the Jets to be successful in 2009.
The Jets defensive line was very successful for the first 11 games of the season. With Kris Jenkins leading the 3-4 defense, the Jets were ranked in the top 4 in the NFL throughout the first 11 games, surrendering about 78 yards per game on the ground. During that same time period, they did not allow a rusher to top the 100 yard mark. Over the final 5 games, the Jets allowed three 100 yard rushers and the other 2 games; they allowed over 100 total yards to multiple rushers. The defensive line just seemed to be tired and worn down at the end of the season.
We all have seen what the Ravens defense has done over the past 10 years. They always seem to be ranked near the top of the league, especially against the run. Baltimore has always seemed to have very talented players on their defense, including Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs to name a few. The question is: Is Ryan that good of a defense guru? Or is he only as talented as the players he is coaching? I personally would like to see Ryan call a lot of the defensive plays, but we shall see what the Jets do about hiring a defensive coordinator.
In January 2006, the Jets hired the Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini as their head coach after seeing what he did with a beat up defense in New England. As we all saw, one year as a defensive coordinator was obviously not enough to lead a defensively challenged team such as the Jets. Ryan has been the Ravens defensive coordinator for the past four years and was a defensive assistant for the six years previous to that. He has been on a Super Bowl winning team, a team that won a division once and a team that made the playoffs 5 times during the past 10 years. Only time will tell how Ryan fits with the Jets. And from what we have seen in the past with these Jets, he will have his hands full.