As far as first impressions go, Rex Ryan did quite well for himself on Wednesday. His first statement actually received applause, something that is not the norm at a press conference introducing a head coach in the NFL.
The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator commented that he was looking for the new president a day after Barrack Obama’s inauguration because of all the cameras in the room. With a smile, he said, “I think we’ll get to meet him in the next couple of years anyway.” Ryan knows first hand that the Super Bowl champions visit the White House, as he did back in 2000 when Baltimore won Super Bowl XXXV.
Things always look and sound wonderful on a brand new coach’s first day on the job. Even when Rich Kotite was named back in 1995, no one could foresee that he would win only four games in his two years at the helm. So take this with a grain of salt. But Ryan did say a few things that haven’t been heard in these parts since Bill Parcells went away.
“You’re going to see an attack team here,” he said and referenced that they will be aggressive on both sides of the ball and on special teams and that it will be noticeable on their first day on the practice field. “We will have an all weather offense, and that starts with the running game,” he continued.
He also gave a message to the league: “The Jets are coming and we’re going to give you everything we’ve got, and that’s going to be, I think, more than you can handle.”
Just who is going to lead the Jets as the field general remains to be seen. The first question posed to Ryan was about Brett Favre, who will turn 40 in September when the new coach’s rookie season kicks off. The former Green Bay Packer had a rough last five games this past season and may require surgery to repair a torn biceps muscle, that is, if he decides to play another season or finally retire for good.
“I would think anybody would want him as their quarterback,” said Ryan, and reminisced about a game that Favre had against his Ravens back in 2001. Considering that was eight years ago, it really didn’t pertain to the future Hall of Famer’s current abilities, which have been greatly questioned. The Jets hierarchy of owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum has made it no secret that they want Favre back. It goes without saying that Ryan had little choice but to side with them if he wanted this job, if he honestly believes Favre is finished or not.
Sounding as if it were wishful thing, Ryan said, “He (Favre) may make that decision for us. We’ll look at it when the time comes.” The best-case scenario would be that Favre retires and lets the Jets know that right away. He has stated that he would let them know in February so they can prepare for the upcoming free agency period and NFL Draft.
The feeling is that taking over a team that had nine wins gives you a good opportunity for fast improvement. “There really doesn’t have to be a drastic change,” Ryan said, but followed that up by saying that there will be drastic changes in the style of play, particularly on defense.
Ryan also spoke of a philosophy that the team will have, which is a take on the K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid) saying. “Ours is a K.I.L.L. philosophy; we’re going to ‘Keep it likable and learnable.'”
Not what you would expect after hearing the word ‘kill,’ but words are words and actions are actions. And no one ever held the Lombardi Trophy with words.