Mike Vaccaro writes a tribute piece to the job Rex has done in today's Post.
You want to know why Rex Ryan is good for the Jets, good for football, good for New York City? You want to know why we need his kind of outlook, approach, philosophy and feistiness to work — specifically, why we need it all to work this Sunday, when the Jets face the Bengals with a playoff berth hanging in the balance?
Well, there are a lot of reasons.
Here’s one. Here’s Braylon Edwards, speaking about the concerns of Jets fans who are so often wary of prosperity, who are always waiting for the other shoe to slam down on top of them like an anvil falling from atop the Chrysler Building:
Think about the way 99.879 percent of coaches everywhere would respond to such easy bulletin-board fodder. Good Lord, just think what the veins on Eric Mangini’s neck would look like if someone had said this quote this time last year, or even how red-faced Tom Coughlin would get if one of his Giants decided to do it.
But this is who Ryan is, who he’s been from the start, when he was talking about shaking President Obama’s hand with a Super Bowl ring on his finger, how he said in various ways he wouldn’t kow-tow to Bill Belichick, how he coaxed and goaded fans to come out and be loud, how he cried when things went poorly, how he crowed when things went well . . .
And, not for nothing, he looks like he might really be a hell of a coach, too.
"You can see how much it means to him to be the coach of this team," said Bart Scott, who played for Ryan in Baltimore and followed him to New York. "You can tell how much he appreciates having a chance to coach us, and to coach here. He’s a genuine guy, man. You want to play for a guy like that."
I think the Bart Scott quote says a lot. These guys aren't just blustering. When somebody speaks up and makes a bold prediction, they believe it because they believe in their head coach. I understand the Jets may have gone overboard with the talk at times this year, but I can live with that. There's a big difference in football between believing you can win and expecting to win. Every team does the first. The real contenders do the second. I have always felt like past Jets teams were hoping to win. Now they believe any loss is a shock. That bodes well for the future regardless of what happens Sunday.