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Comparing Rex Ryan's Tenure to Other NYJ Coaches

Rex Ryan has spent the last six years guiding the Jets. He found early success in 2009 and 2010 followed by humiliating failures in 2 of the last 3 seasons. How does his reign hold up over time?

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Jets have had 17 coaches if you include the AFL Titans in their history.* You don't need me to tell you how many Super Bowls/Championship games the Jets have appeared in/won, but did you know the Jets have played 25 playoff games since 1968? And of those 25, Rex is the leader with 6 playoff appearances? Let's break down some of the stats to see how Rex lines up compared to other head coaches.

*interm head coaches included

Of the 17 head coaches: 3 lasted less than a year: The list includes Lou Holtz who went 3-10 in 1976 before resigning and handing off the reigns to Mike Hovolak who coached only one game for the Jets-- a loss.

Ken Shipp was named interim coach in 1975 replacing Charley Winner.  Shipp went 1-4 over the last 5 games of the year and never was a NFL head coach again. He was replaced the following year by the aforementioned Lou Holtz.

3 other coaches were one and done with the Jets/Titans. Bulldog Turner lasted only a year with the then Titans amassing a 5-9 record in 1962. He like Holtz and Shipp, never was a head coach again. Pete Carroll was infamously fired after the 1994 season after one year. His record was a very mediocre 6-10. After over a decade, he returned to the NFL and currently is leading the Hawks to another playoff appearance.

Perhaps the most unique case of head coaches in Jets history is one Al Groh. In 2000, he started the year 9-4, but dropped the last 3 games to finish 9-7. Despite the winning record, he resigned as the head coach to coach at Virginia University. The unique part: he's one of only 3 head coaches to have a winning record.

Just to reiterate: six of the 17 coaches lasted a year or less for the Jets/Titans and only three of 17 have winning records.

Rex's six years at the helm are longer than the reigns of his predecessors Eric Mangini (3 years) and Herm Edwards (5 years). Among the other coaches:  Rex lasted longer than Rich Kotite (2 miserable years), Bruce Coslett (4 years) Bill Parcells (3 years as coach), Charlie Winner (1.5 seasons) and Sammy Baugh who lasted two years for the AFL Titans.

3 coaches tie or beat Rex's tenure as a Jets head Coach: Walt Michaels lasted 6 seasons as a head coach until 1982, when he resigned. His replacement, Joe Walton lasted a total of 7 seasons until being fired in 1989. The Jets leader, in terms of games coached was Weeb Ewbank who guided the Jets for 11 seasons.

Not surprisingly, Ewbank leads the Jets coaches in all time regular season wins: racking up 71* regular season victories Where does Rex fit in this group?

*Ewbanks tenure occurred when the NFL played 14 game regular seasons.

Rex's 46 regular season wins place him third only behind Joe Walton's 53 and Ewbank's 71. Walt Michaels* and Herm Edwards tied for fourth place with 39 regular season wins.

*Michaels, coached only 9 regular season games in 1982 due to the strike, and compiled a 6-3 record. He would have needed to win out during the regular season to match Ryan's regular season total.

In terms of win-loss Rex Ryan's regular season win percentage stands at .479. That places him tied for 6th overall behind the likes of Parcells (.604), Al Groh (.563), Sammy Baugh (.500),* Herm Edwards (.488), and Ewbank with .481. Ironically, he's tied with his predecessor, Eric Mangini with the exact same win-loss percentage. (This percentage includes ties as .5 wins in the calculation.)

*AFL Titans

Of the 17 coaches of the Jets/Titans nearly half (8) have made the playoffs. Rex Ryan's teams have made the playoffs twice in 6 years, good for a .333 percentage. By contrast: Herm Edwards was the most successful coach by this metric: appearing in the playoffs for 3 of his 5 seasons at the helm. Parcells, Mangini, and Walton also had a .333 playoff/season percentage. By comparison: Ewbank's teams only made the playoffs twice in 11 years.

The 8 coaches to make the playoffs In Jets history have coached a total of 25 postseason games. Rex Ryan has coached the most overall, a total of six playoff games. Herm Edwards is next with 5 playoff appearances while Walt Michaels places third with 4. Ewbank and Walton have only 3 to their credit. Parcells only had two appearances.

Percentage wise: Rex accounts for just under a quarter of Jet playoff appearances and is the only coach to average a playoff game per season average.

Rex is tied with Ewbank for the best in team history with a .666 playoff winning percentage in playoff games. Walt Michaels and Parcells are the only other coaches who have a non-losing  percentages in the playoffs. Both men have gone .500 in postseason play.   In total, The Jets have won 12 of 25 playoff games. Rex Ryan accounts for 33% of Jets playoff victories, winning 4 in his tenure. Herm Edwards, Parcells, and Ewbank all have won two playoff games.

"Playoff wins divided by seasons coached" reveals another interesting factoid. Rex's 4 wins in six seasons are good for a .666 percentage. That averages out to two playoff wins every three years. No coach in Jets history has better than one playoff win per three year percentage.

Rex also holds the record for AFC championship appearances with two trips to the Semifinal. Only Parcells, Michaels and Ewbank have made that game. Of course Ewbank is the only coach to win the AFC championship game.

Summation: Rex Ryan was amongst the most successful playoff coaches in Jets history. He appeared in the most postseason games, tied for best winning percentage, and won the most games. His playoff appearance per season is the best in team history.

However, his regular season places him in 6th place, tied with Eric Mangini. Discounting one and done and interim coaches, Ryan is barely in the top 50% of Jets history which is marred with horrible W/L records. Additionally, the last 4 years his team have not had a winning record or playoff appearance.

Historically a good comparison isn't always the easiest to make, but I'll offer one: Walt Michaels. Michaels lasted 6 seasons, and like Rex made the playoffs in two of them. He also took a Jets team to the championship game and lost. Michaels like Rex had two .500 seasons, two horrid seasons, and two very successful years. Had 1982 not been shortened, perhaps Michaels would have been closer to Rex's W/L percentage and regular season wins total. The big difference: Rex found his success early with the Jets, while Michaels found his later in his tenure.

That's Rex's tenure in a nutshell.