The line between confidence and arrogance is often razor thin. Sometimes, a player or a coach will say something meant to sound confident that falls on the other side of the line for everyone else. For me, that's exactly what happened when Rex Ryan tried to explain that he's not given enough credit for being a great coach.
"I’m a hell of a lot better football coach than I’m given credit for," Ryan told Newsday.
"I don’t care," Ryan continued. "I don’t need the credit. But I can tell you one thing, when it’s said and done, they’ll look back and say, ‘Oh man, this dude can coach his butt off.’ And you know what? It’s true. And I’ll let the people that know best talk on my behalf about the kind of coach I am. I don’t have to brag, even though statistically, I can brag about anything I’ve ever done defensively."
As a defensive coach, there's no doubt Ryan is one of the best. It's his work as a defensive coordinator that convinced owner Woody Johnson to hire Ryan as his head coach, and it's that body of work that convinced Johnson to insist that Ryan deserved another year.
Unfortunately, it seems that's where the greatness stops for Rex Ryan. He's often outcoached within games by the opposition, and he rarely has a good feel for the attitude of his team. In addition, he's ran a near-perfect circus atmosphere with Mark Sanchez and friends, doing and saying little to remedy the situation.
Ultimately, Rex Ryan isn't considered a great head coach because he's not there yet. Bill Belichick has had the Patriots in Super Bowl contention for a decade, year-in and year-out. The Patriots have been a model of stability in that time, something the Jets haven't been able to accomplish. Rex Ryan doesn't have to model his behavior off of the always stoic Bill Belichick, but he has to have complete control of his team, and that's something Ryan has continued to struggle with in New York.
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