In what may be Rex Ryan’s last season as head coach of the New York Jets, it has been reported by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that Rex Ryan will take over play-calling duties on the defensive side of the ball. This 2013 season will serve as an audition for the coach for a future defensive coordinator job after this year. Smart move, Rex.
After back-to-back mediocre seasons for the Jets, Ryan has to know that his job is on the line, so it was wise of Rex to announce that he will call the Jets’ defensive plays. It’s the best chance he has of saving his job, or immediately getting another one, if he shows he can consistently call a good defensive game.
Ryan called the majority of the defensive plays when he took over the Jets as head coach in 2009; that season the Jets had the top overall defense in the league. The following two seasons, the Jets finished in the top five. Last year, when Pettine took over the calls, the defense finished eighth.
Although Ryan’s aggressive schemes are still in place, some of the talent is not. Can the Jets have a top defensive unit with Rex calling the plays? It will be extremely tough to accomplish that with the Jets’ thinning roster—especially on defense.