Rex Ryan to be more involved with Jets defense in 2012

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Rex Ryan wants to be more involved in New York's defense this season.

Coming off the news that Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is going to take the Dallas defense back to “square one” and slow down when installing it so everybody can learn it at a non-accelerated pace, his brother now is going to take more ownership of the defense he helps oversee in New York.

That, of course, is Rex Ryan and the Jets, and after the team fell to 20th in the league in points allowed last year (after placing sixth in 2010 and first in 2009), Ryan has made it clear he's going to be more involved in the day-to-day defensive operations this year.

Two of his players told the NY Post that Ryan was less involved in the defense last season, and already, Ryan's new interest in that unit has been noticeable.

“He did fade off a little bit,” cornerback Darrelle Revis told the paper. “I don't know the reason for it. He's a head coach. He has a lot on his plate. It's a lot of pressure. It's just something that maybe he thought he put more trust in the coaching staff and seeing that it kind of hurt us a little bit last year. Not to frown (on) any coaches or how they coach. It's good to see your head coach being involved and maybe just putting his two cents in, just hearing his voice every now and then in the meeting room. I think it's good.”

Obviously, this doesn't paint Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in the greatest light, although, to be fair, we should point out that New York was the fifth-best defense last season in terms of yards allowed (the Jets simply didn't do a good job of keeping opponents off the scoreboard).

And Ryan also said after last season that he needed to get a better pulse of the team, especially since he apparently didn't know the full extent of the implosion the Jets were experiencing toward the end of the season.

“Our locker room wasn't as close as it's been in the past, obviously, but one thing we know is we're going to fix it,” Ryan said in January. “We might have been knocked down this year but we're not knocked out. We're going to be swinging, and there's no doubt about it. But I can't wait. It's about moving forward, put that stuff behind us. But there's things we're going to learn from. This past season, 8-8 clearly is not good enough. We did have some issues where, obviously, I never did a good enough job of recognizing it and fixing it, but we're fixing it right now. There's no doubt about that.”

In the team's defensive meetings during voluntary workouts, Ryan has made more of an effort to sit in and help coach some of the younger players. It's clear to Revis that Ryan was upset with himself after the end of last season, especially since he didn't understand how bad the chemistry issues were (looking at you, Santonio Holmes).

“Rex didn't know some of the stuff that was going on,” Revis said. “He got wind of it at the tail end of the season. We tried to address it earlier through the players and it didn't work. He was blind from it because he thought it was over. At the tail end, all of this other stuff started coming out. I think that's why he's coming around more to be involved in what is going on and what everybody is doing and just talking to guys and making sure we're sound as a team.”

Only then, after he takes his hands-on approach, can Ryan get back to what he does best: predicting Super Bowls and allowing his team to eat a g------ snack.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.
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