Though Rex Ryan has calmed down from making his infamous guarantees in recent years, the Jets coach is still occasionally willing to throw something brash out there. Like, for instance, that the Jets will have a top-five defense.
To be fair to Rex, he was asked if he would have a top-five defense. But to be fair to Rex's bravado, he was just being asked about a previous boast he made when he said he was the "best defensive coach in the league." Rex then was "just basing it on facts" and noted that he'd basically always had a top-five defense. So, back to the original question: will this year's Jets' defense be a top-five unit?
"We will be," Ryan said of making it in the top five. "Right now we're not there. Obviously we've got to make some improvements, especially from this past week but I'm certainly confident that we'll be where we always are or better."
You'll never guess what Rex is basing the Jets improvement and eventual top-five ranking on. Just the facts, Jack.
"My history,” Ryan said. “There will be a lot of new faces in there but I guess you put that decal on the side of your helmets that says New York Jets you have to be special, you have to understand that there's expectations that come along with it, and I expect our guys to play extremely well."
Now Rex has some justification in claiming he'll have a top five defense. He actually hasn't ever had a defense out of the top six in the NFL when he was either the coordinator or the head coach. That's really, really impressive, regardless of how good the players on the Ravens and Jets were.
If anyone can throw the Jets roster into the blender and come away with a fresh batch of chicken salad, it's Rex. Unfortunately for him it might not matter how good the defense is if the offense can't score points.
And for as good a defensive coach as he is, he hasn't shown a real knack for figuring out to pile up the points on offense. That trend should continue in 2013. If his defense slips at all the Jets could be in even bigger trouble than we expect.