Shaun Ellis has seen plenty of new coaches walk in the door and promise to change the Jets culture from perennial losers to consistent winners. He’s played under Al Groh, Herm Edwards and Eric Mangini. Why was Rex Ryan able to not only make the same promise, but keep it?
“We have a better team,” Ellis said. “Look at our team, man. The last two years, look at it. It’s going in a good direction, man.”
Ellis noted how Ryan brought in his own players and made changes to the roster. They also added players such as Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and others.
“Rex didn’t come in with the old Jets mentality,” Ellis said. “He came in with a fresh mind, doing it his way, and look what it’s gotten us. The roster turned around … We’re a good ball club and you look at the guys we’re missing, Kris (Jenkins) , Jimmy (Leonhard), (Damien) Woody. We’re a loaded ball team.”
Ryan's way of doing things was startling to Ellis at first.
"With me coming through Mangini and Al Groh and Herm, it was a little bit different," the 11-year veteran and longest-tenured Jet said. "Definitely coming from Mangini and then seeing Rex, I couldn’t believe it. I was like 'Oh my God!' I wasn’t used to that. I was like 'Slow down! Whoa!'"
Ellis added that he's heard a lot of inspirational speeches by coaches in his day.
"But Rex is by far the best," Ellis said. "He just tells it to you like it is, the truth, and the whole coaching staff feeds off of it. There’s no shyness about him. The players feed off it, positive or negative. Guys, we just eat it."