It took them four preseason games to score their first touchdown, but Rex Ryan still believes the 2012 Jets can not only be good -- but be the best team he's ever coached.
“I really like this team. I really like this team," the coach reiterated Friday, a day after telling Newsday the same thing. "I don’t know if we’re as strong, like, in this one area or that are, or specials teams. But overall, in my opinion, I think this has the chance to be the best team I’ve had since I’ve been the coach here.”
The basis for Ryan’s (latest) bold assessment is this: his players understand the importance of “complementary football." Sometimes the offense is going to be rolling, but at other times, the defense will be asked to “stand on their heads” like a hockey goalie, Ryan said.
“It’s all about winning,” added the coach, whose teams finished 9-7, 11-5 and 8-8, respectively, over the last three years. “It’s not about stats, it’s not about anything else but trying to find a way to win. And I think our team understands that."
Ryan led the Jets to back-to-back AFC championship appearances in his first two seasons (2009, 2010) before they collapsed down the stretch in 2011. But this Jets team has the potential to do bigger and better things this season, said their coach.
“When that defense is on the field, I want our offense cheering them on, and (to be) expecting big things from them and all that. The whole group – not just Santonio (Holmes). The entire offense. And same thing with our defense cheering on that offense. I can tell you this: our defense is excited about our offense. I understand, we scored one touchdown. I understand that. But we know the body of what’s been out there, what we’re trying to develop and we’re excited to see it. …I think we have a good football team. And I think we have an excellent group of players and excellent coaching staff and that’s why I’m confident. I think this is going to be a good team.
“Now, I don’t know how many wins that’ll be. But I know one thing, we will play as a team. And I think we’re going to be a good team.”