Rex Needs To Find Jets Identity

Early Sunday morning the NY Daily News reported that Jet wide receivers Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes, and Derrick Mason have each individually gone to head coach Rex Ryan to complain about Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s plan.

This was before the Jets lost to the Pats, marking their third consecutive defeat. Now, as the Jets stand at (2-3) they need to find a plan. 

Whether the core receivers went to Rex or not, is no longer important. Yes, it was strange the Jets vehemently denied the reports rather than ignoring them. It was weird that Derrick Mason was benched in the first half of the Patriot game, but none of that matters.The Jets need to turn it around, and fast.

After 5 weeks, the preseason goal of winning the division as to gain home field for a playoff game, is quickly dying. How can they turn it around? It starts with finding there identity.

In their first year together, the marriage of coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez went smoothly. Together they took the league by surprise. Rex brought with him a mastermind defense, and implemented it with players he coached in Baltimore like LB Bart Scott.

The Jets didn’t expect much out of Sanchez, and went with a ground and pound philosophy. Sanchez would pass when necessary but the offense was fueled by the run game of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.

Although the tailbacks changed, the Jets used the same philosophy last year, and for two straight years they went to the AFC championship. This season, however, they veered from that plan. As early as the Dallas game, the Jets seemed to confuse  who they are and who they should be. They are passing the ball, but not hitting receivers. They are running the ball, but not for gains. The defense is not what it was last year, and not even close to the way it was the year before that. The secondary commits penalty after penalty playing defense with their hands, and flat out tripping receivers. The line has a tough time stopping the run, and no one can tackle.

We can’t know if the receivers went to Rex, but we can be sure they are not happy. Just like everyone on the roster, they don’t know their role. Rex better define some roles before Monday nights game. This Jets team lost leaders in Jericho Cottchery, Sean Ellis and T-Rich. Now is the time for Rex to prove he is more than just an act. He needs to take this team, and put it on his back; because Sanchez has failed to do so.

Teams know what the Jets do, and have figured out how to attack it. The grace period that allowed both Rex and Sanchez to settle into NY has ended, and the excrement is about to hit the fan. If Rex doesn’t figure things out fast, then all the things he has done, all the silly press conferences, all the bold predictions, are about to fly back into his face. It won’t be pretty.


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