The case for keeping Rex Ryan

Why the Jets' head coach should stay, but other changes must be made

Updated: December 27, 2013, 8:43 AM ET
By Louis Riddick | ESPN Insider

Rex Ryan Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesRex Ryan is 41-38 in five seasons as head coach of the New York Jets.

There are many times in life when we come full circle. Something changes, either with the subject or our perspective, and we reverse course. In the NFL, you can come full circle pretty quickly due to the massive shifts in outcomes and emotions that the game creates. Our feelings toward the teams and the individuals who coach and play for those teams can fluctuate between rational and irrational on many levels, from the larger samples of a win-loss record to the minutiae, such as the details of a dropped pass in the end zone.

The way that teams and players react to those outcomes can be a factor, and the postgame remarks made by the head coach certainly qualify.

In part because of the power of that reaction space, no team or fan base outside of Dallas has been subjected to the roller coaster of emotion that the New York Jets have in recent years, and they've taken that to a new level in 2013. The Jets alternated between winning and losing on a weekly basis for the first 10 games of the current regular season; it was as if the on-field performance had finally caught up to the hot-and-cold news cycle. It was practically caricature.

During this stretch, they doubled down on the highs and lows, defeating quality teams that had been consistent, winning franchises in recent years, such as New England and New Orleans, then getting blown out by Tennessee in Week 4 and at division rival Buffalo in Week 10. But something has been different this season. The ups and downs of the team haven't been amplified by the persona or comments of the man in charge.


To read Louis Riddick's full explanation as to why Rex Ryan should be back as Jets coach, sign up for Insider today.