Adam Auslund was a long time intern for multiple shows on the FOX Sports Network, but has now found his place, and a job, working for The Petros and Money Show.
Originally from Nor Cal, he’s been described as a bitter, broken sports fan ever since he experienced the rare "Hat Trick of Death" where all 3 of his teams (Sacramento Kings, San Francisco Giants and Carolina Panthers) all lost their respective sports’ championship game in the short span of a year and a half.
Adam now tries to look at sports from a less serious, more irreverent perspective, because that’s what helps bury the pain and keep him sober.
So earlier this week Sporting News released the results of a polling from 103 NFL players asking them various questions. It ranged from who was the “most overrated player?” (Tim Tebow, yeah no sh**) to the “league's worst organization?”, where in a tight race the Cleveland Browns beat out everyone's favorite team to inevitably move to Los Angeles, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the team with the "commitment to excrement", the Oakland Raiders.
But one of the more interesting answers was to the question, “who's the most overrated coach?”, which went to Rex Ryan of the New York Jets. (BTW, Kevin Figgers and I discussed this in our new AM570 RAW weekday podcast, “Fn’A”. Please listen and tell us we’re awesome. There's a link in the words you're reading right now).
I find Rex recieving the most votes a bit curious in some ways, but obvious in others.
Of course some of the negative reaction comes from the brashness, boldness and cockiness of a coach who has not won the Super Bowl, yet talks about it every year like the trophy is named after him. I could see him as a future Jim Rome smack-off title winner though.
To tie in with the biggest national news of the week, you could say Rex Ryan comes across as more of a politician at times (if he didn't have to use so many swear words) then some video tape junky that is looking for habits in an opposing QB’s snap count. He’s a players coach, a motivator, and is looking to excite the base and get his team to buy into his game-plan. He’s the guy you like when you're playing for him, but hate when you’re playing against him (unless of course some of those players polled are currently on this current Jets team). He actually embodies much of the personality of the governor of the state his team plays their games in, Chris Christie. They're both loud, blunt and uh...well Rex is at least slimmer now.
No doubt “Rex just being Rex” rubs some people the wrong way. And because of his style, because he's in New York (and Jersey), he's perfect for the "annoying, overexposure, curse" by ESPN. And with his lack of rings, well that always bothers some people too.
Players being annoyed with the constant media coverage of a coach that hasn't really won anything is what leads me to think it's more of an emotional reason to vote for him as #1, because whoever seriously considers him being the best coach in the NFL anyways? Now if that was the case, he'd clearly be the most overrated. Right now, he's just the most overexposed.
But if you take away his abrasive character, that attracts some, and just look at the teams he’s had and where he’s taken them, Rex really has overachieved.
He took a defense that was ranked 16th overall in 2008 and in his first year made them number 1 in the league. They also immediately became a top 5 rushing team in the league under his control. His ground and pound running game and aggressive defensive philosophies should get most of the credit for the Jets getting to back-to-back AFC championships, and doing it all with a young, inexperienced, Quarterback.
Now it seems Rex has become a victim of his own success. The Jets running game and defense took a step back last year after losing O-lineman Damian Woody, Kris Jenkings and Jason Taylor and most importantly, Mark Sanchez has not developed as fast as they thought he would. This season, with big injuries on defense to Darrell Revis and to one of the only playmakers on offense, with Santonio Holmes, the Jets are 3-5 and look like a team on the ropes.
Back in 2009 and 2010 the defense and running game picked up Mark Sanchez, now he needs to return the favor and raise his game and the play of the guys around him, but he hasn't shown he’s capable, yet. This week, with a game in Seattle, against a defense that’s been suffocating (especially at home with the 12th man behind them) this could be a make-or-break game for Sanchez. If he struggles early and they’re down two touchdowns and he’s thrown a couple of picks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tim Tebow under center at some point. Yes, that’s how bad things have gone for the Jets this season.
The point is, between the injuries and the lack of talent, especially at the quarterback position, I don’t see how anyone coaching this team could be successful. In fact, as he has in the past with his AFC championship teams, i still think Rex Ryan is getting the most out of his players. There’s just much less ripe fruit to squeeze all the juice out of with this current roster.
Because of these glaring roster issues – barring a complete end of the season collapse where the team is getting blown off the field by the Rams, Titans, Jaguars and Bills (all still to come) – Rex Ryan should be able to hold onto his job for another season. As long as players still want to play for him, as long as the team is still fighting, i think his job is secure. Instead, the hammer most likely comes down on general manager Mike Tannenbaum for not improving the team enough through the draft and free-agency.
In the end, I could see a debate for Rex Ryan being overrated, but saying he’s THE MOST overrated? I tend to think his resume is stronger than that.
Personally, I voted for Andy Reid.