“Now, we’re going to find out where we’re at. We’re playing against Houston. This is an opponent, I believe, that is 12-4 at home over the last two years,” Ryan said today. “If my memory is right, I think they average close to 30 points a game at home. So this is going to be a huge challenge for us.
After 22 coaching seasons — 12 in the NFL and 10 in the college ranks — Ryan finally is the man in charge during a regular-season contest. The Texans went 6-2 at home last season, but one of those losses at Reliant Stadium was a 41-13 pasting at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10. Ryan, the Ravens defensive coordinator the previous four seasons, watched his unit hold the Texans to 72 rushing yards that day and also intercept QB Sage Rosenfels four times.
"There’s no question I’ll be excited to see our football team," Ryan said of his new club. "They’re going to count now, so we’re going to find out real quick. The Houston Texans are a heck of a team at home. They’re a good football team. A lot of publications or so-called experts have them winning their division. We know we have a challenge in front of us — there’s no doubt. But I also think they have a challenge in front of them."
Even though he is Buddy Ryan’s son, Rex Ryan took the long road to the top of his profession. Between 1987 and 1993, he served as the DE coach at Eastern Kentucky (1987-88), assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at New Mexico Highlands (1989) and defensive coordinator at Morehead State (1990-93). After a two-year stint in the NFL under his father in Arizona, Ryan returned to college and was a coordinator at both Cincinnati (1996-97) and Oklahoma (1998).
"It was eight years of small-college football. To get this opportunity, there are 32 of these jobs out there, and I’m fortunate to get one," he said. "There are so many great coaches that Woody [Johnson] could have hired for this job, that wanted this job, and I was chosen. That’s amazing. I’m going to try and go out and validate why Woody and Mike [Tannenbaum] made that decision."
Ryan is confident in the football team he will field this weekend in Texas. More than seven months after being hired, the real season is upon Rex Ryan.
"We were able to keep a lot of guys in this organization that were here, a lot of winners here. We were able to bring a few in also and I think it’s a great mix. Hopefully on Sunday we’ll be able to get our first victory," he said. "We know it’s going to be tough. It’s going to take everything we’ve got and we’ll find out if that’s good enough. I can honestly tell you we’re planning on giving it everything we have."
We’ve just received late word that the Jets have added RB Danny Woodhead to the practice squad. To make room for Woodhead, the Green & White released FB Jehuu Caulcrick.
Neither Shaun Ellis nor Calvin Pace was at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center today. Ellis, who violated the NFL’s substances of abuse policy, is out for this weekend and will be eligible to return to the team Monday. Pace is scheduled to miss the season’s opening quarter for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
While Vernon Gholston will make the start at OLB in place of Pace, it’s not that cut and dried with the defense line. The Jets will employ a rotation system up front and there are three legitimate combinations they could roll with: 1. Kris Jenkins, Sione Pouha and Marques Douglas, 2. Mike DeVito, Kris Jenkins and Marques Douglas, 3. Kris Jenkins, Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito.
When Pouha and Jenkins are in the game together, Big Jenks would move to end. DeVito didn’t play against the Eagles, but Ryan said he is all right and DeVito told reporters he’ll be set to go.
"If they target me, they target me. That’s what it is," DeVito said today in the locker room. "But that’s what I’m getting paid for, to go out there and do my job."
Newyorkjets.com reporter Kyle Richardson caught up with Gholston and DeVito in the LR and his feature on Nos. 50 and 70 will be posted early Wednesday.
"You’ve got two good football players that are home with Shaun Ellis and Calvin, but it’s not an excuse. We’ve got enough good players on this team," Ryan said. "We’ve got guys who are going to be asked to step up and have a bigger role than maybe they thought they would have. We’ve got confidence. You put that Jets decal on that helmet, you’ve got to be special. You don’t have to go do something Herculean. We just want you to give us everything you’ve got and that’s it. You don’t have to go be Superman. Give us everything you’ve got and we’ll live with the results."
The Big Announcement
Safety Kerry Rhodes caused quite the stir on Twitter over the weekend by stating that "a big announcement" was coming. Well, hours after the Jets officially announced a new partnership with JetBlue, Rhodes revealed his secret.
"The announcement was I was doing a giveaway with the new JetBlue thing that we have going on. A fan can buy a plane ticket to go down to the game down in Miami. I’m doing a giveaway, I’m doing two free tickets and a hotel stay for that Monday night game."
JetBlue, which will sponsor the blog space on newyorkjets.com and also the "Jets Two-Minute Drive" radio show on the site, is offering good rates to get down to Florida for the divisional contest. Rhodes’ offer does not include food and interested fans should probably book a place to stay following the late game.
"They have to find their own places to eat. The hotel is for Saturday and Sunday," he said. "Monday you have to get out of there."
Tags: Buddy Ryan, Calvin Pace, Danny Woodhead, Jehuu Caulcrick, Kerry Rhodes, Mike DeVito, Rex Ryan, Shaun Ellis, Vernon Gholston
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