Rex Ryan felt strongly both ways when he spoke about the Jets’ just revealed 2012 schedule on a conference call with beat reporters this evening.
On the one hand, the Jets coach said it was a good thing to get the dates and times of their 16 opponents just a day after the veterans first reported to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center to begin their voluntary strength and conditioning period.
“Yesterday I was really excited to finally have the team in our building, have a chance to talk to them,” Ryan said. “But I’m even more excited now. When that schedule comes out, now you start to visualize who you’re playing and it’s even more exciting. Now you realize the 2012 season is upon us.”
But Ryan was not seeing less challenging games on an easy schedule. They all looked tough.
Having the season opener at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 1 p.m. vs. the Buffalo Bills, 6-10 a year ago?
“Opening up at home is a good thing, but playing Buffalo, they’re a tough team,” Ryan said. “They’re much improved. They’ve got that big pass rusher [Mario Williams] coming in.”
Three consecutive home games from Games 4-6? Not bad, except …
“San Francisco [Sept. 30] and Houston [Oct. 8] back to back, they’re two of the more physical teams in the league,” Rex said. “That’s definitely a tough stretch.”
And a favorable second half with an opponents’ schedule strength of .453? That would be fine, too, but for the little matter of three of their last four games being on the road, at Jacksonville (Dec. 9), at Tennessee (Dec. 17) and at Buffalo in the regular-season finale (Dec. 30).
“Yeah, you see that little clump of games right there — whooo, that’s a tough December,” he said. “But you’re coming into some decent weather, Jacksonville and Tennessee, and I kind of like having San Diego come to our place in December.”
One other eye-catcher is anywhere New England appears on the schedule. The Jets will play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 21, and then the teams will get back together on Thanksgiving night at MetLife on Nov. 22.
“Oh, man. That one’s going to be a beauty, there’s no doubt,” Rex said with a laugh about the Turkey Night affair with the defending AFC East champ and the conference’s Super Bowl representative. “It’s a late-night one and our fans will be ready to roll. I know New England’s obviously a tremendous team, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.
“The last time we played on Thanksgiving, we had success,” Ryan added about the 2010 holiday night game at their new stadium, the 26-10 victory over the Bengals. “That’s good. Hopefully history will repeat itself … and I hope my wife’s got the green-bean casserole ready for after the game.”
Summing it all up, Ryan came to a standard coaching observation: “I think it’s a real balanced schedule. It looks good. We’ll see what happens.”
Tags: 2012 schedule, Buffalo Bills, Mario Williams, MetLife Stadium, New England Patriots, Rex Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 44 Comments »