It's all about defense anyways in the NFL. We have the Patriots and Bill Belichick in our division, we have Tony Soporano and company in our division. The Bills and trent Edwards could be a real pain.
Why not get Rex Ryan in here with his defensive mind. We need a guy like this.
Eric Boland thinks Rex Ryan just helped his case.
Ryan's Baltimore defense simply bludgeoned Miami this afternoon in an impressive display of aggressiveness.
So I referenced the following Peter King story earlier this week and before heading to the SI Web site to dig it out, a reader posted the link in the comments section of my previous blog post. I cut a little bit here and there, but this is most of it, from the Dec. 22 issue of SI:
“TO REX RYAN, defensive football must be a game of deception played by 11 Mike Tysons. So it should come as no surprise that while preparing for the 2008 draft last winter, Ryan, the Ravens' defensive coordinator, became intrigued with a safety from Notre Dame named Tom Zbikowski. Ryan watched video of a pro boxing match between Zbikowski, a 214-pound heavyweight, and a pug named Robert Bell on an undercard at Madison Square Garden in June 2006. Thirty-five seconds into the fight Zbikowski threw a left hook to Bell's right cheek that his opponent never saw, then followed with a brutal overhand right. Down went Bell. First-round knockout.
‘As soon as I saw Zibby in the ring,’ Ryan recalled last week, ‘I said, 'We have to have him.' He just destroyed that guy! My kind of guy! We don't chase the pretty girl. We chase the passionate, mean s.o.b. who loves football.’
Later, King writes: “During a typical week, Ryan's staff meets for long hours and concocts strange schemes that opponents have never seen. In a 2005 game against Houston, David Carr had no idea what hit him when four blitzers—so close to each other that their shoulders almost touched—plowed through the right tackle--guard hole. No one else rushed. Carr got up looking as if he had been hit by a Smart Car. Who rushes four men from the same spot and leaves the other lanes empty? ‘Rex does a great job on the overload blitzes,’ says Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. ‘It's hard for an offense to adjust to something like that when you don't leave other spots on the field uncovered.’
Ryan, 46, learned from the master of pressure D—his dad, Buddy, who was all about mismatches and intimidation. Buddy Ryan brought the blitz-dominated 46 defense to the NFL as defensive coordinator of the Bears in the early '80s; cornerbacks were valued for their ability to blitz and play bump-and-run. ‘My dad was all about outnumbering the protection,’ Rex says. ‘If there was a six-man protection, he'd send seven. He had a Cover Zero philosophy.’
In Baltimore, Rex's creativity has included taking a page from the LeBeau zone-blitz book by dropping 345-pound tackle Haloti Ngata into a shallow zone and leaving the center to block no one, while a blitzer rushes through another gap. Often Ryan will mix zone and man coverage on the same play, using a Cover Two look deep while shadowing shallow receivers man-to-man.
And the money quote that would most likely appeal to any Jets fan, again from Kings’s story:
"Our system works," Rex says, "because on every play the offense is thinking, Here comes the blitz. And whether it is or not, the quarterback better have a clock in his head, because he's not going to have much time."
The Jets will interview Ryan at some point, maybe as early as this week, and I’m told Jets hierarchy watched this afternoon’s game closely. Ryan, naturally, won’t be able to bring Ed Reed and the rest of the Ravens defense with him to NY if he were to be hired, except maybe Ray Lewis, who is a free agent after the season.
One game, naturally, isn't reason to hire - or not hire - anyone, but philosophy is. And, it can't be stressed enough, this process is still just three interviews old. Enjoy Vikings/Eagles.