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Injuries Could Save Rex Ryan’s Job

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bill-swift - October 4, 2012

The New York Jets are awesome. There is something about them that just about everyone can enjoy. You have a coach that isn't afraid to tell it like it is, a pair of pretty-boy quarterbacks (with throwing issues), a circus atmosphere that such a large collection of personalities was bound to create, and an owner that is more concerned about Mitt Romney than he is about having a winning team.

Oh, yeah—and did I mention a team that can perform brilliantly like it did in Week One against Buffalo, but can turn around and throw up an epic failure like it has since then? Come on—who needs reality television, day-time soaps, and the CW when you have the Jets?

Should the Jets season continue at its current pace it would seem like a no-brainer that head coach Rex Ryan should lose his job.  For evidence you need to look no further than Sunday's game with the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers rushing attack showed how porous the defense can be giving up 245 yards. It didn't matter who was running the ball either; three players got 50+ yards with the highest total belonging to Frank Gore (62 yards).

The easy excuse would be to site the 49ers offensive line: they are pretty darn good. That being said, the self-proclaimed best defensive coach in the NFL (that would be Rex Ryan in case you are wondering) so far has the No. 21 defensive unit in the NFL (No. 4 against the pass and No. 31 against the run).

On offense it wasn't any better. Their total output on the day was a dismal 145 yards (100 passing; 45 rushing). Mark Sanchez only completed 44.8 percent of his passes and Shonn Greene could only manage 34 yards on 11 carries.

Sanchez has failed to complete at least 50 percent of his passes in any of his last three games, while Greene is averaging a dismal 2.8 yards per carry.

The overall success of the team lies in the hands of the head coach, and with the team failing as bad as it is right now it would not be shocking if he were to be fired—to everyone except him of course:

"I know I'm a great coach…It's hard for me to look at myself not being successful. I don't even see (getting fired) as a possibility."

After the 49ers game his tune wasn't quite as confident:

Recognizing the problem(s) is one thing; doing something about them is another altogether.  Without proper or capable personnel there is only so much he can do. Things have gotten bad enough in the secondary that he had to move back-up running back Joe McKnight to cornerback.

That situation alone and the team's latest development could be what will get him one more year to right the ship.

Losing players is part of the game; that's why you have back-ups. Losing your best player on offense (Santonio Holmes; lisfranc injury) and defense (Darrelle Revis) for the season is another matter. Their contributions are not easily replaced; anyone that could is making big money starting on another team.

If asked to defend the team's poor performance at the end of the season (assuming they don't get any better) his only defense would be to cry personnel. Losing one wide receiver shouldn't be such a big deal, but the Jets had little at wide receiver outside of Holmes.

While you don't carry too many cornerbacks, the team should be better prepared in the event of an injury; they shouldn't have to convert a running back.

That could mean that if owner Woody Johnson wants blood at the end of the season if he doesn't fire Ryan the next best candidate is general manager Mike Tannenbaum. Unless there is a dramatic turnaround it appears like someone is going to have to update his resume.

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