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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

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    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

  • Sun., Jun. 08, 2014 7:30PM - 8:00PM EDT Live SNY's Jets Nation

    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

  • Sun., Jun. 15, 2014 7:00PM - 7:30PM EDT Live SNY's Jets Nation

    An inside look at Jets players, coaches and team personnel

Coaches

Rex Ryan
Head Coach

Now in his fifth season at the Jets helm, Ryan brings the same at­titude and commitment he had when he was first hired, pairing it with experience gained from the past four seasons.

Success came early for Ryan has the Jets head coach. His first year, the Jets turned a 5-6 record into a 9-7 playoff berth, earn­ing two postseason victories before finishing one-step shy of the Super Bowl. The following season, the Jets finished 11-5, again advancing to the AFC Championship Game before their season ended.

Now in his fifth season at the Jets helm, Ryan brings the same at­titude and commitment he had when he was first hired, pairing it with experience gained from the past four seasons.

Success came early for Ryan has the Jets head coach. His first year, the Jets turned a 5-6 record into a 9-7 playoff berth, earn­ing two postseason victories before finishing one-step shy of the Super Bowl. The following season, the Jets finished 11-5, again advancing to the AFC Championship Game before their season ended.

The past two seasons have not produced the same results, lead­ing to change throughout the organization. An 8-8 season in 2011, coupled with a 6-10 finish in 2012 led to the hiring of new General Manager John Idzik.

“I look at Rex Ryan as a very accomplished coach,” Idzik said at his introductory press conference. “He’s very energetic. He’s op­timistic. He’s engaging as we all know. He engages our players and he gets them to play hard. I can speak to that from the op­ponents’ side.

“I look forward to our time together.”

Change didn’t end with Idzik. 2013 will feature three new coor­dinators. Former defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman moves into the defensive coordinator role, while the team’s offense will now be headed by Marty Mornhinweg, who joins the club from Philadelphia. Finally, after spending the last four seasons working under the now-retired Mike Westhoff, Ben Kotwica takes over as special teams coordinator.

One thing that hasn’t changed has been the success on defense. Under Ryan, the Jets have always fielded a stout defense, finish­ing in the top eight in total defense in all four seasons. In fact, from 2009-12, only the Jets have finished in the top five in all of the following categories: total defense (2nd overall in that time span, 294.8 yards per game), third-down defense (2nd, 34.6%), passing defense (1st, 186.3 yards per game), rushing average al­lowed (5th, 3.9 yards per carry), completion percentage allowed (1st, 52.6%) and opposing passer rating (1st, 71.0).

Tasked with helping to uphold this streak is Thurman, who Ryan feels is the perfect coach for all the young defensive players.

“DT is a developer of talent,” Ryan said. “He is a guy who can coach the tough player and he can do all those type of things. He is about as smart a guy as I’ve been around and he understands the game more from a former-player perspective and as a coach. He is a commanding figure in the meeting room. Everybody re­spects him.”

Ryan looks to implement the same passion and energy and “at­tack mentality” and unpredictability on offense, that he has on defense. That search led him to Mornhinweg, who joins the Jets after spending 10 seasons with Philadelphia where, after assum­ing the role of offensive coordinator in 2006, the Eagles ranked in the top 10 in rushing average (2nd overall in that time span 4.7 yards per carry), total offense (3rd, 370.1 yards per game), passing offense (6th, 247.2 yards per game), scoring offense (8th, 24.1 points per game) and third-down conversion percentage (10th, 40.1%).

For his special teams, Coach Ryan had the unenviable task of re­placing Westhoff, who after 12 years with the Jets, retired. To take over, Kotwica was named to the post, after spending the previous four seasons working with Westhoff as the assistant special teams coach.

“Obviously, (those are) some huge shoes to fill,” Coach Ryan said in announcing Kotwica. “Mike Westhoff was a legendary special teams coach and it was a privilege for me to coach with Mike for four seasons.

“He’s basically trained Ben Kotwica for this opportunity.”

Since 2009, the Jets special teams have tied for the most kickoff return touchdowns (5) and had the second-best kickoff return average (25.6), while ranking fifth in both punts inside the 20 and opponents’ kickoff return average.

Before becoming the head coach of the Jets, Ryan spent 10 sea­sons (1999-2008) in Baltimore. During that time, the Ravens ranked first in the NFL in fewest points allowed (17.1 points per game), fewest rushing yards allowed (87.3 yards per game), most shutouts (9), most takeaways (337), most interceptions (212), most interceptions returned for touchdowns (29) and third-down conversion defense (33.9%). They also ranked second in total de­fense (280.7 yards per game) and fourth in sacks (416) in that span.

Ryan began his Baltimore career as the defensive line coach for Brian Billick in 1999, when the Ravens defense finished second in the NFL in total defense and second against the run. In 2000, the defense allowed the fewest points in a 16-game season in NFL history (165) en route to winning Super Bowl XXXV.

Ryan was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2005. During his four seasons in that role, the Ravens finished fifth (2005), first (2006), sixth (2007) and second (2008) in total defense. In 2006, the “D” allowed only 201 points and 264 yards per game and Ryan was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writers Association.

In 2008, new Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh named Ryan assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. That season the Ra­vens defense led the league with 34 takeaways, 26 interceptions, a 60.6 opponents’ passer rating, and four rushing TDs allowed.

Prior to joining the Ravens, Ryan was a defensive coordinator in college at Oklahoma (1998) and Cincinnati (1996-97). His first NFL coaching stint was with Arizona under father Buddy Ryan, when he oversaw the Cardinals’ defensive line in 1994 and linebackers in 1995 (on the same staff with his twin brother, Rob, now the New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator). Rex also coached at Morehead State (1990-93), New Mexico Highlands (1989) and Eastern Kentucky (1987-88).

Before Ryan became a coach, he had a chance to see some great defense up close and personal. Buddy brought him along to prac­tices when he became the Jets defensive line coach for the 1968 season — the Jets’ Super Bowl III season, of course. Rex then watched his dad coach the 1985 Chicago Bears. He was a ballboy for those Bears teams early in his father’s tenure as the defensive coordinator. He left for college during the 1985 season, but was on the sidelines during Super Bowl XX, when the Bears finished their 18-1 run with a 46-10 victory over New England and Buddy was carried off on his defenders’ shoulders.

Ryan, 51, graduated from Stevenson IL (HS) in Prairie View, IL, and played football at SW Oklahoma State, where he earned his bach­elor’s degree in physical education in 1986. Ryan earned his mas­ter’s degree in physical education at Eastern Kentucky in 1988.

Ryan was born in Ardmore, OK. He and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Payton, named for Walter Payton, and Seth.

COACHING TIMELINE

New York Jets

2009-

Head Coach

Baltimore Ravens

1999-2008

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator           2008
Defensive Coordinator 2005-07
Defensive Line 1999-2004

Oklahoma

1998

Defensive Coordinator

Cincinnati

1996-97

Defensive Coordinator

Arizona Cardinals

1994-95

Linebackers 1995
Defensive Line 1994

Morehead State

1990-93

Defensive Coordinator

New Mexico Highlands

1989

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator          

Eastern Kentucky

1987-88

Defensive Ends

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