With all the talk about Mark Sanchez and rookie quarterbacks and model girlfriends, casual observers seem to have forgotten that the Jets have a new coach. More to the point: The Jets have a highly entertaining new coach. It's been a while.
When you look over the recent history of Jets and Giants coaches, they haven't had a legitimate Personality in a while. (You can count Herman Edwards, if you dare.) Eric Mangini was a schlumpy, secretive grump. Tom Coughlin is a taciturn disciplinarian. Jim Fassel was ... well, no one's quite sure what Jim Fassel was.
Rex Ryan, though, Rex Ryan is a character. No matter what happens on Sunday against the Texans — and most think they'll lose — whatever Ryan does and says afterward will undoubtedly be enjoyable. You know Ryan has already made his mark when he's the subject of a tsk-tsking Hey, Pipe Down There, Buddy! spitballing from Pro Football Talk. From the story a couple of weeks ago:
Many think that Ryan's bluster — which should only get more interesting once the real games start — is harmless. Others, however, view it as a potential problem.
"You're gonna tell me it's not detrimental to the league?" one source observed. "We don't want thugs, but we'll let a coach act like an idiot?"
The source pointed out that, just as kids look to players as role models, coaches at lower levels of the sport take cues from the guys at the top of the football food chain. So with Ryan already popping off routinely, other coaches might be inclined to conclude that it's proper to behave that way.
We will say that if we live in a world where every coach is as opinionated and over-the-top as Ryan, thanks to his idiotic influence, we will live in a happy world indeed. Rant on, Rex. We're predicting your team to go 6–10. You might be our lone source of amusement.