"First off, a complete embarrassment." With those words Rex Ryan began his Tuesday morning press conference after his Jets lost to the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.
Like his father Buddy, Rex is a glass half empty kinda' guy. If you don't look angry, they worry, the Press might wonder if you really care. The media loves indignation
He should care less what the scribes think and more about the mental state of his players. They could use some encouragement after a tough loss. It's a long season.
Anyone who watched the game could understand the Jets' disappointment. But the word "embarrassment" never entered my mind. They played hard and they didn't give up. They just ran outta' gas. Understandable in a see-saw battle.
What Ryan was really embarrassed about was having lost to the Miami Dolphins. But this Dolphin team isn't exactly in disarray like their cross-state rivals, the Buccaneers.
Miami made the playoffs last season, were coming off their first win, were the home team on MNF (always a boost) and have a guy named Parcells up in the booth.
The Jets have the makings of a good team but are still adjusting to the big changes they've experienced the past two years. Ryan is the bizarro-world opposite of his predecessor Eric Mangini, while rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was in kindergarten (?) when last year's QB Brett Favre was a fledgling Atlanta Falcon.
Coordinators get paid to shake things up. A head coach has a different job. He needs to pick up the pieces quickly and find hope where he can. His team expects it. The names Weeb Ewbank, Don Schula and Tony Dungy come to mind: tough, but pragmatic.
Rex Ryan might consider the glass half full approach next time his Jets play their hearts out but come up short. But like the old adage says, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. It's an attitude adjustment Rex's dad could never quite make. Maybe the son can.