In recent months I have consistently tried to make the point that New York Jets coach Rex Ryan would do his team a favor if he would stop boastfully guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory. Bart Scott, one of the team's more outspoken players has now made the point for me.
During an interview with ESPN Scott backed his coach, but had this to say:
"I think it's about time we get it done and see this thing through because, after a while, people are going to start looking at it as a joke."
This is precisely what I have been trying to say. Ryan's boasts have now put his players in the position of feeling like they have to defend him, and added the pressure that now they feel they must win or they will be failures.
There is nothing wrong with believing, as Ryan does, that he has a Super Bowl caliber football team. I would have to believe there are many other NFL coaches who believe the same thing about their teams.
When Ryan first became Jets coach his bombast had a purpose. He changed the attitude around the Jets. A team used to not making the playoffs, used to failing, used to being the Little Brother in New York, now feels like the Big Brother. The Jets feel like they're the best. Only, they haven't won anything yet.
At this point, Ryan's braggadoccio has become counter-productive. Next time he is asked about the Super Bowl the Jets would be best served if Ryan would say something like "Everybody knows how I feel, but I am done making guarantees. It's time for us to stop talking and prove it on the field."
I think, though, we would all be surprised if he did that.