After a relatively hushed offseason, Rex Ryan has apparently reverted back to his boisterous and feisty ways. Bated by reporters to discuss the potential of his defensive unit, Ryan acknowledged his group still has some work to do but believes it has the potential to be elite this upcoming season.
"I mean we will be," said Ryan of the Jets defense cracking the league's top five rankings. "Right now, we're not there. Obviously, we have to make some improvements, especially from this past week. I'm certainly confident that we'll be where we always are or better."
Last Saturday, the Jets struggled to defend the Jacksonville Jaguars hurry-up offense as Blain Gabbert and company marched 70 yards on just seven plays on their first offensive possession of the game. Gang Green was plagued by missed tackles, faulty pass coverage and a lack of intensity on the opening drive, something that didn't set well with their head coach.
"I've been trying to coach them," admitted Ryan. "I think that's the big thing. I try to teach and coach from the tape. That's what you do and that's how you get better."
The Jaguars picked apart New York's secondary in the first quarter before Ryan and his staff made several adjustments to help the defensive unit settle in. The Jets allowed only six points over the final three quarters, bringing a reason for optimism after a disastrous start. While Ryan expressed frustration after the lowly Jaguars drove down the field at will early on, apparently his confidence in the defense will not waver moving forward.
"I guess my history," said Ryan of his faith in the defense. "I think in knowing what it looks like. We have a lot of good players. There's going to be a lot of new faces in there, but I guess, you put that decal on the side of your helmet, it says ‘New York Jets', you have to be special. You have to understand that there (are) expectations that come along with it. I expect our guys to play extremely well."