Is Rex Ryan the next Pete Carroll?
Howard weighs in on a sequence of events that make the Jets look like a team in crisis after just one game. The NFL is investigating boorish behavior. We watched glimpses of "jackass" behavior on "Hard Knocks." We saw them, as Howard puts it, "barfing on their shoes" in Monday night's season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Which leads her to muse about Ryan's methodology of trying to remain too much of a pal-around players coach, a concept that might work for an assistant, but not a head coach trying to guide a Super Bowl contender.
Carroll was a flop in his first NFL head coaching jobs with the Jets and New England. He's since admitted he didn't handle his transition from coordinator to head coach well. He remained too buddy-buddy with his players. When people warned Carroll about it, he went all Sammy Davis Jr. on them and said, "I've gotta be me" -- same as Ryan, a former defensive coordinator with the Ravens, now does.
Ryan isn't likely to make a wholesale personality change anytime soon. But he's going to keep finding that the expectations have changed now that he's moved up one chair and become the on-field boss of a billion-dollar operation. He can't always indulge his inner Blutarsky. Especially not if he keeps throwing a team onto the field that couldn't convert a single third down until late in the fourth quarter against Baltimore and committed 14 penalties for 125 yards, the Jets' highest total in 22 years.
Next up are the stoic New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon at the Meadowlands. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick replaced the gregarious Carroll in 2000 and has established a model organization that has been emulated.
The Jets have chosen the opposite direction, replacing Belichick protege Eric Mangini with the charismatic, smack-talking Ryan.
If the Jets start their season 0-2 at home with a loss to an organization that measures every word and emphasizes total restraint, then Ryan's approach is going to look all the more improper.