Rex Ryan on his Jets: ‘Way better football team than people give it credit for’
|09.10.13 at 12:55 pm ET|
Power rankings are a popular thing in sports these days, especially in the NFL.
Rex Ryan is more than aware that they exist. Coming into the season in some power rankings, the Jets were listed as dead last – 32nd out of 32 teams, even worse than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But after a 3-1 preseason and a less-than-riveting 18-17 win over Tampa Bay in the season opener on Sunday, Ryan thinks his team is starting to trend on the upswing.
Ryan was asked Tuesday during a conference call if he has thought about writing a book about his days in New York sometime in the future.
“I’m not worried about. I’m not worried about that,” Ryan said. “I think there is a lot more left here to go. As I said, when all this came down, I said, ‘Hey I’m taking this like it’s my first year.’ That’s where it is. That’s where my energy is, that’s where my focus is. It might not be outwardly in the media or whatever, but it is certainly the same in the building, and that’s where it is. The great thing is we get to prove it. We’ll go on the field, and I think this team is a way better football team than people give it credit for. I think we were 32nd in the power rankings, and I’m sure we’re 31st this week. So, we’ll see.”
For the record, WEEI.com’s Joe Zarbano had the Jets 30th to start the season. They impressed Zarbano so much, they moved up to No. 27 this week.
“We have way more positive momentum that people give us credit for,” Ryan added. “We were 3-1 in the preseason. I think that’s good. It beats the alternative. Inside our building, it’s been nothing but positive. We’ve had probably as good offseason as anybody in the league when it comes to the amount of players here for voluntary work, the type of work they’re doing, our mini-camps and then our training camp. We had great competition at several positions. We have a close football team. I think I know what the general consensus is out there but it’s not even close. We’ve had nothing but positive vibes throughout our locker room.”
Ryan said there’s no one in the Jets locker room who has been negative on themselves or the team.
“It’s beautiful,” Ryan beamed. “Not one person has been in this locker room saying it. We’re excited about how we did. If you watched us in any of our preseason games, the way we competed. Even that third preseason game [with] some guys that weren’t making the team. They wanted to play like Jets and they’re playing their tails off and I think that’s what you can expect from this team.”
As for the guarantee by Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson that they will be 2-0 after their matchup with the Patriots Thursday night, Ryan defended his player, saying he wants his players to be confident going into any game.
“You’re never going to win unless you believe you can, and that’s it,” Ryan said. “We’ll have a team out there. We’ve never gone into a game we didn’t think we’d win, ever. I know I haven’t.
“Now do we recognize it’s a huge challenge? Yeah, I guess. No question, you’re playing on a short week, you’re playing against arguably one of the best teams in the National Football League, with the best coach and if he’s not the best quarterback, he’s right there with Peyton Manning, both of those two.
“But gimmie a break. We know what we’re up against but I’ll be danged if we’re going out there to lose a game. We’re coming up there to win the game and that’s the way we always do. It doesn’t happen all the time but we’re certainly coming up there with that in mind. We know we’re playing the Patriots, an excellent football team, a great coach, great quarterback, some great players over there. You have big Vince and everything else but that doesn’t mean anything to us. We’re going there to try and win.”
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