Rex Ryan hasnt been himself lately.
And thats because Rex Ryan knows that hes in trouble.
Reason 1: On the field, the Jets are 4-6 through 11 weeks. They've lost five of their last seven games. And at this point, were more likely to see leaked footage of Tim Tebow ripping bong hits with Justin Bieber than we are the Green and White in the playoffs.
If and when they fall short, it will be Ryans second consecutive year without a postseason berth, and in a city like New York, that alone leaves a coach with one delicious foot in the unemployment line.
Reason 2: In Ryans case, on-field failure is just the beginning. While he may not be entirely responsible for the Jets circus, hes done a miserable job of managing it. He's pretty much lost control. As a result, the J-E-T-S are more dysfunctional than Thanksgiving at Dez Bryant's house, and need another season under Ryan like Antonio Cromartie needs a box of defective condoms.
Of course, this is the NFL, so you never know. In recent years, we've seen less capable coaches survive more desperate circumstances than what Ryan's up against in New York. But there's no doubt that this season is lining up to be his last with the Jets. He sees the writing on the wall. And leading up to Thursday's showdown with the Pats, we're seeing a far more subdued Ryan than we have in the past.
"Were behind where we have to be and we can only focus on ourselves," Ryan told the Daily News on Monday. "Im not worried about tweaking New England."
To be honest, I don't like seeing Ryan this way. It's a little depressing. I miss the old Rex. Loudmouth Rex. Liar Rex. Bawdy Rex. If history's taught us anything, it's that a Rex divided against itself cannot stand. And this season, we're witnessing the collapse of Rex Ryan as we knew him.
In fact, things are so bad that he's reportedly already started thinking about his post-Jets career. And in a Standing Room Only exclusive, I've learned that Ryan yesterday afternoon, in an ultimate act of desperation actually reached out to his nemesis, Bill Belichick.
According to multiple sources, here's what transpired:
(Phone rings in Bill Belichick's office)
BILL BELICHICK: (hits the speaker) "Yup."
SECRETARY: "Coach, I've got Rex Ryan for you on line 1."
BELICHICK: "That right? Ha. OK, send him through."
SECRETARY: "Right away, sir. You're on with him now . . ."
BELICHICK: "You son of bitch, Jovi. I told you that's never going to work."
REX RYAN: (silence)
BELICHICK: "Seriously. What's up? I'm on a short week here."
RYAN: ". . . Hey there, coach."
RYAN: "It's Rex. I know this is unconventional, but I don't know where else to turn."
BELICHICK: "Umm . . . OK. Don't really have a lot of time here, but, uh, what's up? I was actually thinking about your father this morning. Was real, solid football coach. One of the absolute best at preparing his players to compete."
RYAN: "Well, I appreciate you saying that. I'll definitely send him your regards. Anyway, the reason I called . . . You know, I realize that things haven't always been great between us. But I hope you understand that anything I ever said or did was only a product of how much I respect you.
RYAN: "You still there, coach?"
BELICHICK: "Listen, Rex. I don't know what the & you're getting at, but cut to the chase."
RYAN: "There's no chase, coach. I just, you know, want to make sure that you understand where I'm coming from. I'll just come out and say: I'm &-ing obsessed with you, Bill. You're all I've ever strived to be. And moving forward, you know, if there was ever a time when maybe I was out of work and maybe you needed a little help coaching your defense . . . I, ummm, just wouldn't want our shaky past to mess up a potential future. Know what I mean?"
BELICHICK: "Yeah, I know what you mean. We done yet?"
RYAN: "Sure thing, Coach. Thanks for your time. But I think the better question to ask yourself is: Could it be that we're just getting started?"
BELICHICK: "I'll see you on Thursday. And don't ever &-ing call me again."