These are desperate times for Rex Ryan


These are desperate times for Rex Ryan

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."

BELICHICK: (silence)

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.

BELICHICK: (silence)

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."

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Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets


Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets

The Jets’ quarterback situation took a comically typical turn Monday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center after an MRI revealed that Geno Smith has a torn ACL. 

After starting New York’s first six games of the season, Fitzpatrick was demoted to backup for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. Smith was injured on a sack by Baltimore’s Matt Judon, forcing Fitzpatrick back into action. 

After leading the Jets to a 24-16 win, Fitzpatrick made his dissatisfaction with being benched known. 

“The biggest thing in this game in order to last, is to have belief in yourself,” Fitzpatrick said in his postgame press conference. “Because when the owner stops believing in you and the GM stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself. That’s something that I’ve had to deal with before. That’s something I’m dealing with now.”

On the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 136 of 237 passes for 1,561 yards with six touchdowns and a league-leading 11 interceptions. 

Belichick: Kickers are like golfers; have to hit driver, sand wedge, 5-iron


Belichick: Kickers are like golfers; have to hit driver, sand wedge, 5-iron

In searching for answers on what might be going on with Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, coach Bill Belichick was asked on Monday if there was any chance that Gostkowski's mechanics on kickoffs may be affecting his field goals. With the new touchback rule encouraging the Patriots to use more "pop-up" kicks to the goal line this season, might Gostkowski's swing have been altered?

Belichick said that the two plays are separate and that the Patriots expect Gostkowski to be able to execute a whole series of different types of kicks as part of his job.

"Well, I think they’re definitely different," Belichick said on a conference call. "I don’t think there’s any question about that. I mean, it would be like a golfer. You’ve got to be able to hit a sand wedge. You’ve got to be able to hit a five-iron. You’ve got to be able to drive. You’ve got to be able to putt.

"That’s what kickers and punters do. There’s plus-50 punts, there’s field goals, there’s kickoffs, there’s backed-up punts, there’s punts against a heavy rush, there’s punts against a six-man box where the gunners both are getting double-teamed. And just like golf, there’s wind conditions and not wind conditions and so forth. So it’s not like like you’re standing out there in a driving range and just banging the ball away every time. Especially on place kicks, you’re dealing with a center and a holder and timing on the play. It’s not like you’re just placing the ball down there on a tee and kicking it like you are a golf ball or a kickoff.

"Yeah, they’re definitely different, and whether it’s a punter or a kicker you’re talking about, they have to master different skills, different kicks, different types of kicks, different things that are specific to their position, just like every other player and every other athlete, for the most part, has to do. If you’re a basketball player, you just can’t shoot free throws. You’ve got to be able to make some other shots, too. That’s part of the position, being able to do the things that are required of that position, and they’re not all the same. I don’t think they’re all the same for anybody."

Belichick was also asked about how Gostkowski is coached. There are position-specific coaches with every NFL franchise, but when it comes to special teams, there is typically a special-teams coordinator and little else. There is no kicking coach, generally, nor a position coach dedicated to punting or snapping. 

Belichick said that he feels the team has enough support in place, starting with special teams coach Joe Judge, in order to help Gostkowski through his difficult stretch.

"I think Joe’s very knowledgable about the techniques of kicking," Belichick said. "I know when I became a special teams coach and coached special teams for many years as an assistant coach, and I continue to be involved with it as a head coach, that’s one of the things I had to learn. I had to learn how to coach those individual specialists, the snappers, the kickers, the punters, the returners. I don’t think it’s any different than coaching any other position. Things you don’t know, you need to learn. The things you do know, you need to be able to teach to the players, however you acquire that information.

"Some of that certainly comes from the players, especially when you coach good players at the position that you’re coaching, you can learn a lot from them, just like I learned a lot from many of the players that I coached. Going back to people like Dave Jennings as a punts or Carl Banks or Lawrence Taylor or Pepper [Johnson], guys like that, as linebackers with the Giants. However you acquire that information, you acquire it and you have to be able to convey it and teach it to the players and recognize technique or judgment.

"There’s a whole host of things that go into performance, but all the things that are related to those; be able to figure out which ones are the most important and which ones need to be corrected and so forth. I think Joe’s very knowledgeable on that, as was Scott O’Brien. I have a lot of experience with that myself. That’s what coaching is. You don’t know, then you’ve got to find out. Nobody knows everything. No coach knows everything about every position. Maybe a guy’s played it for a decade, he might be well-versed in that position. But I’d say for the most of the rest of us that haven’t done that, things you don’t know, you’ve got to learn, you’ve got to find out, you’ve got to figure them out."