15 February 2012: New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan made a featured appearance at the Long Island Associations annual meeting held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury Wednesday February 15, 2012. Joining the Jets coach were former New York Giants quarterback and TV analyst Phil Simms and former Jets QB and radio personality Boomer Esaison. The meeting was moderated by LIA president Kevin Law. Kevin P. Coughlin/Icon SMI
To appear on "Hard Knocks" or not to appear, for Rex Ryan and the New York Jets that is the question.
The Jets were featured on the HBO reality TV show two years ago and it was the most popular season of the show. Fans grew to love and hate the foul-mouthed Ryan and his rag tag band of Jets. Darrelle Revis' holdout that season provided the show with added drama and classic moments abounded, including a popular segment in which Antonio Cromartie seemed to forget the names of some of his many kids.
So it's no surprise that HBO asked the Jets to be featured on the show again, however what is surprising is that Ryan reportedly is against the idea. According to the New York Post, though team owner Woody Johnson wants the Jets back on the show, Ryan has become a little press shy. Apparently Ryan does not want to be on the show and wants to avoid bringing unneeded attention to the team in light of the Jets late season collapse last year, their locker room disharmony, the acquisition of Tim Tebow and the very real potential for a big quarterback controversy Tebow brings with him.
HBO was said to also be interested in having the the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos on the show but like the Jets they declined and it looks like the show might end up featuring the Atlanta Falcons.
But back to the Jets. While many will see Ryan's sudden press shyness as a positive development for the fourth year head coach, I think whether the Jets appear on "Hard Knocks" or not is irrelevant. Ryan and his Jets were loud, proud, boisterous and boastful in 2009 and 2010 and they had great seasons and made it to the AFC finals both years. Their appearance on "Hard Knocks" in 2010 didn't hurt the team. In 2011 Ryan and the Jets continued to be loud and boastful but didn't back up their big talk on the field. Much has since been made of Ryan's loud mouth persona and habit for making wrong Super Bowl predictions. However, in my mind the problem wasn't so much how Ryan handled press conferences but how he handled game plans. The Jets were unsuccessful in 2011 not because Ryan made too many bold predictions, but because their offense and their offensive mindset was dreadful. The Jets took off season steps to change that by replacing offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer with Tony Sparano. Jets fans should hope that means Ryan is really committed to having a competitive team on both offense and defense. If the Jets don't get better on offense Ryan can decline all the media opportunities he wants, make less predictions, and get his team to be more quiet and humble, but it won't matter because at the end of the day a losing season is a losing season.
What do you think? Is declining the "Hard Knocks" offer a positive move for Ryan and the team?