Ryan and Sparano: A Balancing Act

Ryan and Sparano: A Balancing Act

Alyssa Lang

The following is a guest post from Alyssa Lang, a die-hard Jets fan. @Alyssa_Lang_34


Because I stayed up unnaturally late on Tuesday night, I was one of the many Jet fans who experienced the initial euphoria as Brian Schottenheimer was replaced by Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator. Within minutes of finding out, my timelines on Facebook and Twitter were blowing up with excited posts and tweets and hash tags about the #Jets.

It was like Christmas had come again for Jet fans. But on January 10th, Santa came riding in from Miami. I haven’t seen fans this happy about something that the organization has done in weeks. With everything seemingly blowing up inside and outside of the team’s locker room, “chaos” would be an understatement. Sparano, who was 4-3 coaching against Rex Ryan, was fired back in December, and according to Coach Ryan, was an ideal fit for his new offensive coordinator. “When we sat down with Tony, I knew that he was the right person at the right time for our offense,” Ryan stated. “His teams were always physical, tough and hard-nosed.” I’ll be the last one to complain about a physical, tough, and hard-nosed offense, that’s for sure. However, you’ll find me most excited about this change when I can actually see the results. I’m not one for getting wrapped up in everything until all of the ‘hoopla’ looks like something legitimate.

Don’t get me wrong, if and when I see this change start to help my team in a positive way, I’ll be one happy Jet fan. With that being said, there is something I’m pretty happy about right now. For as much as I do respect Rex Ryan for his bluntly forward, publicly confident personality, sometimes it’s not my favorite thing to watch and hear about. When I start hearing about him guaranteeing wins, Superbowl appearances, and everything else Ryan likes to talk about- and then my team can’t execute…it’s embarrassing.

I just think Ryan opens his mouth a little bit too much to the media. Don’t get me wrong, as a former athlete I appreciate his coaching style; I loved having coaches that were identified as a ‘players coach’. But his constant media encounters make me wonder how high he holds that stuff on his list of priorities, compared to what should be at the top of the list. This is one reason why I’m looking forward to having Sparano as a member of the team, right now.

Recently thrust into the media spotlight, Tony Sparano has been observed to be, in a way, the opposite of Ryan. Reserved when it comes to the media and the press. Not so “flashy”, if you will. But hard-nosed when it comes to getting work done on the field and in the locker room. This is something I am really looking forward to seeing. Having these two coaches working with each other could be something exciting.

Now, in no way am I asking Rex Ryan to change- but I think having someone to balance him and the rest of the team out could be nice. It’s a small idea, and not really any kind of big time solution for the team, but helping smooth out any part of this organization will help at this point. Adjusting the coaching staff will help the attitudes and ideas of not only fellow coaches (*cough*cough, Rex Ryan) but players as well. In turn, the team improves. Small steps, people.