Earlier this week, Jets head coach, Rex Ryan was conducting a radio interview with a local San Diego station. During this interview it was brought up that Ryan was one of the candidates for the Chargers job after Marty Schottenheimer was fired in 2007. Ryan was asked how things for him might be different if he were the head coach of the Chargers from that point on. His response was cocky, arrogant, and praising of the current coach. His comments were overblown and surprisingly accurate.
After asked how things would be different if he were the Chargers coach since 2007, Ryan responded with:
“Well, I think I would have had a couple of rings. I’m telling you, those teams were loaded. There’s no question about it. But things happen for a reason. Obviously, Norv Turner has done a great job there, and A.J. (Smith) and everybody. That’s a great franchise, and he’s probably the best guy for the job at that time.”
I agree with Rex’s assessment except for the idea that Turner has done a great job in San Diego.
In 2006 the San Diego Chargers, lead by Schottenheimer, were the best team by far in the regular season. They had the best record and the most talent of any of the teams in the playoffs, but wound up losing to the New England Patriots who were post season tested and proved they knew how to handle the moment. That team changed very little from the firing of Schottenheimer through the nest few seasons under Turner. Turner took his team to the AFC Championship game the next year, but has only won 1 post season game since. His teams have gotten off to terrible starts before this season and practically play themselves out of the playoffs early in the season. If it weren’t for the lack of stability and talent in the AFC West over the last few years it’s likely that they wouldn’t have made the playoffs. Not exactly an impressive resume, but that’s not shocking since it wasn’t impressive before Turner got to San Diego anyway.
Rex Ryan went to the New York Jets 2 years ago. A team that didn’t have anywhere near the talent of the the Chargers on offense. The defense for the Jets was comparable to that in San Diego, but last year the Chargers had the best defense in the league and didn’t make the playoffs. Ryan took a rookie QB and an unexciting offense to the AFC Championship in his first year as a head coach. He beat Turner’s Chargers in that playoff run. Last year Rex took the Jets back to the playoffs and back to the AFC Championship. Rex has yet to make a Super Bowl in New York, but he has twice as many AFC Championship appearances with less talent then Turner has had in his 4 years in San Diego.
What did people expect Rex to say that question? Ryan is probably the most confident coach in the league, or at least the most outspoken about his confidence. He could have been doing an interview in Cleveland and he still would have said that he would have won rings. He should feel that way, especially about a team that was as loaded as the Chargers were and some could argue still are. Anyone, who thinks that his statement was out-of-line or in some a slight to Turner or his own GM are fishing for a story. You can take it as a dig, but what it is, is the truth. He would have won at least 1 ring in San Diego based on his results in New York. It would be a dig if it weren’t true.