EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBS 2) — When you think of what the Jets have done in two years and what they might do Sunday, it begins and ends with the coach, Rex Ryan.
CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman asked Jets fans for advice for the controversial coach heading into the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh.
Even fans who try to hide from a reporter, claiming not to be football experts, know that Ryan has taken control of the Jets and brought a losing franchise a step away from the Super Bowl.
“Yeah, we’re almost there. We’re almost there,” said Helen Zelig of Englewood, N.J.
Guzman then spoke to Joe Gunther, a New Jersey native and a Steelers fan. He couldn’t help but acknowledge the fact that Rex has worked miracles in his two years at the helm.
“You know, what he’s doing obviously is working, so … I mean, so … if he keeps it up; he gets his team going, so…” Gunther said.
What he did against the Patriots was big-time, so…”
Actually, when you ask fans what advice they would give Ryan, there is one thing that you hear most often.
“Rex Ryan, do not change your game plan,” one person said.
“Keep talking that trash the way you’re doing’. It’s working. It’s getting to them psychologically,” added Johnny Villanueva of Teaneck, N.J.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing. I don’t know what it is, but it’s winning!” another person said.
In a town where the managers for the Yankees and the Mets, and the coach for the Giants, are almost obligated to adopt a corporate, button-down, avoid-controversy-at-all-costs approach that, as we’ve learned, is not what Ryan is all about.
But where others may see a loudmouth, a sports psychotherapist like Dr. Jay Granat, founder of “Stay In The Zone,” sees a potential genius at work.
“His freewheeling style; his playful style is freeing up the players, at least this group of players to perform to their fullest potential,” Dr. Granat said.
Has Ryan rubbed opponents — and even the other teams’ fans — the wrong way? Here’s what Keith Havens, a Buffalo Bills fan from Hawthorne, N.J., wants to see Ryan do:
“Keep his mouth shut. He talks too much,” Havens said.
“I think he thinks out what he’s gonna do before he does it very often. Take a second look, because you can’t argue with success,” Dr. Granat said.
And Dr. Granat said psychologically, when looking at Rex Ryan you can’t forget the impact of his legendary coach father, Buddy Ryan.
“That family style, this is the way they approach the game. They’re not soft-spoken. They’re tough. They’re probably mentally tough. They believe in themselves. And they’d rather err on the side of being overconfident than under-confident,” Dr. Granat said.
Some opponents and teams say Rex Ryan is crazy. But if you talk to a sports psychologist, what you hear is crazy … like a fox.