Mike Tannenbaum Has Zero Issues With Rex Ryan’s Approach To Motivation And Preparation


Mike Tannenbaum Has Zero Issues With Rex Ryan’s Approach To Motivation and Preparation

The countdown to the Divisional Round in the NFL Playoffs is on. Just two short days to go before Saturday’s action gets underway in both the AFC and NFC. The marquee matchup of the weekend though between the New England Patriots and New York Jets won’t take place until Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum won’t be suiting up of course, but he’s played a large role in shaping the current Jets organization – both the coaching staff and the players. His most important hire was to hire Rex Ryan as head coach. For all the loud talking and other distractions Ryan seems to create, he sure has done a nice job coaching the Jets into a winning team.  Can he guide the Jets past New England into their second straight AFC title game? We’ll find out on Sunday.Tannenbaum joined Boomer & Carton on WFAN in New York to talk about the development of Mark Sanchez over the course of the year, Sanchez’s ability to shake off early mistakes and bounce back to play well down the stretch of games, Rex Ryan seemingly having personal issues with so many people in the NFL (last week it was wanting to beat Peyton Manning, this week it’s Bill Belichick), how it’s true that Ryan was more than 30 minutes late to his interview with the Jets, how he’s never seen anybody as good at what he does as Darrelle Revis, how Brad Smith will be a game-time decision on Sunday, and what he thinks makes Tom Brady so special.

Photo of Person Holding Black Iphone

On the development of Mark Sanchez:

You know Boomer, as a quarterback I’m sure you’ve seen this as well, I think the clock has slowed down a little bit for Mark and he’s scanning the field, he’s getting off his first read, he’s making plays with his feet, he’s buying more time. Obviously there’s still been some bumps in the road, and there will continue to be, but by and large looking at the big picture, he’s won three road playoff games in two years so that’s a great reason to be encouraged.”

On Antonio Cromartie’s pointed words about Tom Brady:

“Sure, I know a lot’s been made of it. But from a big picture standpoint I’m really glad that Antonio’s here, he’s been good for us, he cares deeply. You know, one story that hasn’t been out was in the middle of last week guys, Cromartie goes into Coach Westhoff’s office and says ‘hey look, whatever you need, I’m here to win a Super Bowl. If the long snapper goes down, if you need me to return a kick, I’m here.’ And Brad Smith gets tweaked during the game, Antonio comes in and probably makes the biggest play of the game getting us out to midfield with 52 seconds to go. What he said, maybe that’s not my style or your style, but he spoke from the heart and that’s truly how he feels. And Rex always tells his guys you’re accountable for what you say, and say what you feel. So again, maybe that’s not how I would have said it, but he respects Tom Brady, and what he said is how he felt about him personally.”

On Sanchez’s ability to shake off mistakes and come back to play well down the stretch of games:

“That comes back to his preparation. He loves football, he spent his whole offseason here rehabbing his knee and just working to get better, and now we’ve seen that on the field. But that comes from preparation. You know, in the second half he was 9-of-12 with one drop, so he could have easily been 10-of-12. And he beat Peyton Manning and that’s not easy to do. Obviously it was a team effort, but like you said, Mark plays well in big spots.”

On Rex Ryan seemingly having personal issues with everybody in the NFL:

“Well first of all, you should hear what he calls me behind closed doors [laughing]. Rex is Rex. He’s very genuine, and he believes what he says. He feels like going back six weeks ago Belichick outcoached him, and it’s up to him to give us a better plan. He’s very transparent and he’s very sincere, and I think that’s why players and coaches want to play for him. He has their back, he speaks the truth in how he sees thing, and he’s not going to be beholden to coach speak.  That’s just who he’s been, and we’ve just got to go by the results. Last year we made it to the final four, right now we’re in the final eight, and that’s a real tribute to him.”

On if it’s true that Ryan was 30 minutes late to his interview with the Jets:

“That is true. With the way the rules work in the NFL with interviews and teams in the playoffs, the windows are really, really small. So he was with the Rams, and he was actually like 45 minutes late, and I’m starting to get a little nervous because this is one of the top candidates we have, and I’m sitting there with Woody and you don’t want a guy hopefully is going to be very impressive. And you have the owner there, he’s 45 minutes late, he walks in and says ‘man I almost killed somebody!’ You know Rex, he’s bombastic, he’s sweating, and then we just sat down and he took the whole interview over for the next three or four hours, and we knew we had our guy.”

Whether he thinks Revis is the best he’s seen at corner in all his years in the business:

“We’re really fortunate to have him, and to take that one step further Boomer, sometimes we’ll go into these defensive meetings and we’ll hear Rex say, ‘well in this call Darrelle you’re in a tough spot, in this call you’re singled.’ And really it’s a credit to Mike Pettine and Rex to be like we have a very special guy here, let’s maximize his talents, and we can really shift coverages and change the numbers in other parts of the coverage because of Darrelle.  So he really has been spectacular. But it’s amazing how bad of a spot we’ll put him in, and it shows you how talented he really is.”

On if he thinks Brad Smith will be healthy enough to play on Sunday:

“We’re really not sure. He did a little more working with our trainers than we had thought. That really could be a game-time decision. And the way that works Craig is an hour and a half before the game we have to deactivate eight players, so in that situation, we may have to work him out at 2 o’clock and see where he is. Rex and I have talked about that. We’re planning two rosters – one with him and one without him. And that’s just being realistic.”

Whether he thinks Brady is playing the best football of his career:

“Yeah he’s playing at a really, really high level. Obviously ’07 was really special as well. But he’s an all-time great. You can put him up there with anybody. To me what’s impressive his accuracy. It’s not just a completion, but he puts the ball where guys can make plays after the catch. And that to me is the most impressive part of his game.”

Rex Ryan Acknowledges Missing Shaun Ellis, But Vows: “I don’t think you have to worry about our defense.”

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