Rex Ryan Holds Firm: “I Believe We Are The Best Team In The NFL”
When it comes to picking out the best team in the NFL right now, I think we can all agree that team comes from the AFC. I’d venture to say that it’s between the New York Jets, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.When it comes to picking one of those, however, I may resort to throwing darts. Those four teams have combined four five losses this year and four of those losses have come from each other. The 5-1 Jets lost their season opener to the Ravens. The Ravens, the only two-loss team thanks to a loss to Cincinnati, were beaten by the Patriots. New England lost to the Jets, completing that round robin and the Steelers lost to the Ravens and haven’t yet beaten one of the other teams in this conversation, but are 5-1 despite playing their first four games without Ben Roethlisberger.
Follow all that?I think an argument can be made for any of those four teams, really, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Jets coach Rex Ryan believes his team, the one many had as the Super Bowl favorite in the preseason but a complete bust after one week, is the best.Rex Ryan joined ESPN Radio New York with the Michael Kay Show to discuss what he did during the bye week, where his team needs to improve coming out of the week off, the momentum his team has as it is tied for the best record in the NFL, Darrelle Revis’ return to 100 percent health, the added penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits that were instituted during his bye week and the best team in the NFL right now.
On what he did during the bye week:
“I actually went to South Carolina for a couple days. It was good to get away a little bit. And I went to the 10-year Super Bowl reunion for the Ravens. They had a little party for all the guys and stuff for all the guys on Saturday night. That was a good thing to go to. It just put a little more gas on the fire, realizing how special that group was and thinking ahead of how special I think this team is that we’ve got right now.”
On where the Jets need to improve coming out of the bye:
“First off, we had time to scout each other. The defense broke down our offense and vice versa and it was great because we were preparing for each other and then we presented things. The defense presented things to our offense and vice versa and that was really good. You get a lot of things in there. Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees and so when you point things out, I think that can help us schematically and tendency-wise.”
On the Jets’ momentum:
“As far as getting momentum off a victory and all that kind of stuff, we have a lot of momentum right now because our guys are fresh. The bye week, granted you want to keep going when you’ve got a win streak going, but right now our guys are fresh and [Green Bay] is going to be getting our guys at full strength.”
On Darrelle Revis announcing himself as 100 percent ready:
“I would agree. … He looked tremendous out there on the practice field, flying around. You see that energy that you’re so used to seeing and I think he’s got it back. Obviously that’s going to help our defense immensely.”
On the additional penalties for illegal hits that were instituted during the Jets’ bye week:
“I think the spirit of it is you’re trying to protect players, which I always think is a great thing. We’re going to have to lower our targets down a little bit, but [I’m OK] as long as the hits are justified. I felt we had the penalty on Jim Leonhard that was kind of an iffy call. If it’s a flagrant thing, a blatant deal, then I’m all for it.”
On whether the Jets are the best team in the NFL right now:
“I believe we are the best team in the NFL. We’ve felt that way the whole season. We got beat by Baltimore by a point, I understand that, but I think we’re just getting better and better as the weeks go on and we’re finding ways to win. We expect to win and we’re just getting it done right now and that’s the encouraging thing. We’re not playing our best football yet. I think our best football’s ahead of us and that’s why, with confidence, I do feel we are the best team in the league.”