Rex Ryan sounds like a coach in denial

November, 14, 2012
11/14/12
5:46
PM ET
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan says a lot of things. To the point that it is getting increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Did Ryan really think the Jets (3-6) had a shot at the playoffs before last week's blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks?

Does Ryan "believe" and "have faith" in quarterback Mark Sanchez, when it's clear to everyone else the fourth-year quarterback is regressing?

Finally, does Ryan think the Jets' locker room will remain united as losses mount and there's already evidence of backstabbing players anonymously ripping Tim Tebow?

In covering Ryan since his days as defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens, I've always known him to be honest and a straight shooter. That is why Ryan genuinely appears to be a coach in denial.

Ryan probably believes the stuff that he has said the past few weeks. But here is the reality Ryan refuses to face: Sanchez is not a franchise quarterback. The Jets are not a playoff team. And the locker room already is showing signs of coming apart for a second straight season.

It's time for Ryan to lift the Gang Green-colored lenses above his eyes, face the truth and begin addressing these issues before it's too late.

It's easy for the Jets to pound their chest and talk fantasy during the week. They can boast about making the playoffs on Mondays, talk about beating teams up on Wednesdays and the offense improving on Fridays. But reality always bites the Jets in the butt on Sundays. New York had another listless performance in Week 10. It failed to score an offensive touchdown in a 28-7 thrashing at Seattle.

The reality is the Jets have a .333 winning percentage. The reality is New York needs a roster overhaul and Tebow is more of a detriment than an asset.

The reality is, despite immense hype and media coverage, New York hasn't been a good team in two years.

Ryan is a good coach. You do not get to back-to-back AFC Championship Games if your X's and O's aren't solid.

However, Ryan's penchant for denial will be his downfall if he doesn't wake up quickly. It is time for Ryan to be honest with himself and realize everything is not fine with the Jets. This team clearly needs a lot of work.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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