Ray Lewis has dealt with Rex Ryan after an abysmal defensive performance before -- so the Ravens linebacker can relate to what the Jets are going through.
“It was very rare where the total, total defense played bad,” Lewis said during a Wednesday conference call. “But he’s just an honest guy. If it’s one person (that missed a tackle or assignment), he’s gonna call out that one person. If it’s the (entire) defense, he’s gonna call out the defense. That’s just who he is. He’s a straight forward person. He’s gonna give it to you the way it is, say this is how we’re gonna correct it, and then he’s gonna move on.”
Once when Ryan was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore, the Ravens gave up 207 rushing yards during a 30-10 blowout loss to the Giants on Nov. 16, 2008.
“He came in afterward and was like I’m gonna take part of the blame, because I was talking about this, and moving guys out of position, and doing things like that,” Lewis said. “But then you come back (watch film) and you settle in like I said, he always settles in and says alright let’s move forward. This is what we’re gonna correct, and then once he makes the corrections, he’s right back to being himself.”
On Sunday in Oakland, the Jets allowed 234 rushing yards, and are currently ranked 31st in the NFL in rush defense. Their porous effort prompted Joe Namath to criticize Ryan’s team’s preparation, and question whether his bravado caused overconfidence.
“I just know when Rex is here, he had a certain confidence where he believed in his players,” Lewis said, declining to get into Namath’s disparaging comments. “Some people keep it to themselves, some people vocally say it. But I don’t believe players should be affected one way or another. I feel the game still has to be played by the players no matter what the coach says.”
Lewis has noticed the change in the Jets’ offense from years past, as they’ve begun throwing it more than running it (111 passes to 73 runs through three games).
“It’s definitely a change up from what you’ve seen from them the last couple of years, which is run, run, run, run, run,” Lewis said.
Ryan admitted Monday that the Jets wouldn’t run as much with Haloti Ngata and Lewis anchoring the middle of the Ravens’ defense.
“We’ll probably have to throw it more than we want,” Ryan said.