It’s another tantalizing Ravens-Jets matchup, another chance to dissect the Ravens’ decision to go with John Harbaugh over Rex Ryan as head coach in 2008.
Please, let’s stop this incessant second guess of Steve Bisciotti. It’s silly, it’s tiresome and it’s pointless.
Bisciotti made the right call for his organization. Harbaugh was exactly what the Ravens needed at the time: an energetic, forceful, demanding coach who swept the country club atmosphere out of the team’s locker room.
Yes, he bruised some egos along the way. But where is Chris McAlister today?
Yes, Harbaugh instituted a more physical training camp. But where would the Ravens be without their new physicality?
Yes, Harbaugh guards injury information as though it was a state secret. Who doesn’t in the NFL these days?
Harbaugh has constructed a team capable of winning a Super Bowl. It possibly has a higher level of the NFL’s best position players than any other team.
New England has the worst defense in the league right now. The Peyton Manning era could be over in Indianapolis. The Steelers may still have a couple shots left, but they are in need of overhaul – and soon. San Diego has never won anything important.
That leaves the Jets. Rex Ryan’s Jets. And even they’re struggling after a terrible loss in Oakland.
But Ryan was right for the Jets for all the reasons he wasn’t in Baltimore. He is a coach without a censor button. He fills up New York’s tabloids and he has delivered another example of why he’s been on the cutting edge of defense for the past decade. His schemes – and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s – are masterpieces. Whether the Jets have the talent to implement that right now is another issue. He has helped rally a whole city.
Ryan may have surprised some with his success as a head coach, but the reason he succeeded is that he was allowed to be himself. The Ravens weren’t ready to take on that persona, especially after the Brian Billick era.
Both coaches are solid in their own right. Both deserve the chance to stand apart from each other. Ryan will always be bitter about losing the job to Harbaugh, but that’s life.
Someday down the road, when these two coaches are done, we can all look back and see who won what and how often. Let’s make our declarations then, not now. It’s too early. For now, it’s enough just to appreciate the difference in styles and approach, and savor what each man brings every time out.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun