How did Rex Ryan not get a head-coaching job sooner?

The only thing shocking about the Jets’ 17-14 upset over the Chargers on Sunday is how it took Rex Ryan this long to land a head coaching job.

All right, so maybe there were more shocking things that occurred than that. For example, how a San Diego team that averaged over 30 points a game this season was held to only 14 today, or how that same Charger team went an entire quarter without recording a first down.

But see, that all plays into the perplexing question I raise about Ryan. How could this guy have not landed a head-coaching job sooner than January 21, 2009 (the day the Jets hired him)? He interviewed for multiple jobs before then, but kept getting passed over. How does Jim Mora get two head coaching opportunities before Ryan gets his first? That’s mind-boggling.

Ryan continues to prove that he’s the best defensive game-planner and schemer in the league. But he’s more than that to the Jets, because he’s also a master motivator that rubs off on his players in a positive way. He’s brash, cocky and confident – and I mean for none of those three things to be perceived as a negative.

What Ryan has done this year in transforming the Jets’ defense into the best in the league has been impressive. But for New York to reach the AFC Championship Game with a rookie quarterback that can’t be counted on for more than 100 yards of passing per week has been remarkable. I know the Jets win in spite of Sanchez, but give credit where credit is due: Ryan has been an excellent head coach this season.

Some are no doubt disappointed that the AFC Championship Game won’t feature the Colts and Chargers, but keep in mind that Ryan has already studied Peyton Manning and Indy’s potent offense once this season. If there’s anyone that can figure out a way to contain what the Colts do offensively, it’s Ryan. Granted, the Colts’ offense shredded the Jets in the first half of that Week 16 matchup, but I for one am still excited about the prospect of watching Manning vs. the No. 1 defense in the league.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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