Give Rex Ryan credit for trying.
He was plugging away in his media session at the NFL's owners meetings in Phoenix this week. Ryan was talking about how he thought the Jets would surprise some people this year, which may mean winning just one game given how low the expectations are being set for the team in 2013.
"I think people should be worried about us a lot more than they are," Ryan said. "We’ll see what kind of team our opponents get to play, and I'm excited about it."
Ryan talked about being the kind of guy that meets challenges head on and how he wouldn't back down from anything, all things we've heard from him before and, unless this is the rare correct Ryan prediction, we'll be hearing it again once this season starts. The difference is that it all sounds like a guy going through the motions instead of a guy saying what he believes.
It's not that Ryan is being dishonest, because he's been here long enough to know that this is exactly who he is as a coach. It's that it sounds totally different when you're a coach entering the final year of his contract with a new general manager in charge of what looks like a total rebuild of the roster.
The team that Ryan took to two AFC Championship Games has come apart, leaving little talent behind and little reason to believe in any bluster. Once Darrelle Revis goes, there won't even be a vestige of those days left in the building.
And Revis is going, one way or the other. Ryan said the team wasn't actively shopping him, which is either a semantic misdirection or another indication that John Idzik and Woody Johnson aren't keeping him in the loop.
We assume it's the former, because you don't need to actively shop a player that everyone knows is up for bidding and because we'd like to think that Rex isn't just sitting in his office by himself all day. In the end, it's just more bluster and Ryan's done enough of that.
There were other morsels, like Ryan calling the plays on defense, but they all added up to the same thing. A coach grasping at straws because he knows that his job relies on winning games with a team that doesn't look ready to win too many games.