Mike Munchak, Jon Gruden, Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan is at it again.
He isn’t predicting, as he has in the past, that the New York Jets will win the Super Bowl.
But the Jets’ coach is touting his team as a force to be reckoned with this season.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not so sure there would be too many people that want to play us,” Ryan told New York radio station WFAN. “And that’s the truth. I’m not going to say how many wins we’re going to have, or whatever, but we are going to play a brand of football that I think our fans will be proud of.”
MIKE MUNCHAK THINKS STEELERS’ OFFENSIVE LINE CAN BE ‘SPECIAL’
The Pittsburgh Steelers hired a former offensive lineman with a bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame to help make their offensive line better.
And Mike Munchak, former coach of the Tennessee Titans and one of the best offensive guards in the history of the game, sounds confident about the impact he can have on the Steelers’ blockers.
The biggest challenge for Munchak and the rest of the line is to establish greater stability. Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered last season, and the Steelers struggled to find a solid replacement. Kelvin Beachum, a seventh-round draft pick in 2013, ultimately beat out Mike Adams, a second-rounder last year, for the starting job at left tackle after the two alternated. The most stable spots were right guard, with David DeCastro, and right tackle, with Marcus Gilbert.
“I think we can have a special group here,” Munchak was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “People don’t know how hard it is to just get plugged in and how much that affects the chemistry of the offensive line. I’ve followed them through college and know what type of players they are.
“I’m excited to work with them.”
JON GRUDEN SAYS BROTHER JAY GRUDEN IS THE BETTER COACH
Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he thinks his younger brother, Jay Gruden, is the better coach in the family.
Jay is entering his first season as coach of the Washington Redskins after serving as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I have a lot of faults,” Jon told Fox 5 TV in Washington. “You know, (Jay) was a lot better player than I was. He’s a lot better coach. I couldn’t take care of my emotions. I’m still a basket case. They called me ‘Chucky,’ so I think you get my drift.”
Although Jay acknowledges to being “a little more laidback” than his older brother, he thinks they have a lot in common emotionally.
“We’re both very competitive,” Jay said. “We love to win, we love football, and that runs in the family I guess. Football runs in our blood and we love to compete.
“We love to win, and we’ll do whatever it takes to do that.”
NEW DETRIOT LIONS’ DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WANTS MORE AGGRESSIVE SECONDARY
Look for the Detroit Lions’ defensive backs to be more aggressive this season in seeking to create more turnovers.
The reason? Teryl Austin, the Lions’ new defensive coordinator.
Since 2003, Austin has been a defensive backs coach with three different NFL teams. His most recent stop was Baltimore, joining the Ravens in 2011.
Austin’s philosophy is for defensive backs to look at the ball, something the members of the Lions’ secondary haven’t done enough on the way to the team ranking 23rd in the NFL against the pass and forcing only 22 turnovers last season. That was fourth-fewest in the NFC behind Atlanta, Minnesota, and New Orleans.
The Lions also were minus-12 in turnover margin, which was next-to-last in the NFC.
Austin is determined to change that.
“I know with my guys (in Baltimore), in the secondary in particular, the way we did it was if a receiver catches a ball we always go for the strip,” Austin was quoted as saying on MLive.com. “If a running back comes through, we’re always trying to poke the ball out. If the ball is in the air, if we have an opportunity to intercept without a collision and hurting our own player, we always try to make the catch.
“We don’t like to go for pass breakups in practice. Go for the interception now so you learn how to do it, and when you get in the game, it's not the first time you've tried it.”
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