This attack-oriented mindset on defense will be the most striking difference between the 2009 Jets and the 2008 version under the departed Eric Mangini. While Mangini was content to abide by a "bend, don't break" philosophy and easing off the gas pedal, Ryan will stomp a hole through the car while flooring it.
Ryan's methods need little introduction. Having been the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator for the past four years--and with the organization another six before that--Ryan helped make the Ravens one of the most dominant defensive squads for the last decade. While it helped to have talented players like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata on the roster, Ryan's amorphous 3-4 schemes have consistently wrought havoc throughout the NFL. It is for that reason why the Jets wanted Ryan at the helm so much.
The Jets were a respectable, if unspectacular defensive team last year under Mangini, ranking both 17th in the league in points-allowed-per-game (22.2) and yards-allowed-per-game (329.4). They also finished seventh in sacks with 41 takedowns. Despite those numbers, the Jets often saw their opponents push them beyond their breaking point.