Posted by Aaron Wilson on April 17, 2009, 8:40 a.m. EDT
Under the direction of ultra-serious former coach Eric Mangini, the New York Jetswere regarded as a buttoned-down football team that was often described as paranoid.
Under new coach Rex Ryan, the Jets are fostering a fun atmosphere that newly-acquired linebacker Bart Scott described as “swagger-licious,” according to Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News.
As he launched his first minicamp since taking over as head coach Thursday, Ryan encouraged his players to be loud, to laugh and to smile at practice.
Of course, Ryan’s boisterous approach represents a major adjustment for the Jets players after years of playing for the staid Mangini.
“We have to deprogram ourselves,” offensive tackle Damien Woody said. ”I never had a coach tell a team to have more fun.”
Added Scott: “When people from your neighborhood go into somebody else’s neighborhood, you don’t go in there quietly. You go kicking and screaming. It’s like, ‘We’re here, what’s up?’ When you talk (stuff) and you’re animated, you put a target on your back. That makes you raise your level.”