Rex Ryan never exactly gave up control of the New York Jets' defense over the last two seasons. But there's no denying that former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had a larger role in calling the defensive plays the last two seasons, and the play-calling was more conservative.
The numbers back it up. ESPNNewYork.com notes that the Jets were first in "blitz percentage" in 2009, and third in 2010. They fell out of the top 10 the last two seasons after Pettine became heavily involved in the play-calling. Look for that trend to reverse this season.
"We're going to do a lot of blitzing and getting after people," linebacker David Harris told Rich Cimini on Sunday. "There should be a different brand of football than you were used to seeing the last couple of years. ... (Last year) we played more coverage. It wasn't like '09, that's obvious. That's all I'll say about that."
Pettine mysteriously disappeared from the Jets like a Sopranos character after last season. No one said he was whacked, but it's clear enough that Ryan wanted him to move on. (Pettine took a lateral move to the Buffalo Bills.)
Much of the Jets' conservative nature the last two seasons was personnel-based, as the team's front seven often was too old and slow to truly pressure. The Jets should be in better shape to be creative now with Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson and Demario Davis all adding young legs to the starting lineup.
If this is going to be Ryan's swan song with the Jets, look for him to go out swinging.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.