Sean O'Shea by Sean O'Shea
Brian Kelly at Notre Dame and Rex Ryan at the New York Jets have so much in common
Posted on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 09:46 AM
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Irish last name--check--- incredibly ambitious -- check---big and burly -- check ---great with media -- check--- love to talk -- check ---successful but a lot to prove -- check.
Brian Kelly and Rex Ryan are cut from the same cloth. New coaches in their leagues with the weight of the world on them.
Rex Ryan had a super first year with the New York Jets but this is 'What have you done for me lately' time as it always is in New York.
Brian Kelly made contenders out of minnows but now he's Captain Ahab captaining the Moby Dick searching for the biggest whale of all, a national title with Notre Dame.
Both have the gift of the gab. Ryan has become even more a superstar since the HBO series 'Hard Knocks' focused on his team for this year's edition.
Kelly knows communication is key to the job. The contrast with the sour Charlie Weis could not be greater. He rarely passes a microphone and gives the same value for money that Ryan does in his press talks.
Now both stand on the cusp of greatness or ignominy.
Losing in New York is the swiftest kick in the rear end any coach can receive.
Lose at Notre Dame and you become the worst nightmare of Irish fans worldwide.
Both took over sad sack teams and Ryan had a great first year. Now comes the dreaded sophomore season for the coach with the big belly and big mouth.
Kelly has become a legend elsewhere but now must prove it at Notre Dame.
Amazingly, both men are deeply dependent on one man-- their quarterback.
Rex Ryan will be gambling that last year's rookie Mark Sanchez becomes this year's Joe Namath. Kelly will be backing Dayne Crist to give him the firepower he needs for his high octane offense to function.
Both men know they will be sacrificed on the altar of success if they do not succeed.
They have big tasks ahead.