Ryan says he wants to re­main with Jets

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Dennis Wasza­kjr. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan de­nied a report that he would wel­come be­ing fired un­less the team owner makes some per­son­nel changes. Bill Kostroun / As­so­ci­ated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Rex Ryan has no plans to go any­where.

Doesn’t want to, he said.

The feisty New York Jets coach opened his news con­fer­ence Fri­day by de­nounc­ing a pub­lished report that said he would wel­come be­ing fired if owner Woody John­son doesn’t make sig­nif­i­cant per­son­nel and coach­ing changes to the of­fense.

“There was a report that was un­true,” Ryan said. “The fact is, and it’s sim­ple: This is the only team that I want to coach. Pe­riod. This is my team. Th­ese are my play­ers. I don’t want to coach some­body else’s play­ers. This is the team I want to coach.”

With the Jets (6-9) out of the play­offs for the sec­ond straight sea­son, Ryan’s job sta­tus has be­come some­what ten­u­ous in his fourth year. But Ryan said he was “mad as a hor­net” when he read the Daily News story, and im­me­di­ately called John­son to deny it.

The pa­per, which quoted uniden­ti­fied sources, said it stood by the report. The back page car­ried a pic­ture of Ryan and a head­line that said: “Rex Wants Out ... Un­less Woody spends on Jets’ woe­ful of­fense.”

“It’s a very solid report,” said Teri Thompson, man­ag­ing ed­i­tor for sports at the Daily News.

Ryan said he was con­tacted by the re­porter Thurs­day night, but his re­sponse wasn’t in­cluded. Thompson said it was an off-the-record com­ment and as such was not pub­lished.

“There’s no big­ger Jet than me,” Ryan in­sisted. “I want to be the Jets’ head coach for the next 15 years.”

Sev­eral Jets play­ers said Ryan talked about the story with them in the team meet­ing ear­lier in the day, but de­clined to elab­o­rate on what was said.

The Jets are pre­par­ing to fin­ish their sea­son at Buf­falo on Sun­day. In limbo are the fu­tures of Ryan, gen­eral man­ager Mike Tan­nen­baum, of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Tony Sparano and quar­ter­backs Tim Te­bow and Mark Sanchez.

“Let’s face it, I wear Jets stuff ev­ery sin­gle day,” Ryan said. “I’m proud to be a Jet. Some­times I’m proud to be a Jet more than oth­ers. I mean, this sea­son has been a rough one. But this is my team. I be­lieve that we can ac­com­plish what I set out to do when I took the job. And that’s the truth.” rush­ing touch­downs ev­ery year. So dif­fer­ent of­fenses have dif­fer­ent ap­proaches when they get down close. Some of­fenses throw a lot in the red zone, some run it more. You can look at th­ese things a lot of dif­fer­ent ways. I do think, as a ba­sic gauge, it’s a pretty de­cent one for a quar­ter­back.”

An­other ba­sic gauge is wins. The Cow­boys are 31 un­der Romo’s guid­ance this De­cem­ber, a month roiled by the death of a team­mate. That speaks well for him. But the Cow­boys are still only 11-14 in his De­cem­ber starts.

“The evo­lu­tion as a quar­ter­back, you just get bet­ter over the years,” Romo said. “I think more than any­thing, I’m a com­pletely dif­fer­ent player than I was four, three, two years ago. I look back and laugh at that guy who played in some of those games then. But I like what our team is do­ing now. I think it will be a great game this week, and I’m ex­cited about go­ing up there and play­ing the Washington Red­skins.”

The peo­ple around Romo, even op­po­nents, do not need to be con­vinced of his abil­ity down the stretch.

But with­out a win, Romo’s sea­son will be seen as in­com­plete.

“We wouldn’t be in this sit­u­a­tion with­out him,” tight end Ja­son Wit­ten said. “He’s an elite quar­ter­back, and really, all elite quar­ter­backs han­dle that and deal with that un­til they do go and do it. He has high ex­pec­ta­tions for him­self, and he’s really put the team on his back for the ma­jor­ity of this sea­son. I do think he em­braces it.”

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