Ryan says he wants to remain with Jets
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.”