FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- And then there was one.
So perhaps there are a few more coaches from the 2012 season, but Rex Ryan is out on a limb this year. All three coordinators and some position coaches have left or been fired. The general manager who hired him, Mike Tannenbaum, has been replaced by John Idzik -- who took Ryan on as a condition of employment. Ryan’s team is coming off a 6-10 year and the cap situation makes a winning season in 2013 an uphill climb.
So is Ryan, with two years left on his contract at about $3 million apiece, worried about keeping his job?
"I’m not," Ryan said. "And the reason I say that, and I’ve said it before, I’m confident in myself but I’m confident in the direction that this football team’s taken."
In a turn of events that will fail to surprise Jets watchers, the team somehow managed to render top player Darrelle Revis "speechless" on the day it introduced Idzik. With Revis’ contract one of the issues on the table and a trade report swirling, neither Idzik, Ryan nor owner Woody Johnson shot it down cleanly, and none gave Revis the ceremonial vote of support.
Instead they all resolved to look at the entire roster before commenting on any individuals. Revis later tweeted that he was speechless and felt bad for the Jets fan base to have to go through this again.
When Ryan was hired in January of 2009, his boisterous first press conference was a marked difference from Idzik’s. He didn’t hesitate to praise Revis, to say he welcomed taking on underperforming Vernon Gholston as a personal challenge. Then there was the frank talk that he thought his Jets would reach the Super Bowl in Obama’s first term.
Now, with these issues swirling around the team, Ryan is quieter when making predictions, but thinks he can still have success here.
"As far as the long term deal, what I can affect is doing the best job I possibly can do," Ryan said. "And I’ve had success, maybe not to the extent that everybody looks at like winning the Super Bowls every single year. I haven’t had that success yet as a head coach but I have had some success throughout my career. And the best thing I can do is focus on doing a tremendous job here and that’s exactly what I’m going to do."