Rex, Woody meet the press

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
11:41
AM ET
Jets head coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson met with the media Tuesday for the first time since the season ended. Here are some observations as the Jets try to fix what went wrong for the 6-10 team in 2012:

• Johnson opened and didn't add much to what he had said in the team's news release. He knew what he had to say about former GM Mike Tannenbaum, said it, and then turned it over to Ryan. The coach seemed relaxed knowing that his job is safe.

• Ryan's bravado wasn't there for his opening remarks. Yes, he talked about this being a new beginning, but he didn't seem to have the usual swagger that he had. He still was able to crack some jokes with regard to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine interviewing with Buffalo, but this isn't the old Ryan.

• Pettine's contract is up and Tony Sparano was dismissed, so the Jets will have new offensive and defensive coordinators next season. Ryan essentially said the next defensive coordinator is already on the staff, and the team is looking into offensive coordinators.

• When asked about QB Mark Sanchez, Ryan said he needs to find out who the GM is going to before the team makes personnel decisions. Ryan certainly didn't show confidence in Sanchez by essentially not answering.

• Ryan and Johnson also weren't talking about Tim Tebow, who is under contract next season. With a new GM coming in, the team is not opening up about players because the GM might have different view on the personnel.

• Johnson says the GM candidates the Jets are talking to are exceptionally good.

• Expanding on Sanchez, they acknowledged there will be competition at the quarterback position next year and financial situations will not play a role in determining who the starter is. Sanchez's salary will make it tough to trade or cut him.

• There was a time when Ryan had no problem talking about the Super Bowl. Today, when asked a question regarding the Super Bowl, Ryan refrained from commenting.

• Johnson said he didn't consider firing Ryan despite the offense's struggles in his tenure. He said there were some extenuating circumstances.

• Ryan acknowledged he was worried he could get fired because of the team's 6-10 record. There are coaches around the league who got fired with better records, and Ryan knows he has to win to stay employed. Next season is shaping up to be critical for the Jets coach.

• The coach smiled when asked about his tattoo of his wife wearing a Sanchez jersey. Ryan joked that if Sanchez doesn't play better, he's going to get a new number on that jersey. He explained the tattoo as a sign of love for his wife.

• Ryan has two years left on his deal, and Johnson wouldn't address the coach's contract. If Ryan survives next season, he would be a lame-duck coach in 2014.

• Despite his organization being labeled as a "circus," Johnson doesn't believe the franchise has been tarnished.

• Overall, Ryan and Johnson repeatedly said they have to make changes and are looking forward to making them. Johnson is extremely confident in Rex, and the team is going to work to improve on offense.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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