Ryan: My job, Sanchez's safe

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
2:48
AM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rex Ryan, his team now 4-7 and his starting cast about as banged up as a professional football team can get, is still looking at the bright side even as the team is running out of runway in its playoff hopes.

Ryan said that Mark Sanchez is still the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, just as he’s repeated after every loss. Despite all the team’s foibles, including a 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night, Ryan believes he will be coaching the team next year.

“I do,” Ryan said. “I think our team will play a heck of a lot better and I don’t believe anybody will ask that question by the time the year’s over. That’s my personal opinion.”

Team owner Woody Johnson didn’t seem quite so sunny as he left the locker room and headed out of MetLife Stadium. Asked if he would answer a few questions, the grumpy Johnson declined to speak with reporters.

Johnson has a lot to think about. General manager Mike Tannenbaum has come under fire, as well as the offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. But Ryan wouldn’t count his team out yet.

“We’re about as wounded as we can possibly be, but we’re not dead,” Ryan said. "I can tell you this, we will give you everything we have, every ounce of energy we have, to get this thing going. That’s from a coaching standpoint as well as the players. If not, then we’ll make adjustments.”

Adjustments at quarterback, however, are off the table for now.

“You can’t blame it on one individual,” Ryan said. “I think Mark does give us the best chance to win right now and that’s what we’ll do.”

With Tim Tebow sidelined with two fractured ribs, Sanchez remains the only experienced option. Greg McElroy might see his practice time increase pretty dramatically, however.
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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