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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Updated: January 4, 10:09 AM ET
Rex Ryan to take bigger role in offense

By Rich Cimini
ESPNNewYork.com

Perhaps bothered by the perception that he's not in control of his dysfunctional team, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan vowed Tuesday to take a bigger role in the offense.

"I will definitely be around the offense more, there's no doubt, for no other reason just so I have a better idea of our team," Ryan said on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 1050.

Ryan recalled his first season, 2009, when after initially installing his defensive system, he started attending offensive meetings during the season. He said he's "definitely going to do that. Going back on that, I definitely had a better idea of our team then."

On Monday, Ryan admitted he didn't have "the pulse" of the team, which fell well short of expectations. Several players said the team's Super Bowl aspirations were undermined by bad chemistry on and off the field, particularly on offense.

Ryan's lack of involvement in the offense came to the forefront Sunday in Miami, where Ryan admitted after the game that he didn't know why wide receiver Santonio Holmes was benched with two minutes remaining. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer pulled Holmes because he was jawing with teammates in the huddle because some of them had accused him of quitting in the 19-17 loss.

After two days of being grilled about Holmes' blow up and why he didn't know about it, Ryan finally admitted there may have been a communications breakdown on the sideline.

Asked if someone on the staff erred in not telling him, Ryan replied, "Well, that could be ... but it's one of those deals where I'm trying to get the clock managed and everything else.

"Is that something we'll look at? Obviously. I need to know what's going on. People say, 'How could you not know?' Well, I didn't know. I'm just telling the truth ... I'll shoulder the responsibility, that's on me. That's one of those things we need to get fixed. I'm confident we will get those fixed."

Ryan was reluctant to discuss the Holmes incident, but he reiterated that he expects him back on the team in 2012. The Jets have to make a decision before Feb. 8. If he's still on the roster then, they have to guarantee $7.5 million of his 2013 salary in addition to the $7.75 million already guaranteed for 2012.

The Jets also have to make a decision on Schottenheimer, who will interview for the Jaguars' head-coaching vacancy. Ryan said Schottenheimer will return if he doesn't become a head coach, except this time he said it would be in his same role.

"Yes, he would come back here as the offensive coordinator," said Ryan, who was vague Monday when questioned about Schottenheimer's future role.

Previously, there was speculation that Schottenheimer would have to return in a reduced role. He has two years, $3.2 million remaining on his Jets contract, and some league sources maintain the Jets are pushing him away because they want his salary off their books.

One potential coordinator candidate, Norv Turner, won't be available. He will remain the San Diego Chargers' head coach, the Chargers announced. On Sunday, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reported that Turner and St. Louis Rams coordinator Josh McDaniels would be considered as potential replacements for Schottenheimer.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.