- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Responding to a win-now edict from the team's owner, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan acknowledged Tuesday that "it's time to deliver."
Ryan also sent a message to the rest of the NFL.
"Watch out for the Jets, man," Ryan told reporters at the league's owners meetings. "I'm just telling you."
It was a little bit of the old Ryan bravado, coming two days after owner Woody Johnson unwittingly turned up the heat on his coach by saying, "I'm not going to use the word 'patient' anymore. We want to do it now."
The Jets have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, creating a possible playoffs-or-bust scenario for Ryan, who is 42-38 in five seasons. He received a multiyear contract extension after last season, but his salary is guaranteed through only 2015.
Ryan insisted he's not under any additional pressure to win.
"My expectations have never changed -- I want to win, I expect to win," he said. "I'll say this: it's time to deliver. It's time to deliver for this community, for New York, for this entire area. We have to step up and deliver. I'm not running from it, let's put it that way. I expect a lot out of this football team."
Ryan's optimism is fueled by last season's surprising 8-8 finish. He didn't issue any guarantees, but he spoke confidently about his team's chances.
"Hey, I see it, nobody is really talking about us -- and that's fine and dandy," Ryan said. "They're going to."
Ryan intimated that Smith has the early edge, hinting the second-year quarterback will work with the first team when offseason practices start next month. But he didn't rule out the possibility of Vick as the Week 1 starter.
"I would say yes, we want that competition," Ryan said. "We'll let it all play out.
"It's going to be really interesting to watch that competition unfold. I've said this before -- Geno Smith is going to be hard to beat out."
Ryan, commenting publicly for the first time on the Vick signing, described the former Philadelphia Eagles starter as a proven winner and a "dynamic player." He also said the Jets may have a personnel package that includes both quarterbacks, probably causing a groan from fans who recall the ill-fated plan for Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow in 2012.
"He's got a big arm and he can still run," Ryan said of Vick. "[He's] very dangerous."
The Jets are taking a calculated risk by adding a legitimate threat to Smith. Some young quarterbacks would be rattled by the pressure, but they're confident Smith will respond favorably to Vick's presence.
Ryan said he spoke with Smith by phone, telling him, "Hey, kid, we're going to sign Mike Vick."
"He was excited, you could feel it on the other end," Ryan said. "He's not like, 'Shoot, why'd we do it?' No, he's happy about it. Geno wants to get better. He looks at us getting Mike Vick as an opportunity to get better throughout competition."
"I think it helps Geno," Jets general manager John Idzik said of Vick's presence. "Mike brings a wealth of experience, both on the field in the NFL and off the field, he's been through a lot. He's grown as a player, he's grown as a person. That helps not only Geno, but we have a relatively young locker room. It'll help our guys."
Another question is how Vick will respond if he's on the bench. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who coached Vick in Philadelphia, doesn't anticipate any problems.
"I know he'll go in and compete and, if he ends up being the second guy, it's probably different now than it would've been earlier in his career," Reid said. "I think he'll be a help to the young kid. He's not going to try to step on his toes or crush him. And I think he's got plenty of juice left."
8hEric D. Williams
21hBy Dan Graziano
2dMatt Walks, ESPN.com