Rex Ryan won't change QBs

Updated: November 12, 2012, 7:59 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan is sticking with Mark Sanchez, even if his job depends on it.

Ryan responded defiantly Monday when asked if he would bench Sanchez in favor of Tim Tebow, claiming that his job security with the New York Jets will not factor into who starts at quarterback.

"If that day ever happens, then it happens," Ryan said. "But with me, I'm never going to waver. I'm not going to make a decision one way or the other in order to save my job. I'm trying to win games."

Criticism has rained down on the front office and coaching staff, including Ryan, as the losses have mounted for the Jets (3-6), who have lost three consecutive games.

Sanchez particularly has struggled this season, his fourth in the NFL, leaving outsiders clamoring for Tebow to receive a chance at leading the offense. Ryan, however, emphasized that public opinion will not impact his decisions.

"I understand that our record is 3-6, and that's not good, and that's not anywhere close to where this team wants to be," Ryan said. "But again, I'm not sitting back concentrating on, 'Hey, how do I save my job?' I'm concentrating on how do we win.

"At the end of the day, I'm confident that I'll be the coach because I think we'll find a way to win."

Ryan reiterated his claim that the Jets would get better without making major changes.

"We have to find a way," Ryan said. "There's no magic formula or magic speech that's going to change that but hard work. That's something that I know we'll continue to do. It might not be the answer that you want to hear or whatever, but it's the simple truth."

In other words -- no quarterback change, no roster adjustments and no major schematic changes for the Jets, who have lost nine of their last 12 regular-season games dating to last season.

One thing did change -- Sanchez volunteered to be one of the Jets available to the media.

"I also wanted to make sure I was available to speak for the offense and my mistakes and stuff," said Sanchez, who committed two costly turnovers in Sunday's 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. "I want to be able to come in Wednesday with this game behind us."

Sanchez called his interception in the red zone a "rookie mistake," and accounted for some other errors in the game. But he also believes that the Jets are a few tweaks away from a winning record.

"I know we're better than we've been playing," Sanchez said. "I know I can make better decisions than that one on the goal line. All those things, once they hit and they go right, this thing turns so quick it'll make your head spin."

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Sanchez's college coach at USC, believes his former quarterback has had a tough job made more difficult by the addition of Tebow and his ardent fan base.

Sanchez alluded that the addition may not have been as welcome as he has at times portrayed.

"It's something that's on my plate," Sanchez said. "It's my job to deal with it, and I know I can handle it and it comes down to me just playing better and not really worrying about anything else."

So how does Sanchez see Tebow?

"I view him the same as I viewed any of the other backup quarterbacks," Sanchez said. "They help me during the week to prepare, and I'm always competing against myself anyway, so it doesn't matter."

Ryan said that he hasn't guaranteed Sanchez a starting job, but clearly he will continue to stick with the quarterback and the uneasy balance between a traditional offense and the Tebow-led Wildcat.

It isn't a formula that has shown any success in its current form, but Ryan isn't backing away despite any of the offensive statistics -- namely zero points against Seattle.

"We're going to get this done or die trying," Ryan said. "And that's how we'll approach it."

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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