The New York Jets were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with the Ravens’ win over the Lions Monday night, officially kicking of the start of Rex-Ryan-trying-to-save-his-job season in the NFL.
The Jets, 6-10 finishers last season, are 6-8 this year with games against the Browns and Dolphins remaining. They’ve been hampered, yet again, by inconsistent quarterback play and a defense that has failed to meet the standard set during back-to-back AFC championship appearances during Ryan’s first two years with the team.
But when asked by reporters Monday — while his team still had a chance — whether he thought he should be back as head coach next season, Ryan responded thusly: “Of course I believe it. Of course. No question, I believe it. There’s no doubt about it.”
Ryan has never exactly been one to let a thing like reality harsh his mellow, so it comes as no surprise that he’s confident in his abilities to lead the Jets to the promised land. But after a third straight season at or below .500, one has to figure owner Woody Johnson’s patience is running thin.
However, even if his firing seems inevitable, Ryan has made it clear he will go down swinging.
“I’m a competent guy, even though I know that’ll be questioned a zillion times forward and backward,” Ryan said. “That’s fine. But I know I’m a good football coach. I believe in this team. I believe in this organization. And I’m determined to bring a winner to this team. There’s no question about it. And I believe that I’m the right guy for it. I’m not the guy making that decision. If I was, it would be easy.
“I think that this team is on the right path. It might not be reflected in our record right now. I understand that. But I believe this team is going in the right direction.”