Jets owner says coach Rex Ryan will return

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013
Advertisement
;

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The postgame cheer from inside the New York Jets' locker room could be heard in the stadium hallways.

The reason for the roar: The Jets were keeping their coach.

Shortly after Sunday's 20-7 victory over Miami to conclude an 8-8 season, Jets owner Woody Johnson told the team that Rex Ryan would return for a sixth season in 2014.

"Everyone in the locker room was ecstatic," quarterback Geno Smith said. "It felt as if you won the Super Bowl. Having our head coach back, a guy we enjoy playing for, it's great."

Ryan was given the news before the game. He's 42-38 in the regular season with the Jets, and his future had been in doubt even though he's popular with players, has a 4-2 postseason record and has a year left on his contract.

The Jets will sit out the playoffs for the third year in a row.

"I'll say this: I love being the head coach of the New York Jets, plain and simple," Ryan said. "You put everything you've got into it. I never wanted to go out this way. We've missed the playoffs three straight years, and that bothers me, no question."

Players had expressed their support for Ryan in recent days and did so again after the finale.

"Everybody wanted Rex back," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "He's the right man for the job."

Players celebrated the win in the finale by soaking Ryan with a bucket of sports drink. The victory gave the Jets their first two-game winning streak, but Johnson said the decision to retain Ryan was made before those victories.

"We're on the ascent, and a lot has to do with our coach," Johnson said.

General manager John Idzik, who is completing his first year with the Jets, denied that he wanted to hire his own coach rather than continue with Ryan.

"We were together from the beginning," Idzik said. "I know there's speculation throughout the season otherwise, but we always worked together. He's been tremendous to work for and work with. He's a leader, a motivator. He's a teacher. He's a great coach, too."

It was not clear if Ryan will coach through his existing deal or be given a contract extension. Neither Johnson nor Idzik would discuss details related to Ryan's contract.

Ryan was animated throughout Sunday's victory. When Smith scored on a 7-yard, third-down keeper up the middle with 3 seconds left in the first half for a 14-7 lead, Ryan ran on the field to celebrate with his players. When running back Bilal Powell threw a 30-yard completion to set up the Jets' first field goal, Ryan punched the air as he sprinted along the sideline.



Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    10 Most Popular Wedding 'First Dance' Songs
  2. 2
    Psychologists Studied the Most Uptight States in America, and Found a Striking Pattern
  3. 3
    Facebook Post Saves Drowning Teen
  4. 4
    Saturday's front page of the New York Times sports section is simple: LeBron James and transactions
  5. 5
    The 19th-century health scare that told women to worry about "bicycle face"
+ show more