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Jets owner has the 'ultimate confidence in Rex'
Florham Park, NJ (Sports Network) - New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan finally addressed the media after more than a week of silence.
And the first thing Johnson did at Tuesday's press conference, which was held nine days after the Jets' season ended, was apologize for not speaking sooner.
From that point forward, the duo discussed a myriad of topics.
Ryan declared they're looking for offensive and defensive coordinators.
"I decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator spot by letting Tony Sparano go. I appreciate the efforts that Tony did here; he did a lot of good things. From a personnel standpoint, this was not the team that we thought we were going to have throughout the season," Ryan explained, citing injuries.
"I wanted to move this team in a different direction offensively. Not saying that Tony didn't do a good job because he did a tremendous job and he's a tremendous coach."
Sparano joined the Jets last January after spending nearly four years as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. He took over for Brian Schottenheimer in hopes of improving a Jets offense that ranked 25th during the 2011 season.
Instead, the Jets took a step backward and ranked 30th, ahead of only San Diego and Arizona. New York was expected to return to a ground and pound mentality and finished 12th in rushing, but quarterback Mark Sanchez had his worst season and the offensive inconsistency played a major factor in the team's 6-10 finish.
Of course, questions about the quarterback position were directed at Ryan. "We have to get an offensive coordinator in place, then we'll address it from there," he said.
Ryan also made it clear that Mike Pettine will no longer run the defense and indicated that they already have a new defensive coordinator hired, but the "ink's not dry."
Considering the team has missed the playoffs back-to-back seasons, Ryan did not deny his apprehension about potentially being relieved of his coaching duties.
"I was concerned because I know the year that we had was nowhere close to the expectations that we had as an organization," said Ryan, who wants "a physical, aggressive, attack style of football team" and an offensive coordinator that shares his mentality.
Johnson heaped effusive praise on Ryan, saying that he thinks "Rex Ryan is perfect for the New York Jets." He added that he has the "ultimate confidence in Rex as a head coach, as a leader, as a motivator, as a play-caller if he has to do it. He's capable of doing all these things."
Johnson was also asked about what he's looking for in a replacement for dismissed general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
"We're looking at somebody that can guide us to the next level of success and really change the dynamic in a way that yields more consistent success," he said.
Finally, in a lighter moment, Ryan explained his Sanchez tattoo. Photos of Ryan sunbathing on his vacation to the Bahamas last week surfaced and revealed a tattoo on his right arm of his wife dressed in a Sanchez jersey.
"It's a tattoo I've had going on three years now," he said. "If Sanchez doesn't play better, that number is changing."
01/08 14:26:12 ET
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