|Ryan laid out his blueprint for making the Jets successful, and it doesn't include Sparano. (AP)|
It took a week, but Jets coach Rex Ryan, presumably rested from his Bahamas vacation, finally addressed the media on Tuesday. There was plenty to discuss, but the biggest issue facing this team starts with the offense -- or the lack of one -- last season.
First-year offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was fired Monday night, and Ryan began by talking about that decision and what it means going forward.
"Last night, after thinking about it for a long time, I decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator spot by letting Tony Sparano go," Ryan said. "I appreciate the efforts that Tony did here -- he did a lot of good things -- and, obviously, when you look at it from a personnel standpoint, this is not the team we thought we were going to have throughout the season.
"Obviously, you look a little different when you have Santonio Holmes outside. … But I understand the circumstances Tony dealt with. But in the end of the day, I wanted to move this team in a different direction offensively."
So what is that direction? Ryan hinted at it but didn't offer much in the way of specifics.
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"Where I've come up short in my opinion, in four years, I don't think I've done as good a job of implementing who I am throughout this team," Ryan explained. "And I want a physical, aggressive, attack-style of football team. … Unpredictable in all three phases. That's what I want.
" … I don't think it's gotten through offensively. When we look for a new offensive coordinator, I want somebody with that same type of belief that I would have as a defensive guy. … I want to be more of an attack-style of team, whether it's running the pistol or different types of offenses. As hard as we are to attack defensively, I want to be the same way on offense."
Ryan admitted that he wants to get input from the yet-to-be-hired general manager, but that's his overarching strategy heading into the offseason.
Of course, today's NFL is about having a franchise quarterback and building around him. The Jets currently don't have one on the roster. Ryan was asked if Mark Sanchez is the guy to give him the offense he described.
"Let's get the general manager and offensive coordinator in place before we answer any questions specifically about players."
But a short while later, Ryan admitted that the quarterback job is wide open.
"I'd just say this: whoever the offensive coordinator is … the financial part of it will not have any considerations for it," Ryan said. "We'll play the player we feels gives us the best chance."
Owner Woody Johnson, also in attendance, confirmed the report that the new general manager can't fire Ryan.
"It was [a stipulation]," Johnson said. "I believe in Rex. I'm part of [the head coach] search, so the relationship between the head coach and owner is critical. The relationship between the head coach and GM is also critical. And that's why Rex would be part of this and he'll get to know the GM as soon as we [hire him]."
No Ryan press conference would be complete without a few assurances. And while Ryan wasn't interested in talking Super Bowl guarantees, he did offer this:
"We are going to be a dangerous football team. I can promise you that. How many wins and all that, I don't know. But I'm gonna tell you: You're not gonna want to play the New York Jets."
Perhaps the most telling comment came from Johnson, though.
"The only way you're going to get better is admitting what you haven't done so far," he said, without a hint of irony. "If you gloss over it, you're not going to get better."
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