NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A defiant Rex Ryan says he’s “100 percent committed” to coaching the Jets.
Ryan reacted strongly Friday to a report that stated he “would want out” if owner Woody Johnson isn’t prepared to invest in changes on offense.
“If Woody’s not willing to do what it takes to fix the team, then (Ryan) knows he’s better off being fired,” a source told the New York Daily News. “If Woody is willing to eat some money and spend to get us out of this mess, then it’s worth staying.”
Sporting a Jets cap and hoodie, Ryan blasted the report as “totally untrue” and “total garbage.”
“I don’t care who the source is or whatever,” he said. “I know for a fact that it’s untrue.”
Manish Mehta of the Daily News speculated that Ryan’s plan “would almost certainly include” canning offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who was hired to replace Brian Schottenheimer after last year’s disappointing 8-8 finish. But it’s “unclear” whether Johnson would want to pay out the remainder of Sparano’s contract and hire a replacement, Mehta reported.
Rex is signed through 2014. His preference would be “to stay with the Jets if his owner is willing to pour in all the necessary resources” into the offense, the Daily News reported.
“I called Mr. Johnson as soon as I read the article and let him know that’s absolutely, 100 percent not my intention,” Ryan said. “No way in heck. I’m not putting an ultimatum to this man that hired me. No chance.”
WFAN co-host and rabid Jets fan Joe Benigno was enraged Friday morning by the reported power play: “You know what, Rex? If you don’t want to be here, go!”
It’s been speculated that Ryan’s job is safe for next season, though some have called for the coach’s firing after what will be his worst season at the helm. The Daily News reported that Ryan “has not been given assurances about his job security.”
“The fact is — and it’s simple — this is the only team that I want to coach, period,” Ryan said. “This is the team I want to coach, period. When I had the conversation with this reporter, I told him that. Now it wasn’t reported that way in the article and maybe the headlines say a certain thing, but I want everybody to understand that is not the case. OK?
“This is my team. That’s how I approach it. And this is the only place I want to coach, period. I mean, let’s face it — I wear Jets stuff every single day. Every day. I’m proud to be a Jet.”
Ryan said he was “disappointed” and “mad as a hornet.”
“There’s no bigger Jet than me,” Ryan said. “I want to be the Jets head coach for the next 15 years.”
New York (6-9) has been beset by injuries — big ones to Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes — not to mention its season-long quarterback drama with Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy all garnering headlines. The Jets’ season will wrap up Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
According to CBSSports.com, general manager Mike Tannenbaum “will be relieved of his duties,” likely on Monday.
Are you with Rex or does he deserve the boot? Be heard in the comments…