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Palladino: Clueless Couple Rex, Woody Can’t Lift Jets Fans’ Hopes

Jets coach Rex Ryan, owner Woody Johnson (credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Jets coach Rex Ryan, owner Woody Johnson (credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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By Ernie Palladino
» More Ernie Palladino Columns

Attention Jets fans: You may now stop trying to unload those near-worthless PSLs.

That tattoo of the coach’s wife in a Mark Sanchez jersey is more than two years old.

Don’t care about Rex Ryan’s love life? Oh. Too bad. Because that was about the only concrete thing to come out of Tuesday’s press conference with the coach and owner Woody Johnson. That, and the fact that everything you didn’t like about 2012 is going to change in 2013.

These are the Jets, however, and neither Rex nor the Woodman have an idea about how they’ll affect such change. But hey, that should be comfort enough to pull $60,000 worth of PSLs you’re trying to unload for a third the price off eBay. It’s not like they’re getting a lot of offers, anyway.

We know this much: Rex loves his wife Michelle; thinks she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, even after 25 years of marriage. Rex didn’t love quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh so much, or offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, whom he sent packing Tuesday morning. He loves defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, but Pettine’s contract is up and he wants out of the circus.

And absolutely nobody is going to want to play the Jets next year.

“We’re going to be a dangerous football team,” Ryan said, sounding more like his old, defiant self than at anytime past midseason. “I gotta tell ya, you’re not going to want to play the Jets. We know what we want to accomplish.”

That is to be as unpredictable on offense as on defense and special teams.

How that happens?

He had no idea. Ryan came out of that conference sounding just as clueless about offensive philosophy as he was when he initially took the job four years ago. Now in need of an offensive coordinator, he put off all questions about Sanchez’ status as a starter, or even a roster member, until a new offensive philosophy comes along.

“We’re looking at it now,” Ryan said. “There are things we have to do. Once we’ve got an offensive coordinator in place, then we’ll discuss the quarterback.”

The problem here is that Ryan should have a firm idea of what kind of offense he wants to run. While it’s understood that he comes from a defensive background and, therefore, tends to spend most of his time tinkering with that side of the ball. But he also needs to show leadership on offense. He admitted his inability to imprint the same aggressiveness his defense possesses on the offense has been one of his great failings as a coach. But his words indicate that he hasn’t changed.

He’s still waiting for someone else to come up with the answers, which is the opposite of what he should be looking for. He needs to find a coordinator who shares his own vision, not the other way around.

He made that mistake with Sparano. He made that mistake by marrying himself to the ground-and-pound game of the first two years, despite the fact that he and the dearly departed Mike Tannenbaum got rid of several of those players who made the G&P work. Now, he’s waiting for some other genius to whisper in his ear.

The twosome also said Sanchez’ financial situation would have no bearing on whether he wins a training camp competition with whoever arrives from the outside to challenge him. With $8.3 million due him next year and a $12 million cap hit looming, comments like that don’t exactly ring of veracity.

But take heart. They’ve got it all figured out, even as Ryan and Johnson search for a GM, an offensive coordinator, a defensive coordinator, a quarterbacks coach, a strength coach, and maybe another assistant or two depending on what the next couple of weeks bring.

They promised it’s all going to change. The Jets are not going to be bullied anymore.

“We’re going to attack you from the time the whistle blows on offense, defense, and special teams,” Ryan said. “That’s what we’re going to give fans next year and beyond.”

How? They’ll figure it out as they go.

On second thought, leave the PSLs on eBay. You might want to cut your losses.

Your thoughts on the presser? Is Woody making a big, big mistake by keeping Rex around? Sound off in the comments!