NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rex Ryan is taking control of his defense once again.
With Mike Pettine in Buffalo, Dennis Thurman has the reins as defensive coordinator. But the Jets head coach told the New York Daily News he’ll “make the calls” and have the “final say” on that side of the ball in 2013.
“Dennis and I worked side-by-side with each other literally for years now,” Ryan told the Daily News from the NFL meetings Tuesday. “It’s something that we talked about and we want to do. I want Dennis to just be totally involved like he always is, but I’ll make the calls (and have) the final say on the calls. But again, the process will be very similar.”
The Jets had the NFL’s eighth-best defense last season with Pettine calling almost all of the plays.
Ryan was the primary play-caller on ‘D’ when he took the Jets’ top job in 2009 — and the team finished with the No. 1 defense in the league. New York finished No. 3 and No. 5 in the following two seasons as Pettine took on added responsibility.
“One thing I know for sure about this football team — since I’ve been here and as long as I’ll ever be here — is we will be one of the premier defenses in the league,” Ryan told the Daily News. “The Jet way is playing great defense.”
Ryan also said he’d be “more involved” this season in defensive meetings.
But will star cornerback Darrelle Revis be in the room? Ryan insisted Tuesday that the Jets aren’t “actively” dangling Revis, despite rampant trade rumors.
“This is all speculation like it’s a foregone conclusion,” he told reporters. “I don’t believe it. With that, I am not naive enough to understand several people would be interest in a player like Darrelle Revis.”
With plenty of roster turnover already, losing Revis would be a blow to a team looking to put its disastrous 6-10 season in the rear-view. A third consecutive season on the outside looking in during the playoffs could also bring an end to the Ryan era in New York.
“I never said it was going to be easy, but I’m excited about the challenges,” said Ryan. “I know what my responsibility is. We’re going to play with a passion, a determination and a competitiveness that won’t be matched.
“That’s what we’re going to deliver.”
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