NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Remember when Rex Ryan was “dead coach walking” into the 2013 season?
What about now?
The Jets are enjoying the type of season most everyone figured was unlikely considering all the issues they faced heading into the preseason. They were young, inexperienced, lacking veteran star power and limited by a rather unfriendly salary cap situation.
Yet here they are 4-3 heading into Sunday’s tilt with AFC North power Cincinnati.
Many viewed Ryan as the main reason why the Jets would never get off the ground this season. He was coming off consecutive non-playoff seasons after guiding the Jets to AFC Championship game appearances in both 2009 and 2010. Some said he was a terrible talent evaluator, while others said he never paid enough attention to the offensive side of the ball.
Many also believed Woody Johnson was the only reason Ryan still had a job following last season’s 6-10 record. Well, on Thursday the Jets’ owner expressed his gratitude to his over-achieving head coach.
“We’re happy with Rex,” Johnson said at a Super Bowl event in Midtown. “Coaches have to be good teachers and good leaders and I think he’s both.”
Ryan has one more year left on his contract at $3 million. Generally, NFL head coaches who are considered part of the future don’t go into their final season without a new deal. Johnson said he will address the issue — eventually.
“I will make a statement after the season,” Johnson said. “I never make any comments regarding contracts during the season.”
Johnson said he won’t make any absolute statements on his head coach’s future, but it’s clear all the media reports from the offseason currently don’t have the same clout.
“The only thing I’ll say is I’m happy with him. I think he’s a great teacher, a good teacher, maybe a great teacher and a good leader,” Johnson said.
The Jets are coming off a 30-27 overtime win over the arch-rival New England Patriots. After Sunday’s game against the Bengals they will return home to face the high-powered New Orleans Saints before having their bye in Week 10.
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