NEW YORK (WFAN) — Rex Ryan’s job security has been on a roller-coaster ride.
Well, that’s the assumption. Only owner Woody Johnson knows the truth.
However, conventional wisdom suggests Ryan’s job will be on the line over the final four games of the regular season. The Jets were once 5-4 and in control of their own destiny, but three losses later Gang Green appears to need to run the table just to have a shot at a playoff berth.
If the Jets fail to make the postseason it will mark the third straight season Ryan has failed to guide his team into meaningful January football. Now some will say Ryan actually overachieved with this group, considering the Jets’ salary-cap issues in the offseason and having rookies all over the field, not to mention at quarterback, where the situation is bordering on untenable.
Muhammad Wilkerson is one veteran firmly in Ryan’s corner, telling hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts as much during his usual Tuesday spot on WFAN.
“Rex is my guy. I love the guy as the coach. He’s a great guy with great character. I always play my tail off for him and this organization and my family and for myself. I do that every game and I’m going to do it these last four games,” Wilkerson said. “As far as him not being here or anything, I have no control over that. But I will play my heart out for my coach and my organization.”
Ryan is in the crosshairs again because the Jets have been outscored 79-20 during their current losing streak. They were ridiculously bad the last two weeks, scoring a combined six points in losses at Baltimore and to visiting Miami.
During their 23-3 defeat to the Dolphins on Sunday, rookie quarterback Geno Smith was benched at halftime and backup Matt Simms was no better as the Jets managed just 177 yards from scrimmage and 10 first downs. Smith told reporters on Monday that he would start against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
But what was once believed to be a possible playoff season has spiraled out of control.
“We can’t even think about playoffs or say that word,” Wilkerson said. “Right now, we need to get back in that meeting room and really find ourselves as individuals and as a team and as a group and just wins these games. Forget playoffs, we gotta get wins and just let things go from there. Right now we’re just letting other teams dictate how things are gonna go for us. Right now we need to focus on getting wins and sticking together.”
One thing that was quite telling Sunday and has happened a lot over the years is fans of opposing teams taking over late at home games. It happened a lot at Giants Stadium and MetLife Stadium is proving to be no different. Wilkerson said fans have a right to walk out, especially when the Jets don’t give them a reason to stay.
“I noticed it towards the end of the game once it got a little lopsided and didn’t look too good for us,” Wilkerson said of the mass exodus. “But I always have faith in our fans and I hope those guys keep believing in us and sticking behind us. If they left, they left. They have their own types of opinions on us. All I can do is play my butt off for my team.”
The Jets will embark on the long road back to salvaging their season Sunday when the improving Raiders come to MetLife, where Ryan, Wilkerson and plenty of fans will be — for at least a little while.
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