NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Jets head coach Rex Ryan joined WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Friday to explain what happened to his team during a disappointing 2011 season.

It’s been a long offseason already for Ryan. Greg McElroy publicly dishing on the locker room drama. Unnamed Jets players calling for Peyton Manning. And now veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson speaking out on the toxicity between quarterback Mark Sanchez and wideout Santonio Holmes.

LISTEN: Rex Ryan with Mike Francesa

Ryan disputed Tomlinson’s claim that Mark Sanchez and Holmes had a rocky relationship, saying the running back might have overstated things.

“There’s some things that I disagree with. I think it was an isolated incident” Ryan said. “I don’t think it was pervasive throughout the locker room.”

Ryan told Francesa that he may have put more pressure on his players with his brash talk.

“I certainly don’t want to fuel the fire,” he said. “I want to take pressure off our players. In actuality, maybe I was putting more pressure on our guys.”

The season ended on a sour note for Sanchez and the Jets (8-8), who failed to make the playoffs for the first time in Ryan’s three years as coach. Sanchez struggled down the stretch with seven interceptions in the Jets’ final three games — all losses.

Ryan insists Mark Sanchez has the support of the organization, but added that “I think the competition [at the quarterback position] would be good.”

The Jets coach said he drove by MetLife Stadium during Giants playoff game to motivate him to get into the playoffs.

“I want to be a great head coach. I want to be. Am I there yet? No, I’m absolutely not there yet, but I am willing to work to get there.”

Ryan spoke on what he expects from offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.

“I want an all-weather offense. I want a “Ground-and-Pound” mentality.”

New York was a “Ground-and-Pound” offense during Ryan’s first two seasons, riding that style to two straight AFC title games. But when the Jets re-signed Santonio Holmes and brought in Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, they became enthralled with the passing game and wanted Sanchez to air out the football a little more.

When that didn’t work, Ryan insisted the Jets go back to running it — but that came along slower than expected. Suddenly, New York didn’t know what type of team it was on offense anymore.

“As much as I respect Brian [Schottenheimer] and things, I’m excited about this fresh start with Tony.”

Ryan regrets not having more of a feel for what was going on with the team off the field, particularly as tensions started to rise in the locker room. Things reached a boiling point in the season finale, when wide receiver Santonio Holmes was benched late in the game for arguing with teammates in the huddle.

“I need to be more involved, more hands on. I need to be sitting in all the meetings with them, learning,” Ryan said.

On guaranteeing that the Jets would be in the Super Bowl. “When I said that I truly believed it was our time.”

Looking toward next season Ryan admitted the need for changes. “Well, I think we made some changes. I have to look at myself. I think we’re a very talented football team. There are challenges.”

“I know we can get this team back,” he said.

“We’re gonna pour everything we’ve got into this football team. I think the biggest thing you’re gonna see [is] a team. And that’s my biggest challenge and I can’t wait to get it going.”

Ryan had some thoughts on this weekend’s conference championship games, predicting the Giants and Ravens will meet in a Super Bowl rematch.

What did you think of Ryan’s comments? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (10)
  1. bigboss2900 says:

    rex rayan need make move in off season need trade mark sanchez for payton manning before march 28 deadline bring to newyork jets and work on defense for next years

    1. Dres says:

      Jets fans keep talking this Peyton Manning talk. You will NOT get Peyton Manning.
      a) how do you know if he can even play? With a big hit away from being paralyzed, how do you know if he even WANTS to play?
      b) why would he want to play in NY/NJ, which is Eli’s town? You think he wants part of that?
      c) Why would he play for Rex Ryan of all people? Loud, bombastic, that doesn’t suit Peyton’s style.
      d) Why would he want to play in the AFC East and face Tom Brady twice a year?
      e) Why would he want to play outdoors? Peyton is a warm weater/dome QB.
      f) HOW could the Jets afford him? Isn’t all their money tied up in Holmes and Sanchez?
      g) WHY would Peyton want to come to a team with such drama and diva wide receivers? You think Holmes would come out to Indiana to catch routes with Peyton during the off season?
      h) WHY would Peyton work behind THAT awful offensive line? It nearly got Captain Checkdown killed. You think with that neck he would work behind that line?

  2. Frank Kohler says:

    In the past Rex was accused of putting his wife’s toes in his mouth. How could that be? When he always has both his feet in his mouth. Who is #1 in NY now Rex?

  3. Dres says:

    I’m still baffled how on one hand, you can say “Mark Sanchez isn’t lazy, he works hard” then in the other hand say, “We need to bring another QB in to push him.”

  4. Johnny V. says:

    I think Rex is talking in cricles in this interview. It reminded me of that SNL Fred Armisen skit where he is a commentator who talks in circles. He says absolutely nothing. Nothing makes sense. Rex’s flow of spoken talk here shows he is a confused idiot. Or has no clue.

  5. jim O says:

    Great coach, he will win the Superbowl with the Jets in year 4, I have faith in Rex! Honest coach who speaks his mind, wow when did that become so bad!

    1. John says:

      The beauty of this country is that any idiot can comment including u. You must be a jet fan and not a football fan. Of course he is a good coach but he is not a people person just like the owner woody. They are pompous asses. How could you coach players if no one respects you.@arkius…Rico is right. You are another one of these idiots. But I’ll let you guys slide because I know you guys are probably under the age of 25 so your brain is not fully developed.

    2. .. says:

      jim O, you really think Rex will be here if he does’nt win in 2 yrs let alone in 4? You must’ve believe the Jets were going to win the title the last 3 years.

      Honest coach. Rex needs to hear himself talk and believes in his own lies.

      The Giants are showing not just Rex on how to win, but also Jets fans. They’ve been there before & will again.

  6. Rico says:

    A blowhard. How can you be the “Head” Coach and not know your star receiver was benched, and that so many players felt the ugly mood in the locker room. He doesn’t take responsibility for anything, just talks, talks, talks!

    1. Arkius says:

      Rico, you’re clueless. Clearly, you’ve never played football on any level. Coaches don’t hang out in the locker room with the players, therefore, they can’t gage the “ugly mood”, or the beautiful mood. Go play soccer with the rest of the rejects.

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