By Ernie Palladino
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Rex Ryan actually had the look and demeanor of a beaten man at Monday’s press conference.
His team had just come off a 28-7 loss in Seattle, preceded by what he termed three great days of offensive practice. And then, nothing.
He had a bye week to come up with some answers for his 3-6 team, and he thought he had it figured out. But it turned out he found nothing, except perhaps the secret to running some fantastic-looking team drills. And that would have been fine if anything that happened Wednesday, Thursday and Friday had translated to CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
Instead, he was still left searching, with the only certainty lying within the boldest statement he made to the media the next day.
“We’re going to get this done, or we’re going to die trying,” Ryan said.
The way this season is going, the only question remaining at year’s end may be, “So, Rex, you want a regular burial or a Viking funeral?”
Unless Ryan finds some answers quickly, it might be best to proverbially set him and everyone else involved in this two-year debacle out to sea on a blazing dragon ship. All, except Woody Johnson, of course. Owners never pay the tab for losing.
But Ryan, along with his assistants, GM Mike Tannenbaum and Mark Sanchez, certain members of the offensive line, the defense, and special teams all should have separate staterooms on the ride into Jets afterlife. Barring a major turnaround, a general housecleaning should be in order heading into 2013.
Those decisions lie seven weeks from now for the eminent Mr. Johnson. For Ryan and the team he leads onto the field every week, the future is now. And the now looks about as bright as the future.
He has no answers. But he’s going to continue searching, even if we all know there really is no treasure chest hidden in the sandy depth chart.
“No chance,” he said when asked if he wishes he could just throw up his hands over his current quandary.
He knows one thing, he said. There’s no quit in his team. He said that knowing full well that other factions actually wish the league would excuse the Jets from the remainder of their schedule.
“This team wants to win in the absolute worst way,” Ryan said.
If that’s the case, they might want to start this week against St. Louis, a squad that, record-wise, is separated from Ryan’s group only by last week’s tie against San Francisco.
If they can’t beat the Rams in St. Louis, they’ll probably have no shot at the Patriots at home Thanksgiving night. After that, Jets fans can start calling Johnson’s office to pass along some sage advice on who to take with that third or fourth overall draft pick.
Ryan said he’s still committed to Sanchez over Tim Tebow as his starter, and that he’s not giving up on the Wildcat. He blamed the last one on self-inflicted wounds, namely, three false start penalties, three sacks, and three turnovers.
“That’s the thing that’s really driving me crazy,” Ryan said.
A defense that played well against Marshawn Lynch for three quarters buckled in the fourth.
Ryan admitted he has no magic words to fix things, no rabbits up his sleeve.
He can only work to get it done, or die trying.
Better the latter, because right now it’s killing the Jets’ faithful.
Does Woody Johnson need to start shaking things up ASAP? If so, who goes? Be heard in the comments below…