Popular Sideline Boss At Ease As Gang Green Looks To Finish Strong Vs. Miami

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite rampant speculation that Sunday will be Rex Ryan’s final game as Jets head coach, ESPN is reporting that an NFL executive with an understanding of the situation believes that Ryan will return next season.

Ryan appeared a relaxed figure at the Jets’ final full practice of the 2013 season on Friday. He was playful with the media and did not appear to be too concerned about his job status.

The typically outspoken head coach has guided the Jets to a 7-8 record this season off a 6-10 finish last season followed by a less-than-spectacular offseason due to upheaval in the front office and salary cap problems. For Ryan and the Jets to finish the season with what many would consider a surprising .500 record, they will have to ruin the season of the Miami Dolphins (8-7), who can make the playoffs with a win and some help.

Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

Fans and players have rallied behind Ryan. A Twitter hashtag campaign — #KeepRex — was launched by Jets fans to urge owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik to retain the popular head coach, who has one year remaining on his contract but is coming off three consecutive non-playoff seasons. Antonio Cromartie, Calvin Pace, Geno Smith, Willie Colon and Sheldon Richardson are among Jets who have spoken up in support of Ryan.

Neither Idzik nor Johnson have commented on Ryan’s job security. The Jets have had a policy of not speaking on the future until the end of the season. Should Ryan remain with the Jets, it’s unclear whether or not he would return with a contract extension, something Ryan would figure to want. Also at issue is Ryan’s staff, which has at least a half-dozen coaches in the final years of their deals.

Since becoming head coach in 2009, Ryan has gone 41-38 in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs, including back-to-back AFC championship game appearances in his first two seasons.

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