New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan adamantly shot down the New York Daily News story that reported he would welcome being fired by Jets owner Woody Johnson if he does not intend to make any offseason changes to the offense on Friday.
“If Woody’s not willing to do what it takes to fix the team, then [Ryan] knows he’s better off being fired,” a team source told the New York Daily News Friday. “If Woody is willing to eat some money and spend it to get us out of this mess, then it’s worth staying.”
Ryan quickly fired back at the comments that the confidential source told Manish Mehta, who wrote the story for the paper.
“That is totally untrue,” Ryan said. “The fact is — and it’s simple — this is the only team that I want to coach, period. And I think anybody that knows me knows that I’m telling you the truth.”
Ryan, who has two more years remaining on his contract worth $6 million, immediately held a team meeting with players to refute the report. Ryan could not hold back his emotions when talking to players.
“He was crying, too, he was that mad, that hurt,” Jets running back Joe McKnight said. “You hurt a man like that, and he cries.”
Ryan also spoke with Johnson after reading the report and denied feeling the way the article described. He told reporters that it would be absurd to give the Johnson an outrageous ultimatum such as that, whenhe was the one who hired him.
Ryan also mentioned that he spoke to Mehta, but Mehta opted not to include his comments in the article.
But Ryan is certain that he is proud to be apart of the Jet organization.
“I’m proud to be a Jet. Sometimes I’m proud to be a Jet more than others — this season has been a rough one — but this is my team; that’s how I approach it,” Ryan said. “I believe that we can accomplish what I set out to do when I took the job. And that’s the truth.”
The Jets, who are 6-9 out off the playoff picture, will face the Buffalo Bills Sunday in the last game of the season. Hopefully Ryan’s speech will give them the needed spark that has been missing for most of the season.