Rex Ryan Would Welcome Firing If Jets Don't Fix Offense and Other AFC East News

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IDecember 28, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Head coach Rex Ryan, left and owner Woody Johnson of the New York Jets talks before the start of their game against the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Rex Ryan is not a quitter, and this latest report proves it—well, sort of, kind of, not really.

According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Rex wants a drastic overhaul to the Jets offense if he is brought back as head coach next year.

The Daily News has learned that Ryan, the swashbuckling point man who dominated the headlines for the past four seasons, has intimated to "anyone who will listen" that he would be better off getting fired if Johnson isn't willing to rectify player personnel and coaching issues on offense, according to sources.

So Rex Ryan, the front-man for an organization in a tailspin, would willingly take millions to walk away if the Jets don't fix the offense?

Mehta clarified:

I was told Rex Ryan's clear preference is to remain w/Jets. If Woody Johnson isn't willing to dole out $ to revamp O, Rex will not quit #nyj

— Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) December 28, 2012

The verbiage on the report is incredibly confusing and vague.

If he would "be better off getting fired," why wouldn't he just quit? Maybe he doesn't want to look like a quitter. Maybe he doesn't want to void out the remaining two years and over $6 million remaining on his deal. Maybe he doesn't want to set an example that he doesn't get along with owners and will walk out if that's the case.

Quitting, coupled with the pseudo-power struggle with Woody Johnson in the form of Tim Tebow, would be enough to make a lot of owners hesitate before hiring him for another job, should his services become available next year.

Beyond the logistics of the quit-or-be-fired dichotomy, it's not hard to see his point. The Jets have regressed into a shell of their former selves on offense this year, and rank 28th in scoring and 30th in turnovers, the two most important statistics in football besides wins and losses.

This past Sunday's 11-sack outing for backup quarterback Greg McElroy proved that the problem lies much deeper than simply the quarterback, so it's going to take a lot of money to fix the offense—a lot of money the Jets don't have.

UPDATE: Saturday, December 29 at 4:45 p.m. ET by Erik Frenz

Rex Ryan came out guns blazing at his press conference, clearly upset with what he felt was unfair reporting.

He had spoken to Mehta the night before the publishing of the column, and told him that the story was untrue, but Ryan's side of the story never made it into the article. Mehta claimed he didn't add Ryan's comments because they were "off the record."

Ryan called owner Woody Johnson as soon as he saw the story. The head coach shared his side of the story, and his feelings on the matter with Johnson.

Ryan also said at his press conference that he wanted to be the head coach of the Jets "for the next 15 years."

Mehta was not present at the press conference.

---End of Update---


Here's some more news and analysis from around the AFC East.


Buffalo Bills

Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News thinks Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is preparing for what will likely be his final game with the team.

Howard Simon of WGR 550 SportsRadio looks at the Bills' slate of opponents in 2013.


Miami Dolphins

Brian Biggane of The Palm Beach Post writes that backup quarterback Matt Moore has been a good sport about his role this year, and has mentored rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill all year.

Andy Cohen of examines why defensive end Cameron Wake is clearly among the NFL's elite pass-rushers. 


New England Patriots

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston revisits the trade of defensive end Richard Seymour following the news that the former Patriots first-round pick was placed on injured reserve, thereby likely ending his tenure in Oakland.

Bleacher Report Patriots featured columnist Mike Dussault looks at the Patriots' 10 most important offseason decisions.


New York Jets

Joe Caporoso of examines why it's obvious that Mark Sanchez is the starting quarterback for the Jets in Week 17.

Rich Cimini of ESPN New York looks at some possible changes coming for the Jets this offseason.

B/R Jets featured columnist Ryan Alfieri looks at a realistic list of free agents the Jets should target.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.