New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is willing to take the fall if the team's ownership and front office don't place a greater emphasis on making upgrades to the offense, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The report states Ryan hasn't been told he will return next season as the Jets prepare for Sunday's season finale against the Buffalo Bills. However, team sources tell Mehta that Ryan knows getting fired would be better than sticking it out with the current offense.
Said the team source:
If Woody’s not willing to do what it takes to fix the team, then (Ryan) knows he’s better off being fired. If Woody is willing to eat some money and spend to get us out of this mess, then it’s worth staying.
UPDATE: Friday, Dec. 28 at 1:45 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Kimberley Martin of Newsday reports Ryan didn't react kindly to the New York Daily News report. The Jets head coach doesn't know what team source provided the information, but he denies the entire premise of it.
Furthermore, Ryan states he has no plans on leaving the Jets anytime soon.
With each passing day it becomes more difficult what to make of the Jets circus. That said, since Ryan made the comments directly, it's probably more reliable than a report based on anonymous sources. Only time will truly tell, though.
---End of Update---
The Jets offense is terrible. The unit ranks 30th in yards per game and has shown few signs of progress throughout yet another disappointing season in New York. Without major changes, another season of failure likely lies ahead in 2013.
It all starts at quarterback. Mark Sanchez has been a turnover machine, giving the ball up 25 times in 14 games while accounting for just 13 touchdowns. When factoring in last season, Sanchez has 47 turnovers in his last 30 games.
Ryan has taken a lot of heat for remaining loyal to the 2009 first-round pick, but his alternative options aren't any more intriguing. Greg McElroy didn't bring anything new to the table in his first start last week and is now out with a concussion, while the team clearly lost faith in Tim Tebow.
The blame game doesn't end with Sanchez, however. The other skill positions are equally devoid of talent, and that makes it difficult to succeed in the modern NFL.
Shonn Greene is a below-average starting running back. He's averaged less than four yards per carry this season and lacks the big-play explosiveness the Jets need. He also doesn't provide much in terms of being a receiver out of the backfield.
What's the better option for Ryan?
The story is the same at wide receiver and tight end. Jeremy Kerley, who wouldn't even start for the majority of NFL teams, leads the Jets in receiving yards. He's followed by Jeff Cumberland. That's not exactly a thrilling one-two punch.
An injury to Santonio Holmes certainly didn't help the cause, and Stephen Hill has some long-term potential, but the recent signing of Braylon Edwards shows how desperate the team is right now.
While being fired is rarely an intriguing option, it's probably better for Ryan than watching his coaching stock plummet any further with a team where he's not being given the tools to succeed.
It's yet another sign of the Jets' dysfunction, which has been taken to another level in 2012. Ryan's situation will make for an interesting period of time following the team's final game.