Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sunday Treat for Rex, Jets

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sunday Treat for Rex, Jets

Article excerpt

MIAMI - Rex Ryan was able to take the ball and go home Sunday.

Literally, that is, and not figuratively.

Ryan was presented with the game ball by general manager John Idzik after the Jets upended playoff-seeking Miami, 20-7. Before the game, Idzik had informed Ryan that he would be staying on as coach, and owner Woody Johnson told the players that same news after the game.

It ended weeks of speculation about Ryan's job security, although there still are questions to be answered about his tenure going forward. Still, Ryan was able to smile broadly after a satisfying win that ended the Dolphins' playoff chances. Both teams finished 8- 8.

"I'll say this: I love being the head coach of the New York Jets, plain and simple," Ryan said.

"Quite honestly, we owed them," Ryan added, referring to the Jets seeking revenge for a 23-3 home loss to Miami on Dec. 1. "This team [the Jets] is getting better. This was going to be a proving ground for that. This was a team that whipped us. That was the main driving force."

When Johnson told the players the news, the roar from the visiting locker room could be heard in the adjacent interview room in the bowels of Sun Life Stadium.

"I didn't expect it," wide receiver David Nelson said of the announcement, "but you were hoping for it."

"It was a jubilant locker room," rookie quarterback Geno Smith said. "Every guy in the locker room was ecstatic. ... You'd think we had won the Super Bowl.

"Having our head coach back, a guy we enjoy playing for, it's great," said Smith, a native of nearby Miramar, Fla., and who played turnover-free football in his first game as a pro in Miami.

Ryan's status had been a topic of discussion since the moment Johnson hired John Idzik as general manager in January. New GMs often like to bring in their own coaches, and even though Johnson mandated that Idzik retain Ryan for the 2013 season, his future wasn't guaranteed beyond that.

The young Jets weren't expected to do much this season, but parlayed some fortunate breaks and close victories at home to get into playoff contention at 5-4 heading into their bye week. But after the bye, they lost three straight and four of five games and were eliminated from the postseason chase Dec. …

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