Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rex Denies Report

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rex Denies Report

Article excerpt

FLORHAM PARK -- Rex Ryan was angry.

He was direct. And he was emphatic.

The Jets coach adamantly refuted a report Friday claiming he considered firing offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg at least twice this season amid friction over philosophical differences.

The SB Nation report, quoting anonymous player and management sources, alleged there is mounting discord between the coaches and that the team's run-heavy game plan in the loss Monday night to Miami was Mornhinweg's way of "sticking it" to Ryan.

"I think it's funny, because absolutely I would deny that," Ryan said. "One hundred percent I'll deny that, that I'm looking to fire Marty or anybody. So to me it's a complete bogus deal.

"Not once -- not once -- have I thought about replacing any coach."

The report also claimed that all the discontent has created a "toxic" environment and that a player even questioned whether general manager John Idzik "set us up to lose."

The alleged drama only added another troubling layer to a franchise spiraling through a 2-10 season that could end with the firings of Ryan and even Idzik. The Jets face Minnesota on Sunday.

Mornhinweg -- hired in 2013 -- denied the report in a statement released by the team.

"Rex and I are close. Everything we do is about getting better and figuring out a way to win football games," he said.

The report cited Ryan's preference for a ground-and-pound, run- based offense and Mornhinweg's affection for the West Coast offense's pass-first mentality as the source of the friction.

The Jets offense ranks 29th in the NFL -- No. 3 in rushing and last in passing. They have thrown the ball 51 percent of the time. But Monday night they ran 49 times to just 13 passes in a 16-13 loss.

Ryan called some assertions in the report "hilarious," including the theory that Mornhinweg was getting back at him by calling those 49 runs. But they reportedly disagreed last month when Ryan reinstituted Geno Smith as the starting quarterback over popular veteran Michael Vick. …

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