NFL notes: Owner says Rex Ryan 'is perfect for the New York Jets'
Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson met the media Tuesday, wearing Jets-green ties and presenting an unusually united front for a coach and owner coming off an abysmal season that produced far more in the way of turbulence than touchdowns.
The general manager is gone, along with the offensive, defensive and special teams coordinators.
Ryan isn't going anywhere because Johnson really likes him.
More than that, "I trust him," Johnson said.
"I think Rex is perfect for the New York Jets," he said. "He is 100 percent this team."
So, basking in that comfort zone, Ryan laid out his plans for the future of the 6-10 New York Jets, speaking mostly in generalities and giving few, if any, specifics about quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
Ryan made big, bold pronouncements the kind he made when he was hired four years ago:
• "We are going to be a dangerous football team. I can promise you that. I'm going to tell you, you're not going to want to play the Jets."
• "We're not going to be bullied. Fans don't like for their team to be embarrassed. We were embarrassed at times last year. That's not going to happen. We might not win every game, and no team does. But you've got to stand for something. We're going to be the team you don't want to play."
He managed to stop short of guaranteeing a Super Bowl trip.
Ryan told the packed press conference room at the training facility that, yes, he thought he might get fired after the season because he "failed" to leave his imprint on all aspects of the team, particularly on offense. That, and perhaps the fact the Jets haven't made the playoffs in two straight seasons.
"I don't think I've done as good a job of implementing who I am throughout this team," Ryan said. "I want a physical, aggressive, attack style."
To get it, he's wiping the slate clean, zoning out all the bad vibes tied to Sanchez being an ineffective starting quarterback and leader, and Tebow being his invisible backup.
"I'm approaching this day like it's the first day. Period," Ryan said. "Like my first day as a head coach. This is a new chance for me. This is a beginning, certainly not an end."
It was the end for general manager Mike Tannenbaum and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who were both fired, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, whose contract was not renewed, and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, who retired.
Cowboys fire coordinator Ryan
Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired Tuesday after his injury-depleted unit struggled in a pair of season-ending losses that kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs for a third straight year.
Ryan was let go a day after running backs coach Skip Peete was fired, and less than a week after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said things were going to get "uncomfortable" at team headquarters in nearby Irving.
Ryan spent two seasons with the Cowboys after he was fired two years into the same job in Cleveland. He didn't hide his displeasure over being let go by the Browns before the Cowboys played them this season. He struck a different tone Tuesday.
"I enjoyed my time here," Ryan told The Dallas Morning News. "I have no hard feelings. But it doesn't matter if I coach here or not. I will find another spot."
The Cowboys finished with four defensive starters on injured reserve, including both Sean Lee and Bruce Carter at inside linebacker a critical position for Ryan's 3-4 scheme. A fifth starter, nose tackle Jay Ratliff, missed all but six games with ankle and groin injuries.
Vikings' Frazier unconcerned about contract
Leslie Frazier has one year left on his contract and no concern about his future.
The Minnesota Vikings coach said Tuesday he and his agent will speak soon with team officials about his deal.
"Things will work out just fine. I'm not worried at all," Frazier said, adding that he's been told "a number of times" by owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf, and general manager Rick Spielman that they were pleased with the job the coaches have done this season.
"I'm very appreciative of their support throughout the year," Frazier said.
The Vikings went 10-6 and made the postseason after last season's 3-13 finish tied for the worst record in franchise history. Frazier took over as the interim replacement for Brad Childress with six games left on the 2010 schedule and was formally given the job for 2011.
Considering the turnaround by the team on the field, the harmony in the locker room and the respect the players have expressed for Frazier, he's one of the top candidates for the Coach of the Year award.
Around the league
Jaguars • Jacksonville agreed to hire Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell as general manager, charging him with turning around one of the league's worst teams. His first move will be deciding the fate of coach Mike Mularkey, who went 2-14 in his first season in Jacksonville and has lost 20 of his last 23 games as a head coach.
Cardinals • Arizona chose to stay in-house with the promotion of Steve Keim to general manager as the search for a new head coach goes on. The 40-year-old Keim has worked for the franchise for 14 years. He joined the Cardinals in 1999 as a scout, became director of college scouting in 2006 and director of player personnel in 2008 before being named vice president for player personnel last year.
Cowboys • Receiver Dez Bryant has undergone surgery on his broken left index finger after postponing the procedure for the final three games of the season. The team reported Tuesday's successful surgery on its website. The third-year pro finished with career highs of 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Eagles • Philadelphia will interview Lovie Smith for its coaching vacancy on Thursday, making him just the second former head coach to be considered for the job. Smith was fired last Monday after going 81-63 in nine seasons with Chicago. He led the Bears to three division titles, two trips to the NFC championship game and a loss to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl following the 2006 season. Despite winning 10 games this season, Smith lost his job after the team went 3-5 following a 7-1 start and missed the playoffs.
Raiders • Authorities say linebacker and former University of Alabama player Rolando McClain has bonded out jail in Decatur, Ala., on charges of violating rules on car window tint and trying to lie to police about his identity.
Jets • The NFL says it is monitoring a case involving linebacker Bryan Thomas, who was arrested in October after being accused of assaulting his wife and possessing marijuana paraphernalia and painkillers. The Daily Record of Morristown, N.J., reports that Thomas is applying for admission into a probation program that requires no admission of guilt.
Bears • Minnesota assistants Mike Singletary (linebackers coach) and Mike Priefer (special teams coordinator) will interview for the Chicago head coaching vacancy.
Browns • A person familiar with the interview says the team is meeting with Marc Trestman, the current coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and a former assistant with Cleveland.