Excited Rex Ryan 'expects a lot' from Jets this season
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Rex Ryan wasn't quite back to his "guarantee the Super Bowl championship" bravado, but pretty close.
Looking ahead to the season with unbridled optimism, Ryan said yesterday, "Watch out for the Jets, man. I'm just telling you.''
After team owner Woody Johnson said Sunday that he is "not going to use the word patient anymore, we want to do it now,'' Ryan echoed those sentiments. He showed a hint of the bravado he became known for in his first three seasons in New York, before adopting a more conservative tone the past two years.
"You guys know me. I think I put my expectations [high] and everything else and have never changed. I want to win and I expect to win,'' Ryan said Tuesday at the NFL owners' meetings. "It's time to deliver. It's time to deliver for this community, for New York, for this entire area, and we've got to step up and deliver. I'm not running from it, let's put it that way.''
The Jets finished with a flourish to go 8-8 and head into the offseason on a high note. The addition of quarterback Michael Vick last Friday raised expectations, and like Johnson, Ryan is clearly in "win now'' mode.
"I expect a lot out of this football team,'' Ryan said. "I know the commitment's there. I know the hard work, the energy, the passion is there. Our guys want to win and we expect to win and that's what we aim to do.''
And Ryan doesn't just want to win now.
"We want to have sustainable success,'' he said. "There isn't a one-shot deal. Our plan is to have sustainable success for the present and the future.''
The Jets have been relatively quiet on the free-agent market, with Vick and wide receiver Eric Decker the biggest acquisitions. They saw Darrelle Revis go to the Patriots, fellow cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie join the Giants, and Antonio Cromartie leave for Arizona. But Ryan said there will be at least one more receiver added.
That may or may not be the Eagles' DeSean Jackson, who is on the trading block. Ryan wouldn't comment directly on Jackson but did say the Jets are in the market for more receiving help.
"I'll bet you anything we end up making another move at receiver, somewhere along the line,'' he said. "It might not be the moves you want us to make, but . . . how many [draft] picks we have now, 12 picks? I bet we take a shot.''
Despite his enthusiasm, Ryan acknowledged the Patriots are still the team to beat in the AFC East.
"I think the division goes through New England like always,'' he said. "I think that will always be the case as long as Tom Brady is there and Bill Belichick and all that. But Tom Brady, as long as he's there I think they're probably the favorites. But this thing, you mention Miami, the talent they have. Buffalo had a zillion Pro Bowlers. That's a pretty talented team as well, especially on defense.''
Ryan remains supremely confident in his own team.
"We're on the rise,'' he said. "I don't think there's any doubt. It's just the way we are. I know the kind of commitment our team has, I know the passion we have, I know the mentality that this football team has and will have, the new guys coming in.
"We want to do some special things and that's the kind of commitment our team has. I think that's where it starts. We have a lot of talent. No coach can win without talent. There are some that can't win with it, but no coach can win without it, and we have talent.
"It's more about the guys we already have. What we pick up from free agency or the draft moving forward, I think will add to it. But it's about the guys we already have. That's why I'm so excited about it.''