Joe Klecko believes in Jets' Rex Ryan and John Idzik

Jets defensive lineman Joe Klecko.

Jets defensive lineman Joe Klecko. (Credit: AP, 1979)

Rex Ryan had a relatively quiet 2013 season. That spoke volumes for one former Jet.

Joe Klecko said he thinks the Jets' coach "grew big steps" this past season, mostly because he avoided saying the kinds of things that wound up on tabloid back pages.

"He's not throwing the bull's-eye on his players' backs and threatening, 'I'm not going to kiss Bill Belichick's ring no more; Tom Coughlin and I, I'm not here to bow down to him,' " Klecko said at a Super Bowl event in Bryant Park. "You're not hearing that kind of rhetoric. He's grown up."

Ryan, who signed a multiyear extension Jan. 16, guided the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two seasons on the job. Klecko thinks the partnership of Ryan and general manager John Idzik will help the Jets get back there.

"The greatest thing they did was hiring John Idzik," Klecko said. "I think the Jets have realized that by running an NFL organization, it's not about PR as much as it is about winning and how you run your organization."

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