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Key meeting by Jets' brass earlier in week helps team get focused

Jets owner Woody Johnson looks on as his

Jets owner Woody Johnson looks on as his team warms up before playing against the Giants during a preseason game. (Aug. 29, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS -- There's no telling if Jets owner Woody Johnson's decision to summon his key football people for a meeting Tuesday had a direct impact on the Jets' 27-13 win over the Rams on Sunday. But coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, both of whom took part in the get-together, said it helped focus the team on turning around the season.

The meeting, which was first reported by Newsday in Sunday's editions, lasted about 45 minutes and was Johnson's way of trying to find solutions for the Jets' problems.

"We all want the same thing, and we need to find ways to get better," Ryan said after the game. "Woody, like me and like everybody else, is passionate about the Jets. Obviously, you know that he's not happy. Nobody's happy when you're 3-6, but I think we're excited about what's in front of us. We think our team can improve, and that's what we're working to do. We all want to win."

Johnson summoned Ryan, Tannenbaum, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff to the meeting, which also was attended by team president Neil Glat. Johnson didn't threaten any job changes at the meeting, but he wanted the top football people to work toward more constructive solutions.

Ryan said he didn't feel any added pressure because Johnson called the meeting.

"Woody's around the team all the time. If he wasn't, if he was an owner that really wasn't around the team all the time and all of a sudden he's going to call a meeting, you're going to be like, 'Oh,' '' Ryan said. "But this is one that he's around the team so much, it was just, OK. It was different, but we all understand what we all want, and that's the same thing. That's to get better. That was pretty obvious in that meeting."

"It was a productive meeting," Tannenbaum said. The general manager also praised Ryan for keeping the team together despite a three-game losing streak and controversy surrounding a Daily News story last week in which unnamed players criticized backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

"I always just refer to Rex as the COO -- the chief optimistic officer," Tannenbaum said. "He's remarkable that way. The next play, the next down, the next obstacle, we're going to solve. I think players and coaches believe that after four years, again, because of his leadership. I think that was a big reason we played as well as we did today."

Tannenbaum also commended the players for retaining a singular resolve in preparing for each game.

"I have confidence in everybody in the building, just because I see their hard work, their preparation," he said. "I have the benefit of being around them every day . . . how much extra tape they watch and how much they hold each other accountable. So that's really what gives me confidence."

The Jets can gain even more confidence Thanksgiving night by beating the Patriots, who are coming off a 59-24 rout of the Colts.

"It's an important game, for sure," Tannenbaum said. "It's the next game, it's a division game and obviously, they've ruled the division now for a while and we have an opportunity to close the gap here . . . We'll be ready to play."

New York Sports