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Rex Ryan continues to sidestep questions about 2014

Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks on the

Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks on the sidelines during the first half of a game against the Buffalo Bills. (Nov. 17, 2013) Credit: AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- If Rex Ryan is on the hot seat, he certainly isn't showing it.

The coach was as bubbly as ever Friday after the Jets' final practice of the season. He showed no signs of stress or worry, even as his uncertain future remains a hot-button topic on the New York sports scene.

As he's done all week, Ryan deflected questions about himself in favor of discussing the AFC East rival Dolphins, who spanked the Jets, 23-3, in their previous meeting Dec. 1. Ryan has reason to expect a better outcome Sunday.

"We were flying around," he said, referring to his team's energy level Friday. "It's been a great week of preparation, it's been a great week of practice. Just the spirit and enthusiasm. We're looking forward to this game."

When a reporter asked if ending the season with back-to-back wins could increase his autonomy as it relates to the roster -- a not-so-veiled attempt to get Ryan to talk about his expectations for 2014 -- he couldn't help but laugh.

"I see how you angled that one," he said playfully. "That's pretty good. I'm just worried about Miami. Just focused on Miami."

The mood in practice seemed to mirror Ryan's demeanor. Players were focused yet having fun in their final session of the season.

"It's a little bittersweet. But it is what it is," tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. said. "As long as we finish strong and go out and do the best we can, that's all we can do."

During the week of preparation for the Miami game -- which has playoff implications for the Dolphins (8-7) and will determine whether the Jets (7-8) finish at .500 or not -- speculation continued to swirl regarding Ryan's job status. The players offered nothing but support for their coach, praising Ryan for his leadership and his passion.

"Any time you get something positive said about you, you're going to feel great about it," Ryan said, though he was quick to steer the topic of conversation back to Miami.

As for his detractors, Ryan isn't really interested in changing their opinions. Asked Thursday if he thinks criticism of his supposed lack of understanding of offense is warranted, he replied: "I certainly understand how everybody has a right to their opinion and I'm not here to try [to change it]. It's not like 'Survivor,' where I'm trying to get their vote or something like that."

Notes & quotes: Ellis Lankster did not practice and is questionable. Ryan said he still can't put on a helmet because of his jaw injury. Though Antonio Cromartie (hip), Santonio Holmes (hamstring, foot) and Winslow (knee, illness) were limited, they're probable . . . Sheldon Richardson was fined $15,750 for driving quarterback Jason Campbell to the ground and landing on him, according to the league. The rookie defensive tackle said Thursday he plans to appeal . . . The Jets received no Pro Bowl spots.

New York Sports