Rex Ryan wishes things could be different, but the reality is the Jets are 2-10. And that's hard for him to stomach.
"I'm embarrassed for myself, absolutely,'' Ryan said Tuesday. "I feel like I let my owner [Woody Johnson] down, I've let our fan base down. Yeah, of course. There's no doubt.''
In the aftermath of Monday night's 16-13 loss to the Dolphins, Ryan called the Jets' record "a joke'' and expressed disbelief over their situation. But there was nothing funny about how the Jets blew a winnable game.
Despite a 277-74 advantage in rushing yards and a 326-291 edge in total yards, the Jets were doomed by their special-teams play. They missed two field-goal attempts and let a punt be partially blocked. But surprisingly, they ensured the football would be taken out of Geno Smith's hands for much of the night.
Smith was 3-for-6 for 22 yards in the first half and finished with an NFL season-low 13 passes. When asked Tuesday if the Jets learned anything from Smith's performance, Ryan said: "No, because he only threw it 13 times. I'm just kidding.''
Ryan said Smith, who had a quarterback rating of 35.7 against Miami, will start Sunday against the Vikings (5-7).
Although visibly frustrated by postgame questions about the coaching staff not trusting Smith, Ryan stressed Tuesday that the Jets "never went into the game thinking we were going to throw 13 times.''
Ryan understood the questions about the lack of play-action passes, and some of his players, including wide receiver Eric Decker, wondered about that, too. Ryan insisted other factors prevented them from incorporating those play calls.
Smith's last-minute interception ended the Jets' hopes. Does Ryan trust him to make the proper decisions under duress?
"Yeah,'' Ryan said. "But I'll say this, it's a difficult thing to do for any quarterback when you're [facing] a team that can rush the passer the way they can.''
Regardless of who starts at quarterback, it's clear Ryan is running out of head-coaching lives after losing 10 of the last 11 games. He was spared two years ago when general manager Mike Tannenbaum was fired following a 6-10 finish, and again after last season, when the Jets were 8-8.
Asked about his job security, Ryan joked: "It is easy for me to pick, to say, 'Yeah, absolutely.' But I get it, the year hasn't gone anywhere close to what we were thinking. I'm going to focus on beating Minnesota. I'm not worried about anything else but that. There is where it is.''
Folk hurt. Nick Folk didn't offer any excuses after missing two field goals Monday, but Tuesday Ryan said the kicker has a hip flexor injury. Ryan said he was unaware of the "discomfort'' Folk felt in his hip until after the game.
The usually reliable Folk nailed field goals of 40 and 45 yards but missed from 45 and 48. The 45-yard miss came with the score tied at 13 and 5:42 to play.
Ryan also said WR Greg Salas "doesn't look good'' after suffering a hamstring injury on his 20-yard end-around touchdown in the first quarter. "I think he's got a hamstring tear,'' Ryan said, before quickly backtracking. "I don't know if it's a tear, but he's got a hamstring. So we'll see how it progresses.'' . . . DE Muhammad Wilkerson (turf toe) is walking without a boot, but it's unclear if he'll be able to play Sunday . . . Rookie TE Jace Amaro is still going through the concussion protocol.