Rex Ryan insists he's not worried about his future past Week 17.
And to hear him tell it, why should he be?
"I'm a confident person and I think I'm a decent football coach, and I think people who know the game realize that," the Jets coach said on a conference call Monday.
Jets owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik may think differently, but Ryan again deflected questions about time possibly running out on his tenure.
Instead, he focused on the positive, such as the Jets' 16-11 win in Tennessee on Sunday. "We did just enough to win the game," he said.
After the game, left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson presented a game ball to Ryan in the visitor's locker room on behalf of the entire team.
"We appreciate everything you've done, Coach," Ferguson told Ryan, with Johnson looking on.
Ryan was touched by the gesture, but he quickly handed over the football to the person who helped shape his football mind and gifted him his distinctive defensive edge: his father, Buddy.
The 83-year-old architect of the "46 defense" attended the game despite his poor health. His presence made the win all the more special, even if that victory probably cost the Jets a shot at the No. 1 draft pick.
"He's had some tough battles lately," Ryan said, adding that his father has endured "several bouts of cancer, some strokes and even had encephalitis.''
Said Ryan, "It was good to put a smile on his face."
Sunday's game was a poorly played contest between two of the worst teams in the NFL. But Ryan's incentive to beat the Titans didn't have as much to do with his head-coaching future as some might think.
"It was a little extra motivation with my dad being in the stadium able to watch a game," he said. "So that felt really good. It felt better to give him the ball."
Buddy Ryan, a former NFL head coach and defensive coordinator, hadn't been able to attend a Jets game in person this season before Sunday. Ryan visited his dad in Kentucky during the team's bye week last month.
"He just keeps trucking along,'' Ryan said. "He doesn't walk real well. He basically is wheelchair-bound, for the most part. He can stand, but that's about it. But it's hard to watch your dad go through those type of things. But I guess at the end of the day, that's one thing all of us have got to look forward to, I guess, if we're fortunate enough to get up there in age like he is.''