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Rex Ryan denies reported rift with Marty Mornhinweg; Jets say report of 'toxic' locker room is untrue

Jets head coach Rex Ryan throws the red

Jets head coach Rex Ryan throws the red flag in the first quarter of a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sept. 14, 2014 in Green Bay, Wis. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Christian Petersen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - An online report that described the atmosphere surrounding the Jets as "toxic'' and said coach Rex Ryan is at odds with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and wanted to fire him appeared to catch Ryan by surprise at practice Friday.

"Absolutely I would deny that; 100 percent, I'll deny that, that I'm looking to fire Marty or anybody,'' said Ryan, who seemed a little flustered by the report, which was posted on sbnation.com Thursday.

"It angers me . . . that it's not an accurate portrayal of our situation,'' Ryan said. "I'm tight with every single coach here. I believe in every single coach that I have. And that's the truth.

"I'm completely happy with our staff. I'm not happy with our results. Nobody is. And so what you do, you challenge each other a little bit -- 'Hey, how can we get better? Are we looking at things?' But not once -- not once -- have I thought about replacing any coach.''

Ryan brought in former Eagles offensive coordinator and one-time Lions head coach Mornhinweg two years ago to replace Tony Sparano.

The article, which quoted unnamed players and management sources, suggested that because Ryan prefers a strong running attack and Mornhinweg runs a West Coast offense that typically relies on short and intermediate passing, the two have butted heads and Ryan has "on at least two occasions this season considered firing Mornhinweg.''

The article also suggested that Mornhinweg called 49 running plays in Monday's 16-13 loss to the Dolphins because he was "sticking it'' to Ryan, who said Friday he never questions Mornhinweg's play calls.

Mornhinweg released a statement that said: "Rex and I are close. Everything we do is about getting better and figuring out a way to win football games."

In the locker room, players either brushed off the report or denied its content."I haven't heard anything,'' guard Willie Colon said. "I don't know anything about that. Next.''

Center Nick Mangold said he doesn't "put much stock in that anonymous stuff'' and wide receiver Percy Harvin said reports of disharmony are untrue.

"That's 1,000 percent false,'' he said. "There's no toxic anywhere . . . How you see right now is how we are every day. There's laughing. When it's time to go to work, it's time to go to work. There's no complaining, no heads held low. That's false. Toxic is so far from the truth here.''

Notes & quotes: Ryan said tight end Jace Amaro (concussion) and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (toe) are out. All other injured players are probable, including kicker Nick Folk (hip), who practiced kickoffs Friday.

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