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Rex Ryan reminisces about his time with the Jets

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan speaks

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan speaks during a news conference after an NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in East Rutherford, N.J., on Nov. 10, 2014. Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Perhaps it's only fitting that the final Jets practice of the season conjured memories of one of Rex Ryan's first with the team.

"I will tell you a quick story," Ryan said before detailing the high-speed, head-on collision between wide receiver Wallace Wright and linebacker Kenwin Cummings during the Jets' second minicamp practice as the Ryan era began.

"Both of them knocked each other out," Ryan said with a smile, recalling that Wright and Cummings were in separate one-on-one passing drills during their predraft practice on April 17, 2009 (eight days before they selected Mark Sanchez).

At the time, Ryan thought he might get fired before his first week was over. "It was kind of a great start [to my tenure]," he joked.

Now, four months short of a full six years later, it is possible that Ryan will get that pink slip after all.

Jets owner Woody Johnson already has lined up former general manager Charley Casserly to assist him in the event that he fires Ryan and / or second-year general manager John Idzik.

Sunday's season finale in Miami could be Ryan's last as Jets coach. Even so, it was business as usual Friday, receiver Percy Harvin said. That's because Ryan has gone out of his way to ignore what he called the "outside stuff," and he expects his players to do the same.

Though Ryan acknowledged that he's fallen short of his "ultimate goal" of winning a Super Bowl, he believes he helped inject new life into the organization. "I came in and I wanted to give a different identity to this team,'' he said, "and I think we did accomplish that."

And despite his team's 3-12 record, Ryan has enjoyed himself every step of the way.

"I have the greatest job in America," he said. "You're a head coach in the National Football League and you get to come to work every day and work with a lot of great people. You get to be a kid . . . I know it is a multibillion-dollar industry, but it is still a kid's game.

"I'm not good enough to play in it, but I am good enough to coach in it. It's great. There is no better job than the job that this is."

Notes & quotes: After complimenting the play of cornerback Marcus Williams, Ryan couldn't help but deliver a not-so-thinly-veiled shot at former Jets defensive back Josh Thomas, who recently was quoted as saying he didn't get the individual attention he needed from the Jets' coaching staff. "For some reason, [Williams] got coached but Josh Thomas didn't," Ryan said . . . Several players missed practice because of illness, including Damon Harrison, Dawan Landry and Muhammad Wilkerson, who also has turf toe. The three are listed as questionable. Harvin (ribs, ankle) and Nick Mangold (high ankle sprain) were limited and will be game-time decisions. Darrin Walls and Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulders) were limited and are questionable. Rontez Miles (shin) did not practice and is out.

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