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Rex will be more hands on in 2012

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan ponders

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan ponders a question during press conference at the Jets practice facility. (Jan. 2, 2012) Credit: Errol Anderson

INDIANAPOLIS – He’s no Dave Letterman, but Rex Ryan is making his own list.

Except his isn’t of the Top 10 variety. In fact, it’s nearly double that. Ryan has jotted down several things he feels he needs to get better at as a coach in 2012, something that’s even more necessary now after the way the Jets’ locker room fractured with the feud between Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes.

“It’s almost to a point where I’ve finalized where I’ve targeted things that I need to improve on,” Ryan said yesterday before the NFL’s inaugural awards show. “I always do it as things our team needs to improve on and things I need to improve on. So I write them down and then on the other side [of the paper], I put down how we are going to solve them. 

“I always do that, but this year, that list was a little longer on my improvement.” 

At the top of that list is taking an increased active role in being more of a hands-on coach, not designating so many responsibilities to others on his staff.

“Instead of being pulled in maybe different directions or whatever, I have to sit back and say, ‘You know what? I have to coach more and I need to have more of an impact even on what we do defensively,” Ryan said. “When you look at it, Mike Pettine and Dennis Thurman have been with me forever. Mike Sutton is a tremendous coach. But I know I can make an impact on defense. I always have my whole life and I think I’ll even get more involved.”

Ryan said he’s already talked it over with Pettine, assuring him that it’s not a slight. 

“I’m going to run more meetings,” Ryan said. “It’s not because he can’t. He’s terrific. Mike is absolutely terrific. But just for myself, I want to be more in touch with our players.”

Asked if he’ll call more defensive plays, Ryan said: “We’ll see how that goes. We’ll share it like we’ve done in the past. We’ve always gotten input. Whether I’m making the final call or Mike Pettine is making the final call or whatever, we’ve always had input from all the guys.”

Ryan also reiterated he expects Holmes and Sanchez to get together soon – just the two of them – and try to work out their now well-documented differences.

“Last time I had talked to them, they had planned that,” Ryan said. “So that will be good. When you look at it, obviously there was a problem. But now it’s more of a thing where the first year they had good chemistry together and this year, obviously something happened and they have to fix it. They owe it to our football team to fix it. 

“For us to be an excellent football team, they have to be on the same page and we have to pull the rope in the same direction -- everyone of us. And that’s going to happen.”

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