The season is officially over for the New York Jets, following the end of season press conference earlier in the week.” General Manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan took the stage on New Year’s Eve as answered questions from the media regarding the 2013 campaign and the offseason.
Although there are many question marks throughout the team’s depth chart, the head coaching position is temporarily filled by Ryan. As owner Woody Johnson announced following the Week 17 win in Miami, he intends to bring back Ryan for the final year of his contract.
For Ryan, being brought back for one more year encourages him, as he is embracing the opportunity to prove himself next year.
“I’m comfortable,” admitted Ryan. “With me, I’m a guy that looks for opportunities. I have an opportunity right in front of me to coach the New York Jets and that’s all I need. To me, I love it.”
One of the biggest question marks, as it has been in previous seasons, is at the quarterback position. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith did a great job down the stretch, as he had his best games in the latter half of the season. Although he had a shaky rookie campaign, signs are pointing to Smith returning as starter for his second year.
“I thought Geno improved by leaps and bounds in this area as the season went on,” said Ryan. “I’m confident that he got better. I know he got better. And I believe he will get better in the future.”
After the team’s strong season finale, hopes are high heading into the 2014 season. The Jets are coming into the offseason with a large amount of cap room, a plethora of draft picks, and an abundance of young players. Add those factors to the momentum spilling into the next season, and the Green and White have a recipe for success.
“I think with me, I’m so excited about the future,” said Ryan, in regards to the 2014 season. “I’m not different than our players or anybody else in this organization. We have momentum heading into the offseason with two wins, we understand we’re back to 0-0, but I think the way we feel, the way we know, the way the locker room is, the preparation, all that, we see the results of it and we’re excited about it.”
New York had very low expectations coming into the 2013 season, and to many, it exceeded those assumptions. Coming into 2014 with Ryan coming back to lead the team for one more season, with the addition of the many young, talented players under his wings, the team’s expectations will be higher than ever.