He recognizes how dire the situation is right now, though, and that talk means little. Ryan isn’t even concerned about needing to talk to his players about keeping the trash talk to a minimum.
“I don’t know how much of that there will be,” he said. “It’s not something I’ll bring up to the team.”
Last week was tumultuous for the Jets, with anonymous teammates taking shots at Tim Tebow in a newspaper report, and Woody Johnson meeting with Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and others, according to another report. A loss to the Rams might have signaled the start of a season unraveling. Instead, there’s a new sense of confidence around the team.
It certainly helped that a few of the teams the Jets are chasing in the playoff picture lost Sunday, including Pittsburgh (6-4), Indianapolis (6-4) and San Diego (4-6). Not that Ryan and his team noticed, of course.
“We’re not getting into that now,” Ryan said. “We know we have to get better.”
The play of Mark Sanchez on Sunday was a good start. The beleaguered starting quarterback had his most efficient performance in more than a month, going 15 of 20 for 178 yards and a touchdown, and most importantly, no turnovers. Ryan and the Jets have stood by Sanchez all season despite the increasing calls from fans and media for the team to give Tebow a chance to save the season.
At least for a few days, Sanchez quieted all that chatter.
“I think he needed it just like the rest of us needed it,” Ryan said. “I don’t think he’s any different. We all needed it.”
New York is 4-6 for the first time since 2009, when the Jets went on a roll and went all the way to the AFC championship game. While it may seem unrealistic to some that the Jets could produce a similar type of run, none of their remaining five opponents after the Patriots — Arizona (4-6), Jacksonville (1-9), Tennessee (4-6), San Diego (4-6) and Buffalo (4-6) — currently have winning records.
“We got better as the season went on, and I think that’s clearly what we have to do now,” Ryan said. “If the players can draw from it, then that’s great. Again, we have a ton of work in front of us and a short amount of time to prepare for, clearly, the best offensive team in the NFL.”