Rex Ryan is very popular with his players even if management is not sure it wants to keep him. Credit: Getty Images
If Rex Ryan is getting fired, the players in his locker room say they are in the dark about it.
Ryan, one of the most high-profile head coaches in the league, has been with the Jets for five years. But after missing the playoffs for a third straight year, speculation is high Ryan might get the ax after Sunday's game at the Dolphins. If that is the case, his players don't see it coming.
“We have no idea. We talk about it and there is no sense that it is coming,” one Jets player told Metro New York by phone this weekend. “I have no clue. It doesn't seem to be that way. There are no signs of it happening.”
Another Jets player, who has been in other NFL locker rooms where the head coach got fired at the end of the season said “it doesn't feel like a change is coming so if it is, it is a well-kept secret.”
Ryan is in an unusual spot, as is his new general manager. Hired this past offseason, John Idzik came from the Seahawks and took over a team with salary cap issues and a lack of star talent. But in an unusual move, Idzik inherited Ryan and much of his coaching staff and it seemed likely he would want to hire his own head coach.
But the Jets have exceeded expectations this year and a win against the Dolphins would give them a .500 record, a nice accomplishment in a season where they were widely picked to be one of the worst teams in the league.
“I think Rex has done enough with this team,” the Jets player said. “He has earned it. In my gut, I think he stays.”