Rex Ryan had been quiet publicly for nearly a month.
He broke his silence Thursday in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine.
Not surprisingly, the main question thrown his way was the trade rumors regarding star CB Darrelle Revis. However that wasn't the only topic the fifth-year Jets head coach discussed.
Ryan opened his news conference stating similarities he and new Jets general manager John Idzik share. Interestingly, both of their fathers coached for the Green & White in the 1970s. Both are the same height and both are intelligent individuals. Yet the biggest thing they agree on is getting the franchise back to its winning ways.
"The main thing we have in common is the direction of this football team," Ryan said. "We want to win and we want to have a team that basically earns the loyalty and support of our fans. We're going to have that team. I believe that."
The Jets are coming off a 6-10 season and failed to earn a playoff berth for a second straight year. Yet there were select players that produced. One that Ryan commended Thursday was 6'6", 290-pound DE Quinton Coples. The former North Carolina Tar Heel led the squad with 5.5 sacks as a rookie. Ryan said he could possibly see Coples being more of an edge presence in his second year.
"Having him go through that, putting him over guards, putting him over tackles, even over centers, I think it's good because when you put him over tight ends, it's a lot easier to knock those guys back and you have a lot of confidence when you face those double teams," the Jets HC said, perhaps hinting at a new role for Coples. "That was kind of what we did with him, but I'm expecting big things from him. Like I said, I think he's just now scratching the surface."
The team released five players Tuesday and one of those players had been alongside Ryan for over a decade. Bart Scott began his NFL career with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in 2002 while Ryan was the Ravens' defensive line coach. Moving forward, the linebacker and Jets HC will forever carry a deep bond.
"I brought him to New York when I came here," Ryan said of Scott. "He was one of the guys I thought that I really needed to put that defense in and basically get that kind of mentality and that kind of passion through to the players as well."
Despite the quintet getting released, there's always the possibility some may return once free agency begins.
"Sometimes opportunities come back around to you," Ryan said, "so certainly we wouldn't close the door on any of those things."
With the offseason progressing, free agency beginning next month and the draft taking place in April, Ryan is eager to get his players back on the gridiron. And unlike previous years where he delivered predictions on the Jets' season before it even began, he said Thursday that those types of predictions won't be happening this year.
"One thing I will say is this," Ryan said, "and we all feel this, I know I feel this, and I'm sure that many people in our organization feel that same way. We're stepping up to plate with a bat in our hand and we're not going to let any strikes go by without swinging. We are going to take our cuts. "We may take a cut at a ball in the ground as well, but we are definitely going to take our cuts. When we talk about being aggressive, I don't know if we really know what that looks like. To me, I have that vision. Some may say, "Well, you're aggressive on defense." I don't think we're close to being as aggressive as we're going to be this year in all three phases of the game, and I'm looking forward to it. How many wins? Nobody can tell you that. But I know one thing, we're going to take our shots."