No one was more pleased at Wednesday's news conference to introduce new Jets head coach Rex Ryan than the master of ceremonies, owner Woody Johnson.
"This is an exciting day for the New York Jets," said Johnson. "During this search we were looking for a coach that was tough and demanding, and at the same time fair and open minded. We wanted him to be a leader and a motivator, but most importantly a good communicator.
Ryan, Johnson said, "is the right man for the job."
Johnson emphasized how important it was for him, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets' front office to be patient and open-minded in searching for that top candidate. And their patience paid off after Ryan's Baltimore Ravens ventured to the AFC Championship Game before losing at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"During the past 10 seasons, I think if you look at the record, it's very, very impressive," he said of Ryan's defensive units. "He's maintained a consistently high level of performance in his tasks and what he's done.
"This was a well-designed approach, I feel. We asked every question in every possible way and tried to determine as thoroughly as we could who our new coach was and what his characteristics were and what kind of person he is and what other people thought of him."
He also thanked Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome for granting permission for Jets executives to meet with Ryan in Baltimore the day after the Ravens beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Round.
"They helped us immensely expediting this process and allowing it to proceed even though they were in the heat of battle," said Johnson. "So I'm very impressed with them and my hat goes off to them."
In fact, Ryan later claimed that this visit was a major factor in his decision to accept the offer that came a week later.
"One of the reasons I took this job, besides the obvious," said Ryan, was "meeting Mr. Johnson and Tannenbaum. I was blown away when they came down and visited.
"I just knew that this was where I wanted to be."
Johnson welcomed Ryan and his family — his wife, Michelle, and sons Payton (named after the Bears' Walter Payton) and Seth — into the Jets family before inviting the new head coach to the podium.
"He has the expertise, he has the instincts and he has the passion," said Johnson, "that I think will bring the best out of this team. ... I hope he's around here for a long time."