The New York Jets have ended any speculation about the future of their head coach, as Rex Ryan will remain with the team, owner Woody Johnson said after the Jets' win over the Dolphins on Sunday.
Woody Johnson: "We're going to keep Rex Ryan and he's going to be our coach next year" #nyj— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) December 29, 2013
After spending much of his early career as a college coach, Ryan was a highly successful defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999 to 2008. In 2009 he was hired by the Jets -- his first-ever head coaching opportunity -- and had an incredibly strong start to his tenure.
Ryan led New York to two straight AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons with the team, losing to the Colts and Steelers. The playoff success in year one was a surprise, as the Jets went just 9-7 in the regular season, but an 11-5 record in 2010 showed promise for the future.
Since then, the Jets have struggled under Ryan, with zero playoff appearances and three straight seasons without a winning record. The low point was a 6-10 record in 2012. New York's improvement to an 8-8 mark in 2013 despite injuries and a rookie quarterback may have been what saved his job.
The Jets have repeatedly struggled with quarterback issues through Ryan's tenure, and the coach's future may hinge on the development of Geno Smith, who threw for more interceptions that touchdowns in his rookie season.