As New York Jets coach Rex Ryan endures a player lockout that's infringing on his ability to work toward backing up his Super Bowl championship guarantee, he's turning to the master of work-stoppage success.
"I called Joe Gibbs," Ryan told a small group of prospective Jets business partners Wednesday night at The Core Club in Manhattan, according to the team's official website. "When they went through some work stoppages, the last two times the Washington Redskins won two Super Bowls. So I figured that would be a good guy to call."
Gibbs led the Redskins to the title following a strike-shortened 1982 season, beating the Miami Dolphins 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII. Five years later, the Redskins won Super Bowl XXII, routing the Denver Broncos 42-10 after a 24-day players' strike trimmed the regular season to 15 games, three of them with replacement players.
Gibbs' Redskins went 3-0 with the replacements en route to an 11-4 finish.
Ryan said he plans to meet in the next few days with Gibbs, who guided the Redskins to three Super Bowl titles and four NFC championships in 16 seasons as the team's head coach, and that he's already absorbing some of the Hall of Famer's advice.
"He said take this time to get better," Ryan said. "Take time to gain an advantage on your opponents and whatever you think that is. He gave me some ideas, and I followed them to a T."
Ryan said that to improve his and his staff's knowledge base, he has been "bringing in all kinds of guys to come in here and speak to us and pick their brains," including former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore, legendary running backs coach Bobby Jackson, and Dan Reeves, the former coach of the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons.
"Over the last six-year period, the Indianapolis Colts have been by far and away the most efficient offense in the red zone," Ryan said. "And this man has been the coach. It was interesting picking his brain. He's really helping us."
"It's hard to lead people if you don't tell them where you're going," said Woody Johnson, who also appeared at Wednesday night's event. "If you tell people, 'I'm coming in 15th. Are you with me?' No, I'm not with you. I'm not going to sign on."