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Rex Ryan will call all defensive plays for New York Jets

With the New York Jets in a state of flux, coach Rex Ryan is returning to his roots.

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Despite the presence of newly installed defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, Ryan told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News on Tuesday that he'll take over play-calling duties next season, a responsibility long held by Mike Pettine before he bolted north for the Buffalo Bills.

"Dennis and I worked side-by-side with each other literally for years now," Ryan said at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix on Tuesday. "It's something that we talked about and we want to do. I want Dennis to just be totally involved like he always is, but I'll make the calls (and have) the final say on the calls. But again, the process will be very similar."

It's far from a surprising development.

Ryan often called plays during his first year with the Jets in 2009. He dialed in third-down defensive calls as recently as last season before handing that over to Pettine. Few dream up better game plans, but Ryan faces complications heading into this campaign. Most of the veteran players he long relied on have been shuffled out of town, and the future of cornerback Darrelle Revis is hazy at best.

With Ryan facing a win-or-else scenario in Florham Park, N.J., it's fair to question if he would have been better off stepping aside, but -- love or hate him -- that's not who he is. The Jets face plenty of questions, but this embattled team has a better chance in September with Ryan digging in and manning the controls.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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