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Rex Ryan will focus more on New York Jets' defense

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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Rex Ryan's calescent coaching seat necessitates he take special care to prove that his questionable roster has upside.

The coach of the New York Jets reiterated Saturday that he will have a more hands-on role with the defense than he did last season.

With as many as seven new starters, Ryan decided to take back the preparation and play-calling duties.

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"I'm going to go back to doing what I do, and that's teach and coach primarily on defense," Ryan said via Newsday. "We hired a great offensive coach (Marty Mornhinweg). Will I be involved there? Of course. But I do my best down there on defense."

Ryan said the decision had nothing to do with new defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman's ability.

"As I look at it, that's my offense, as well," he said. "Do I have a confidence level in Marty? Absolutely. How much I can contribute? I'm not sure. But certainly, I'll be involved in it and I'll understand what's going on. But I'm going to spend much more of my time on defense."

Ryan might not have said, "I'm going down swinging," but he knows where his bread is buttered. Given the state of the Jets' roster, Ryan's best chance of keeping his job past next season is to prove a young defense has a bright future with him at the helm. To do that, he'll have to get his hands a bit dirtier.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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