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John Idzik pushing Rex Ryan to make staff changes

The signs that Rex Ryan will return as the New York Jets' coach have grown positive the last several weeks. However, a final decision on the coach's future is yet to be made.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Jets general manager John Idzik is pushing Ryan to make changes on his defensive staff, according to a person with knowledge of the team's thinking. Ryan has one year remaining on his contract; his assistants don't have deals past this season.

Jets linebacker coach Brian VanGorder is already heading to Notre Dame to be its defensive coordinator, Rapoport reported Saturday.

Dennis Thurman, who has been with the Jets for four seasons, is in his first campaign as defensive coordinator.

"From what I'm hearing, there's a lot of positive feelings from owner Woody Johnson to Rex Ryan," Rapoport said Sunday on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning." "It's clear Woody would like him to stay. Two potential issues. I'm told general manager John Idzik is pushing Rex Ryan to make staff changes on defense -- his guys. That can complicate things.

"Rex also wants a contract extension going into the last year of his deal. It is unclear whether Idzik wants to give him one."

Rapoport reported Saturday that Ryan and Idzik have been getting along well lately and there were positive vibes emanating from Florham Park about the Jets' future.

The future of Gang Green's coaching position could hinge on whether Ryan gets contracts for his coaching staff -- especially after the defense has performed well this season.

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