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Rex Ryan on N.Y. Jets' skid: 'We're not dead'


One of the redeeming qualities Rex Ryan has as a football coach is his ability to endear himself to his players.

Ryan is one of the league's best motivators, which makes his current predicament, a five-game losing streak, perhaps his toughest challenge since the locker room imploded in 2011 due to chemistry issues.

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His daily briefings are crafted with care, which built some anticipation for Monday's address.

"The message is pretty simple," Ryan told reporters Monday. "Hey, we might be counted out. We're not dead. We're going to fight our tails off. It's a resilient bunch. As I told our team, a team that doesn't quit is hard to beat. If you're fighting a guy that never quits, he's hard to beat. Our guys, we ain't quitting. As we say, we've just begun to fight."

With his current group, Ryan hasn't had to battle any dissension among his players, though he'll find out if they heed his words on Thursday. The Jets have a short week to prepare for the division-rival Patriots and don't plan on making any major changes on offense (like a quarterback change, for instance). Cornerback Dee Milliner is done for the season with a torn Achilles, as is guard Brian Winters (torn ACL).

If Ryan can get his players to look alive for a few more weeks, he might be able to hang on in New York. If not, his ability as a motivator might not matter anymore.

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