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Rex Ryan, Mornhinweg deny Jets locker room is 'toxic'

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From the moment Rex Ryan's Jets teams stopped winning in New York, he was battling the perception of his role as leader of a dysfunctional organization.

On Friday, he laughed off another report, this time from SB Nation, that detailed a "toxic" environment in the locker room and among the coaches.

Among the most serious charges: Ryan allegedly has been attempting to fire offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, and Monday's run-heavy debacle against the Dolphins was actually a sarcastic rebuttal from Mornhinweg, who was sick of Ryan's run-first philosophy.

"I give no credibility to that story," Ryan told reporters Friday. "I thought there were some other things in that story, the same one, that I thought were hilarious. The one about, I've already told you guys how I thought about how I was trying to stick it to John (Idzik), about that's why we never threw the ball.

"And then as it turns out, Marty was trying to stick it to me. This is like, 'What?' They're going all over the place, and none of them make sense. We're trying to win a game. And that's as simple as it is."

Ryan blamed it on an outside journalist who is unfamiliar with the team. Despite a 2-10 record and a near certainty that he will not be returning to the Jets' sideline next season, he maintained a closeness with the building, which has been the subject of debate all season.

Mornhinweg added: "Rex and I are close. Everything we do is about getting better and figuring out a way to win football games."

Ryan will unfortunately be the fall guy for a series of experiments that failed miserably, but it's hard to imagine a coach with a keen eye on his next opportunity burning so many bridges on the way out. Ryan's style was already met with skepticism from many league executives before he entered the head coaching ranks and attempting to nuke his staff midway through a lost season would do some serious damage to his reputation.

And the coach still has four games to go. It seems like he's already gearing up for the next series of reports he's going to face.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews a busy Week 14 schedule and recaps the Cowboys' win over the Bears. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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