It took them (just a little bit) longer than the rest of the league, but the New York Jets finally held a season-ending press conference on Tuesday.
Speaking to Gotham beat writers for almost 40 minutes, coach Rex Ryan and team owner Woody Johnson announced that both offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would not be back with the team next season. Sparano has been fired after just one tumultuous, unproductive campaign. Pettine, Ryan's longtime aide, has agreed to mutually part ways and seek work elsewhere.
Here's what else we learned during the session:
1. Ryan made no promises about the future of Mark Sanchez, but said the team isn't concerned about the quarterback's swollen contract extension. Woody Johnson guaranteed nothing for Sanchez from a roster perspective, saying, "it's always an open competition." Both men declined to discuss the future of Tim Tebow, other than to say he's still on the roster today.
2.Tattoogate predictably bubbled to the surface. Rex handled it well, telling reporters he had the ink done years ago, but that "obviously, if Sanchez doesn't play better, that number's changing."
3. The coach and his owner gave a better-late-than-never sendoff to fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum: "We had to go in a different direction to improve this team," Johnson said. Ryan thanked Tannenbaum for "all the blood, sweat and tears" he put into the job: "We'll be friends for a lifetime," he said. Johnson confirmed whoever takes the general manager job will be required to retain Ryan for the 2013 season.
4. The days of the ground-and-pound are over, my friends. The word "attacking" was used repeatedly by Ryan to describe the type of offense he seeks next season. The coach acknowledged New York has struggled to find an identity on offense of late. "We are going to be a dangerous football team," Ryan said, promising the Jets would be more Rex-like going forward: "I don't think I've done as good a job of implementing who I am throughout this team."
5. Ryan acknowledged he was concerned about being fired after a rough-and-tumble season left New York at 6-10 and out of the playoff race. "We were embarrassed at times last year," Ryan admitted.
6. Considering the state of the team, Ryan very much sounded like a man with a new lease on life. Wearing a crisp, white dress shirt and tie, Rex spoke of tomorrow as a new opportunity: "I'm approaching this day as if it's my first day as a head coach ... this is a new chance for me. This is a beginning."
7. Despite all the pretty words, this is a team in flux, with more questions than answers, more holes than strengths, no matter how the message is spun.