Ryan doesn't see humbled Jets losing patented confidence

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan and the New York Jets left New England searching for their swagger.

The jokes aren't flying from the coach as they did in his first two seasons. Suddenly, the NFL's biggest bunch of chatterboxes is strangely silent.

A losing record and a humbling three-game road skid can do that to even the loudest of teams.

"It's a 100-percent fact that each team is going to have to deal with adversity," Ryan said Monday. "And this is our opportunity."

The Jets (2-3) are coming off a 30-21 loss to the rival Patriots, a game that left many New York players searching for silver linings and encouraging moments. All that Super Bowl stuff and the big, brash talk? That's for another time. It's now all about their must-win matchup -- yes, even this early in the season -- with the winless Miami Dolphins next Monday night.

Ryan and the players are saying all the right things, at least publicly, and using all the cliches in the book to try to convince everyone that this team isn't on the verge of falling apart. There was even a report -- which the team, Ryan and players supposedly involved all vehemently denied -- that the wide receivers are unhappy with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Ryan even reiterated his support of Schottenheimer, saying he feels "great" about him.

But it all has many wondering if the Jets' locker room is one more loss away from being an extremely uncomfortable place to be.

"This team is not going to (break) just because we're 2-3 right now," Ryan said. "That's when you get stronger. That's when you come in together and you build character. This is a resilient bunch. I'm telling you, we'll see. I believe in this football team."

Sounds simple enough, although the Jets know it's far from easy.

"I don't see us losing our confidence," Ryan said. "I think maybe people outside of that room are going to lose confidence. We're not. I'm confident in the fact that I see signs of us getting better. We have to, obviously. This is a critical game for us Monday night, and that's where our focus is going to be."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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