You don't need to scheme to stop wide receivers Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens. Tight end Dustin Keller is a good tight end, not a great one. He's not a No. 1 option, and he's not healthy. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has shown he's not the type of player to lift those around him. Tim Tebow remains lurking and could wind up playing eventually if owner Woody Johnson pushes for it. The team's running game lacks a difference maker; the Jets are 30th in the league in yards per carry.
"The fact that we lost two excellent football players does not change our expectations," Ryan said, admitting that this will test the Jets' resolve.
Perhaps it doesn't change Ryan's expectations, but it does change ours. We saw New York as a flawed team that still had the defensive talent to make a run to the playoffs. Eight wins or more would be a masterful coaching job by Ryan.
"How many people will feel sorry for the New York Jets?" Ryan asked. "I've got the answer ... nobody."
UPDATE: Holmes thanked fans via Twitter for their support.