The Jets' offense suffered through an identity crisis this season, largely scrapping the ground-and-pound, in-your-face approach that helped lead the team to consecutive AFC title games for an attack that promised an amped-up passing look, only to fall flat on its face.
"You have to form an identity, and I want to have an identity here offensively," Sparano told The New York Times this week, using the word "physical" time and again.
"We're definitely like-minded people," Ryan told the newspaper.
The niceties are an uplifting departure for a team perceived to be enmeshed in chaos, but Sparano will be judged out of the chute on the play of quarterback Mark Sanchez, if he remains the starter. The coach plans to take a similar approach with Sanchez that he did with Tony Romo in Dallas and Chad Henne in Miami, rebooting the machine on the quarterback's mechanics, breaking down every one of his 26 turnovers from this season and fine-tuning his clock-management skills.
"Get them back to Square 1 and break them back from a fundamental standpoint," is how Sparano describes the process, one on which he'll judged mercilessly in New York as soon as the games begin again for the men in green.