As a football lifer, Ryan surely wasn't surprised when the second half of his press conference Monday was dominated by questions about his future. Nor could those in the audience have been surprised when the confident and blunt Ryan declared he was still the best man to coach the Jets and end the franchise's Super Bowl drought, which officially reached 45 seasons late Monday night.
"Now, again, I'm not the guy making that decision, If I was, it'd be easy and you guys wouldn't be asking me the questions anymore. But that's not the case. Again: All I know is what I can do is get this team ready to go and play at the very best of our abilities. That's exactly what I plan on doing."
For at least two more games, after which Ryan must hope Johnson and/or Idzik decide history is not on their side.
SERIES HISTORY: 21st regular-season meeting. Browns lead series, 12-8. The Jets won the most recent meeting between the teams on Nov. 14, 2010, when Mark Sanchez threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 16 seconds left in overtime to give the Jets a 26-20 win. That Jets-Browns game also marked the first time the Rex Ryan-coached Jets played against a defense coordinated by his twin brother, Rob. Dating back to 1990, the Jets and Browns have split their last eight meetings, seven of which have been decided by a touchdown or less.
NFL Team Report - New York Jets - NOTES, QUOTES
--For a guy who loathes talking to the press, wide receiver Santonio Holmes sure has a knack for generating headlines -- and creating headaches for his bosses.
Holmes, whose press conferences have all the ambiance and frivolity of a hostage interrogation for all involved, had another uniquely Holmes-ian moment Wednesday, when he said he didn't watch any of the Ravens-Lions game Monday night and that he had no reaction to the Ravens' win, which eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.
"I didn't find out until meetings this morning that we were eliminated," Holmes said. "It didn't bother me."
In fairness to Holmes, he said his lack of reaction was due to the predicament the Jets created for themselves by losing four of five games following the bye -- a stretch in which they went from 5-4 and holding sole possession of the second wild card to needing multiple miracles in order to back into the playoffs with an 8-8 record.
"(Baltimore) did what they had to do and we didn't," Holmes said.
Still, chances are the "it didn't bother me" comment will be the one that sticks and further enhances Holmes' apathetic reputation -- a reputation he last polished a mere three days earlier. After the Jets' 30-20 loss to the Panthers on Sunday, Holmes said he didn't regret calling the Carolina secondary the weak link of a stout defense -- even though Panthers cornerbacks and safeties told Jets receivers all day that they were looking to prove Holmes wrong,
The good news for the Jets is they almost certainly only have another two games to worry about Holmes and the controversies he'll create when he does speak. Holmes is a prime candidate to be released once the new league year begins in March, which will absolve the Jets of the final two years and $17.25 million -- none guaranteed -- of the five-year deal he signed after the lockout in 2011.
The ever-unpredictable Holmes said Wednesday he'd be willing to take a pay cut -- just as he did last March, when his salary was slashed by more than $3 million -- in order to stay with the Jets and potentially play out the rest of his career under Rex Ryan.
"I would love to play for him for the next couple years and even retire here, he and I both," Holmes said.
--After several weeks of crunching increasingly unlikely playoff scenarios for the Jets, it's time to gaze towards reality: The Jets' spot in the 2014 draft.
The Jets, one of three 6-8 teams in the NFL, currently occupy the 13th slot in the draft order, one spot behind Pittsburgh and one spot ahead of St. Louis due to the strength of schedule tiebreakers.