Rex Ryan enjoyed immediate success upon joining the Jets in 2009. Just three years later, there are questions about the head coach's job security.
New York finished a disappointing 8-8 in 2011, after many experts picked them to win the Super Bowl. The Jets didn't even make the playoffs, failing to live up to Ryan's prediction that his team would win a championship.
Now, Ryan might be coaching to save his job. The Jets have been criticized for being a dysfunctional group.
Santonio Holmes, their top wide receiver, seemingly quit at the end of last season. Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled, and was called to be benched by anonymous teammates. As the Giants went on to win their second title in five years, the Jets couldn't live up to expectations.
Despite New York's struggles, Ryan doesn't believe his job is in jeopardy.
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"It's hard for me to look at myself as not being successful," Ryan told ESPN Radio in New York. "I don't see it as a possibility. Maybe 10 or 15 years from now when Woody Johnson wants to go in a different direction than me, that's fine.
Expectations for the Jets have dramatically lessened this year. They are tied for 16th, with 40/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, according to Bovada.lv. The online betting Web site puts their projected win total at 8.5, with most people taking the under.
The Jets traded for Tim Tebow in the offseason, but many have called it a move that was made primarily to attract headlines. They lost all four preseason games, and scored just one touchdown in 16 quarters.
Still, Ryan believes that his team will have a successful season.
"I have complete confidence in myself and whatever it is, I'll leave it to the experts to say if my job is on the line. I know one thing. I'm going to give everything I have to this organization. I know the guys who coach with me do the same thing and I believe our players will as well."
Gang Green made it to the AFC Championship in each of Ryan's first two seasons. One year of underachieving isn't usually enough to get a coach fired, but the perception of the Jets being dysfunctional might put him on a shorter leash than most.
He's been heavily criticized since the disappointing 2011 campaign, but Ryan is ready for the start of the 2012 season.
"I look at things as an opportunity," Ryan said. "I could have gone other places that might not have had quite the pressure and the scrutiny. Man, look, I know I'm a great coach. And what makes me a great coach is the guys who coach with me and the guys who play for me."
The Jets begin the 2012 season as they host the Bills on Sunday, Sept. 9.