Ryan began the conference call applauding the job his offense did in the running game. After a putrid performance where the team rushed for only 31 yards against the Broncos, the Jets ran for 218 yards including a 21 carry, 107 yard performance by Chris Ivory.
“One thing that jumps out at me is I really liked the formula on offense,” said Ryan. "The way we were able to run the football, we stayed with it.”
Ryan was also happy about the play of quarterback Geno Smith and believes Smith has shown improvement from his last few games.
“I thought Geno did an outstanding job, in the pocket, in escaping, and making some big plays with his legs. And we protected the football. And really I see him getting better.”
On the flip side, Ryan was not happy with his red zone offense execution. While the Jets were able to move the ball with ease on the Patriots during the first half, they could never punch it in for a touchdown and were forced to settle for field goals.
“Obviously we have to get better in the red zone,” said Ryan. “It is really a thing that, offensively, that's really holding us back from what we want to do, which is win, obviously” Ryan added.
Ryan also stressed the need to fix the Jets’ penalty issue. The Jets had one touchdown negated by a holding call and were backed up ten yards during a first and ten at the Patriots’ twenty yard line by another.
"The holding penalties, you just can't have it,” Ryan said. “Obviously it's got to be a point of emphasis and it has been but still has to continue that way.”
While Ryan was pleased with the Jets’ ability to get pressure on Tom Brady, as the defense registered, one sack and seven quarterback hits, Ryan was not happy about the secondary play.
The Jets blew two critical coverages, each one resulting in Patriots touchdowns. One on the 49-yard touchdown pass from Brady to running back Shane Vereen and another the Brady touchdown pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola which occurred on a third-and-19 from the Jets’ 19 yard line.
“Some of the coverages we play, we’ve just got to stay true to the coverage,” Ryan said.” (If a player has a) responsibility to do a certain job (then) it has to get done and unfortunately there, we made enough mistakes coverage wise, that Brady (who) doesn’t need a whole lot of help got it from us. And obviously it hurt us and that’s really what cost us the game” Ryan said.”
Clearly one of the main issues for the Jets is their lack of depth at the cornerback position and Ryan acknowledged that fact.
“We like our talent (at the cornerback position). Obviously you don’t like the injuries we’ve had,” Ryan said. “I mean we’ve had a tough go of it at the cornerback spot in particular. When you lose a (Dee) Milliner, you lose (Dexter) McDougle, two guys you’re really counting on (and) you have a guy go AWOL (Dimitri Patterson) on you, that's hard to anticipate.” Ryan said.
Ryan added that when, “you lose three corners that you really thought can contribute for you… obviously that’s going to weaken you in some areas.”
The Jets have also had trouble with giving their red zone defense particularly on third down and with giving up long drives, both of which Ryan says need to be fixed and be fixed now.
“The red zone defense has been fine, until third down,” Ryan said. “(That’s) the most important down, it’s the one you keep fighting for to get them in that situation and we’re not getting them off the field, we’re giving up touchdowns” Ryan said.”
“The other area is when you have them backed up, you’ve got to choke them out” said Ryan regarding the defense giving up long drives to offensive’s in bad field position.
“You have to get that ball back for our offense as fast as you can and unfortunately we’ve given up some big drives” Ryan added.
When the Jets’ schedule came out the period most fans worried about was the period where Jets faced six consecutive Pro-Bowl quarterbacks. While the Jets seem to be a better team than their record, Ryan acknowledged that the team can’t “deny where we’re at” but at the same time cannot dwell on the hole they’ve dug for themselves.
“We just have to find a way to get a win,” Ryan said. “We can’t deny where we’re at, we’re 1-6. I mean that’s where we are but the job is everyday to get better and I believe our football team is getting better.”
Ryan also said that the Jets have done things well at times but haven’t been able to but a complete game together.
“Obviously we’re not finding ways to win and that’s really what it is,” Ryan said. “We’ve done some good things, w) just haven’t done it for 60 minutes.”
With the Jets at 1-6 many believe that the clock is ticking on Ryan’s tenure as the head coach of the Jets. While Ryan knows this is a win business, he said he is not focused on potentially losing his job.
“I’m not focused on what’s down the road. I’m focused on the right now, “ Ryan said. “(But) this is a win business I understand that. There’s no doubt. But this is about the team and it’s always been the team and that’s the priority. The priority has never been that future.”
As for what’s next for the Jets, Ryan says the focus is solely on their next opponent, the Buffalo Bills.
“The full focus goes to Buffalo and that’s it,” Ryan said. “One game at a time, one day at a time and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”