There was speculation that Ryan was the one Mangini had targeted for the Jets' defensive coordinator post before promoting Bob Sutton. Ryan instead was retained by Oakland, despite its change in head coaches.
Mangini said, "No, I didn't interview him. He was under contract when I had the position, so it wasn't a situation where it could be asked for."
"It doesn't make it more difficult," LB Jonathan Vilma said of the uncertainty. "It just requires a little more work for us. We've seen film on both the quarterbacks, so we have to get ready for both of them. Whoever does play, we have to be ready for them."
Somewhat lost in the playoff speculation has been the fact that when QB Chad Pennington takes the first snap on the Jets' first offensive series Sunday, he will accomplish a first for him. Pennington has never started all 16 games in a season, and should do it one year after having two shoulder surgeries in the span of eight months.
"No matter how many games I play, my primary focus is always winning and making sure that I'm doing everything I can to put our team in a successful position," he said, and he added, "but to be able to make it through a season and persevere through a lot of difficult challenges does mean a lot, and I'm excited about the 16th challenge. I'm excited about the 16th game, to be able to have the opportunity to play another game.