There's no 'O' in Rex

May, 11, 2013
5/11/13
6:06
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan made it quite clear: He has no plans to stick his nose in the offense.

Not bothered by the perception that he's a glorified defensive coordinator, Ryan reiterated Saturday that he's returning to his roots this season, meaning he will run the defense and call the plays -- shades of 2009. He'll leave the offense to new coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

[+] EnlargeRex Ryan
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsRex Ryan has a ball in his hand -- but he won't be very involved with the offense next season.
"In our situation, we're better served if I'm in on the defensive side," Ryan said at rookie minicamp, adding, "It's my offense as well, but do I have a confidence level in Marty? Absolutely. How much I'll contribute, I'm not sure. I'll be involved. I'll understand what's going on, but I'm going to spend much more of my time on defense."

Ryan has adopted a hands-on approach in minicamp, installing the playbook and teaching it during the walk-through periods. In every way, he's running the show on defense. That, he said, shouldn't be perceived as a slight toward new coordinator Dennis Thurman. Ryan figures they're starting over on defense -- there could be as many as seven new starters -- and he wants to be the guy to indoctrinate them.

This is a departure from the philosophy he adopted after the 2011 season, when he vowed to become more involved in the offense. He ceded most of the defensive play-calling to Mike Pettine and tried to be more of an all-around head coach.

"We all know where that got us," he said, alluding to last season's 6-10 debacle. "I'm going to go back and do what I do, and that's teach and coach, primarily on defense. We have a great offensive coach."

Ryan knows his job is on the line. If he goes down, he can at least say he did it his way.

SILENT TREATMENT: Ryan said he hasn't spoken to DE/OLB Quinton Coples, whom he called out Friday for slacking off in the weight room.

"No, shoot, let him stew," Ryan said. "This kid, I expect so much from him that I don't want him to ever have something where, if he's not going full-out and it's not to my expectations, why wouldn't I tell him? I don't care that Jets Nation knows it also."

Jets Nation knows, all right. It knows.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: After four years of holding the rookie camp the weekend after the draft, Ryan decided to skip a week to create continuity in the offseason program. Instead of traveling back and forth between camp and school/home, the rookies can remain in New Jersey to work out with the veterans. Only one draft pick must leave for school obligations -- first-round DT Sheldon Richardson (Missouri).

MONEY MATTERS: Rookie QB Geno Smith still hasn't hired a new agent. He's considering the Chicago-based Priority Sports, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Priority recently hired former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, fueling speculation about a potentially awkward arrangement. That's a bit of a reach, considering Tannenbaum represents coaches, not players. Smith said he doesn't see any potential problems.

"No matter who I hire, it's going to be in the best interest of Geno Smith," he said.

INKED UP: Ryan, known for his body art, noticed rookie S Rontez Miles has a tattoo of a Steelers logo on his left bicep. Miles, a Division II standout at California (Pa.), grew up in the Pittsburgh area.

"Obviously, it could be worse," the coach said. "It could be a Patriots tattoo."

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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