“I will make a statement after the season,” Johnson said Thursday. “I never make any comments regarding contracts during the season.”
Last week's dramatic victory over the Patriots showed that Ryan can still coach but, maybe more noticeable was his back-and-forth with Bill Belichick this week over The Push which showed that Ryan still has the fire in his trimmed-down belly.
“We’re happy with Rex,” Johnson said. “Coaches have to be good teachers and good leaders and I think he’s both.”
The Jets meet the playoff-caliber Bengals and Saints the next two games leading into their bye week, so Johnson will probably have a clear picture where the team is headed by then. But, however successful, there will still be seven games left to self-destruct after that.
Ryan insists he isn't looking that far ahead but appreciates his boss' support after last year's Butt Fumble of a season.
“I like the fact that my boss said some nice things about me,” he said. “I said it before, it’s not about me. Right now, it means nothing to me other than the fact that he had some nice comments to say. My situation is the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s where my attention is.”
Ryan’s contract, at about $3 million per year, runs through 2014. Teams generally don’t let coaches go into the last year of their deals — they either get fired or extended.
Is Johnson anticipating an extension of Ryan's contract?
"I don’t make any statements like that," he said. "The only thing I’ll say is I’m happy with him. I think he’s a great teacher, a good teacher, maybe a great teacher, and a good leader... That's what we hired him to be. We're happy with that."