Tony Sparano defended by Jets' coach Rex Ryan

Tony Sparano. - Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Jets are 3-6. They have an apparently fractured locker room. They have the daily Tim Tebow questions to deal with. Rex Ryan has begun hearing questions about his job status. The team is 30th in the NFL with an obviously dysfunctional offense that does not have many playmakers.

Ryan, though, will not pin any blame on offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.

"Without question, I believe this is an outstanding football coach. He’s been a head coach. Going up against him, I knew what we would get, the kind of mentality he has and we have it. He’s a guy that really understands the game, is passionate and is a tireless worker. He’s also a guy that I lean on a bit (with) having a former head coaching background. He’s been a huge help. I knew he would be and I knew he was a guy that I really wanted," Ryan said.

This week the Jets face the St. Louis Rams, where former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is running the St. Louis offense. Ryan deflected questions about how any Schottenheimer ended up leaving the Jets.

"I don’t even want to go down that road because there are several things that went into it. It was this person’s decision, or (another) person’s decision, all that type of stuff. I’d rather not revisit it," Ryan said. "We won a lot of football games together and we had three years of (working well together). I really admire and respect Brian. I thought he had a great work ethic (and) really was a student of the game. I think he’s going to end up an excellent head coach."

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