Rex Ryan and Woody Johnson sat a foot away from each other, both in green ties and appearing as united as a coach and owner could be.
It was almost like old times for the New York Jets, back when Ryan was making bold statements when he was hired four years ago.
‘‘We are going to be a dangerous football team,’’ Ryan warned Tuesday. ‘‘I can promise you that. I'm going to tell you: You’re not going to want to play the Jets.’’
During a nearly 40-minute ‘‘season-ending’’ news conference that included lots of spin and came nine days after the Jets’ 6-10 season ended, both Johnson and Ryan seemed excited for the future.
Still, Ryan acknowledged he was concerned he might be fired after the season because he ‘‘failed’’ to leave his imprint on the team, particularly on offense.
‘‘I don’t think I've done as good a job of implementing who I am throughout this team,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘I want a physical, aggressive, attack style.’’
Johnson said getting rid of Ryan was never a scenario in his mind.
‘‘I think Rex Ryan is perfect for the New York Jets,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘He is 100 percent this team.’’
New York is searching for a replacement for general manager Mike Tannenbaum, a process in which Johnson said Ryan will be a part.
Significant changes are also being made to the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was fired Tuesday after one season in which the offense ranked 30th in the NFL in total offense.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, whose contract is expiring, won’t be back. Ryan hinted that Pettine’s replacement would come from within the franchise, likely secondary coach Dennis Thurman. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff retired after the season, and will be replaced by his assistant, Ben Kotwica.
Griffin to have knee surgery
Robert Griffin III is having surgery Wednesday on a torn ligament in his right knee — and to see if there’s a second ligament that also needs to be repaired. Baylor coach Art Briles confirmed to USA Today and the Associated Press on Tuesday night that Griffin has a torn lateral collateral ligament. He said the surgery also will determine whether Griffin has damaged the ACL in that knee . . . Orthopedic surgeon James Andrews told the Washington Post that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan did not fabricate a sideline conversation they had about deciding whether to allow Griffin to re-enter the Baltimore game. Andrews told USA Today Sunday that he did not clear Griffin to go back into the game and that he did not examine him. Shanahan said he consulted Andrews — and that Andrews examined Griffin — on whether to allow Griffin to re-enter the game . . . Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant underwent surgery on his broken left index finger after postponing the procedure for the final three games of the season, the team reported.
Jaguars tab Caldwell as GM
Jacksonville agreed to hire Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell as general manager. FoxSports.com first reported the hire, saying the sides are negotiating financial terms . . . The Cardinals have chosen to stay in-house with the promotion of Steve Keim to general manager. Keim has worked for the franchise for 14 years, and was vice president for player personnel last year . . . A person familiar with the situation says the Panthers interviewed Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp for their vacant GM position Tuesday, and will interview more candidates later in the week.
Rob Ryan ousted in Dallas
The Cowboys have fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ryan confirmed the firing to ESPN in Dallas . . . Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher told Newsday he probably will return to the sideline at some point. He says he hasn’t been contacted by any of the five NFL teams hunting for a new coach . . . Carolina has fired running backs coach John Settle, wide receivers coach Fred Graves, and linebackers coach Warren Belin . . . The Eagles will interview Lovie Smith for their coaching vacancy on Thursday. . . Minnesota assistants Mike Singletary and Mike Priefer will interview for the Chicago head coaching vacancy . . . A league source told ESPN that Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was back at the hospital on Tuesday in Indianapolis to get an inner ear infection treated. The source also said that Arians will be released from the hospital Wednesday . . . The NFL says it is monitoring a case involving New York Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas, who was arrested in October after being accused of assaulting his wife and possessing marijuana paraphernalia and painkillers . . . Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain has bonded out of Decatur City Jail in Alabama on charges of violating rules on car window tint and trying to lie to police about his identity . . . Super Bowl ads have sold for more than $4 million for some 30-second spots for this year’s game. All the commercials are sold out . . . The Associated Press and the NFL will announce the annual league awards in a prime-time special on CBS on Feb. 2.