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Woody Johnson: Rex Ryan's Jets contract about growth

Kevin Patra

Around the League writer

Rex Ryan's contract extension was viewed as a win for both Ryan and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, who has never hidden his infatuation for the boisterous coach.

During Super Bowl week in New York, Johnson told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapooport that the extension speaks to the type of teacher Ryan has become.

"I think it just means basic continuity and somebody we all have faith in, including (general manager) John Idzik, who got to know him," Johnson said in an exclusive interview. "He didn't know him well. He knew him by reputation. But now John's had a year to work with him. John knows he's a good coach, a great teacher. We feel like he made a very good decision."

Johnson told Rapoport he isn't worried about Ryan being in the same lame-duck situation next year -- since the contract is being guaranteed only until 2015.

"I'm not looking at it like that," the owner said. "All I'm trying to do now is try to get players. Our goal is to win as many games as we can."

There were some questions early in Idzik's tenure how the GM-coach relationship would work out, given that Ryan was the owner's choice, not the general manager's.

Johnson said he saw the duo's relationship grow throughout the season. The owner said part of that had to do with Rex's evolution as a coach.

"I saw it developing through the year and I also have seen the last five years, I've seen Rex. He's getting better every year; he's learning the job," Johnson said. "And that's what happens to everybody; it's not as visible. But you don't just drop into the head coaching position and all of the sudden, they're a great head coach. It takes a while."

After an 8-8 finish with a questionable roster, Ryan will be expected to push his players towards the playoffs. Otherwise, a year from now we won't hear as much flowery talk emanating from the bosses of Florham Park.

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