With the losses mounting and almost half a season still left to be played, Rex Ryan is running out of ways to say the same things at his Monday afternoon press conference.
The Jets are close to breaking out. The effort is there, even if the execution is not. They're going to get it right and get back on track, and it will take a lot of hard work and nothing else. Oh, and he's not benching Mark Sanchez. Rinse, wash, repeat six times -- and counting.
"This team wants to win in the absolute worst way," Ryan said Monday afternoon, a day after the Jets' playoff hopes were all but extinguished in a 28-7 loss to the Seahawks that dropped them to 3-6. "We haven't been getting it done, but we also know that there's not a magic play, magic words or circumstances that (are) going to get it done. It has to be through hard work, getting better and making small steps."
While the final score was lopsided Sunday, Ryan saw signs of encouragement out of the Jets, especially on defense, where they bottled up Marshawn Lynch and flustered rookie quarterback Russell Wilson for most of the first three quarters before fatigue set in and the Seahawks scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to turn the game into a rout.
"Believe it or not, there are things on that tape that you're encouraged about," Ryan said. "If you look at the numbers, you (think) that team ran the ball all over us. Reality is, after three quarters (Lynch) had averaged 2.7 (yards) a carry. We're playing good run defense."
Which makes the struggles of the offense all the more noticeable. Ryan remains steadfast in his belief that it's a unit-wide issue in which the Jets can't commit penalties, the offensive line has to better protect Sanchez and the pass-catchers have to create separation and not commit the drops that cost them the chance to take the lead against the Seahawks on Sunday as well as the Patriots three weeks earlier.
"The self-inflicted (mistakes) -- you can't address it more than we've been addressing it," Ryan said. "We just have to keep working at it. Whatever it takes, I know one thing: We're going to get this done or die trying. And that's how we'll approach it."