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Ryan to assume Jets' defensive play-calling duties

The SportsXchange

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan is going back to calling plays for the defense next season.

Ryan was in charge of calling signals when he joined the Jets in 2009 but handed off those duties to Mike Pettine, who left after the 2012 season for the Buffalo Bills. But with new defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman coming on board, Ryan wants to have more input again in the direction of the defense.

"Dennis and I worked side by side with each other literally for years now," Ryan said at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. "It's something that we talked about and we want to do. I want Dennis to just be totally involved like he always is, but I'll make the calls (and have) the final say on the calls. But again, the process will be very similar."

Ryan has high expectations this season for a defense that sagged in 2012.

"One thing I know for sure about this football team -- since I've been here and as long as I'll ever be here--- is we will be one of the premier defenses in the league," Ryan said. "The Jet way is playing great defense."
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