FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Mike Tannenbaum pulled out a letter as he stood in front of the New York Jets players for one last time.
It was a farewell address to the group of men he signed, traded for and drafted over the last seven years as the team's general manager. He choked back tears as he read it, and received a round of applause when he was done.
It was really heartfelt, defensive end Mike DeVito said Monday. I know Mike, and he'll bounce back.
The Jets fired Tannenbaum after a dismal 6-10 season, but owner Woody Johnson announced that Rex Ryan will be back for a fifth season as the team's coach.
I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team, Johnson said of Ryan in a statement.
The futures of both Tannenbaum and Ryan were unclear after a 28-9 loss to Buffalo on Sunday, a miserable finish to the team's first losing season in Ryan's four years as coach. While it appeared Tannenbaum was a likely goner, it was believed Ryan might also be on shaky ground.
Ryan's scheduled news conference with the media Monday afternoon was postponed amid speculation that there could be several changes on the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is expected to be fired after one season, although no coaching moves were immediately made by Johnson after a staff meeting. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's status is uncertain after he turned down a contract extension earlier in the year, while special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff retired following Sunday's game.
Johnson started shaking things up early by parting ways with Tannenbaum, who had been with the organization since 1997. Johnson said he has consulted with several football executives and also hired a search firm to help aid in finding a new GM.