One day after one of the most humiliating defeats of his coaching tenure, Rex Ryan sounded the Jets' bye-week battle cry for the players: enjoy the extended rest, but come back ready to kick butt.
"We have to be all in," Ryan said Monday on a conference call with reporters. "The only chance we have is to be 100 percent all in, and let’s put it out there. We have no wiggle room. We need to start playing a ton better. Obviously, our players know that. That’s the only thing we can hang our hat on. If we don’t play better, you can forget about everything. I want them to come back with that mentality."
The margin for error is slim. At 3-5, the Jets probably have to win at least six of their remaining eight games. Five are on the road, including the next two -- at Seattle and at St. Louis. But only two of their opponents have a winning record -- the Cards (4-3) and Patriots (5-3). So there is a glimmer of hope.
Right now, the Jets' biggest problem is the Jets. They've dropped four of their last five.
The players will get a seven-day break, three days longer than the requirement under the collective bargaining agreement. Ryan had planned to work the players Monday and Tuesday, but he cancelled those plans because of Hurricane Sandy.
NT Sione Po'uha said he will use the bye week as "almost like a long reset to evaluate and make new commitments, and make new resolve for the upcoming second half of the season."
The coaches will get a couple of days off, but for the most part, they will work, looking for answers as they sift through the first eight games. Ryan's suggestion box is open.
"I want thoughts from everyone on this staff, not just a coordinator, not just whoever. I want it from everybody," he said. "We need to look at things and that’s it. Is it little changes? Is it radical changes? I’m up for any suggestion. We have to get better. We know that."
Ryan didn't rule out lineup changes, although he made it quite clear Mark Sanchez will remain the starting quarterback.
"We'll look at everything," he said.
Meanwhile, it sounds like most of the players will remain in town, riding out the storm. Because of Ryan's original schedule, the players didn't make plans to leave town until Wednesday at the earliest. C Nick Mangold said he has offered his home -- "Casa de Mangold," as he called it -- to teammates who might be alone during the storm.
INJURY REPORT: Ryan is hopeful that LB Bart Scott (toe), S Eric Smith (knee) and RB Bilal Powell (shoulder) will be ready to face the Seahawks. He's less certain about NT Kenrick Ellis (knee) ... RB/KR Joe McKnight aggravated his high-ankle sprain, but they're hopeful he, too, can play against the Seahawks ... Po'uha said his balky back, which has kept him out of four games, is fine. He claimed there's no structural damage, only "tightness."
MOURNING AFTER: Ryan was flabbergasted by the special teams breakdowns against the Dolphins, who became the first team in 20 years to block a punt, block a field goal and recover their own onsides kick in the same game. This hasn't been a good year for the Jets' special teams, which allowed a 104-yard kickoff return last week to the Patriots. It also has allowed two blocked punts, the most since 1975.
"That’s one of the things that is really odd, because I know the pride we take in that unit," Ryan said. "You make a mistake on special teams and it ends up costing you."