Tannenbaum-Ryan season ending Jets News Conference

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On if Holmes will be a captain next season…

RYAN: To be honest with you, this is something that I think I made a huge mistake on. Not just by naming Santonio a captain, but all of the captain things. It’s not something I truly believe in. That’s something I mentioned to you at the beginning of the year. But I put that “C” on their jerseys. And this is not a reflection of anybody in particular, but we are not going to have those anymore.

The way we built our team is we built a team. And I think that pulls away from the team a little bit. It may work for other franchises, but it doesn’t work for me. And there’s several things, when I look back on it, why we were not successful. We are going to stay to our belief, and our belief is building a football team. People ask me why you go to Cortland [for training camp]. Well, that’s because I want to build a team and all those type of things. I think it recognizes individuals and not the team, and I think that it’s something I’m not a believer in, and I was uncomfortable when I made that decision and obviously I look at it now as it was a mistake.

On if Ryan needs to a better job of holding Holmes accountable…

RYAN: I think everybody does make mistakes. He’s not perfect and nobody on that team is perfect and nobody on my football team is perfect. I’m not perfect. But we have to learn from it, and we have to move on and, again, become that team. I think the biggest thing for us, as I feel and I’m totally responsible for, that it’s about building a team, and I think we have the individuals to do everything we talked about doing. I think we have that talent. I think Mike provided the talent. Mr. Johnson certainly gave me the opportunity, gave me what I needed. My job is to build a team.

And for whatever reason, I don’t think we were as close as a football team as we were the first two years and now we are sitting on the outside looking in. We are watching other teams in playoff games that we think we should be in. And I think that’s painful. Beyond belief, that’s painful. I just don’t think we were as close of a football team as what we have been in the past.

On if the team had a conversation about if Holmes will return…

RYAN: He’s under contract.

On if they can continue to keep Holmes in the locker room…

RYAN: The one thing we are going to do is we are going to look at everything, why this happened, why that happened and all that. And we will address it. Is it going to be something that’s done overnight? No. It’s a process that we’ll look at everything. As Mike said, we are in the evaluating stage of a lot of things right now. But you know, to place all of this blame on one individual I don’t think is [right].

You know, he made a mistake. We have to look at it. Is there a bigger problem? We are going to address it. I think the issue right now is building this football team and getting it back to where you’re playing against 53 of us and it’s taking away the individual. What makes us strong, and I said it all the time, is the unit is that football team. When you play against the New York Jets, you’re playing against a team. I don’t feel we were as close as we have been in the past.

TANNENBAUM: Just to add to that, I look at what happened yesterday, and it’s still painful. It’s about 23 hours since we’ve been eliminated from the playoffs and I think it’s incumbent upon us to turn that into an opportunity to get better and learn, and it starts with me and we have to do a better job as an organize. I met with over a dozen players and I think part of the job of being a leader is you have to know when to listen and right now we are listening and then we are going to evaluate it. Clearly a lot of things we could have all done better.

As it relates to Santonio, he’s done many good things for us the last two years, won a lot of games and that doesn’t mean that there is not room for improvement. We are going to look at that in the offseason and work with him and try to make things better so we can have more consistency and play the way we know we can on a week-in-week-out basis.

On if the level of talent was as good this season as in the previous two seasons…

TANNENBAUM: Again, it goes back to Woody Johnson and the incredible resources he gives us. We try to put a creditable team on the field every year that competes for a championship. In team sports with a salary cap, you can’t have everybody back, as much as we would like to. I thought we had a good team this year, but we didn’t live up to our collective expectations and now we have to work better and harder to put a better team on the field for next year.

I think the challenge we always have, and we talked about this, we want to win for today and develop for tomorrow, and these are not headline sort of situations. But when the Marcus Dixons play the way they do, and the Patrick Turners, there’s a big sense of fulfillment when those guys come along and help you win. That’s how you have sustainability, in my mind, and we have a great staff that will take those young players and play them and teach them. We’ll have some hard decisions to make a couple of months from now but I like our nucleus and I like the coaches that work with these young guys and get them better.

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