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“Just like with any offense, we want to score, obviously, but we also want to prevent points and you do that by taking care of the football,” Ryan said. “I thought Geno improved by leaps and bounds in this area as the season went on.”

Idzik called Smith a “very resilient young man,” but acknowledged that the team will explore their options throughout the roster _ and that includes at the quarterback position. That could be through free agency, to bring in a proven veteran who could push Smith or even win the job. Or, perhaps in the draft.

“With that said, we’re very excited to have Geno Smith as a New York Jet,” Idzik said.

Idzik also said the team would consider upgrading the skill positions on offense, particularly at wide receiver and tight end, spots that were inconsistent and affected by injuries _ and contributed to Smith’s struggles at times.

Idzik plans to meet with Ryan through this week to discuss his coaching staff, including the fates of several of the coach’s assistants who were in the final year of their contracts. That includes close friend and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.

“The thing I’ll say about this man is he wants to bring a winner here to the New York Jets,” Ryan said. “He has a burning desire to do that, and to bring a perennial winner here to where we win on a consistent basis.

“As a coach, that’s exactly what you want. That’s music to your ears.”

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org