Update 5:40 p.m. EDT
Vernon Gholston returned to New Meadowlands Stadium — now known as MetLife Stadium — on Monday night as a member of the Bears in their MNF game against the Giants. Afterward, Gholston took a few rushes at Rex Ryan and the Jets for his past two seasons before he was free to sign with Chicago.
Today Ryan was asked about VG and while he still said he has a soft spot in his heart for Gholston, he said he disagreed with the former sixth pick of the draft’s feeling that he didn’t get a fair shot with the Rex Jets.
“My job is not to make one player better, to feature one player,” Ryan said at his noon news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “When I came here, I thought my job was to build the best defense I could possibly build. It’s definitely hard to argue that we weren’t successful in building this defense for the betterment of the New York Jets. Could there have been better defenses called to make Vernon a better player or look like a better player? I’m sure there was. But my concern was to make the New York Jets a better defense, not just one defensive player.
“I would’ve liked to have Vernon back,” said Ryan, reiterating something he hinted at during his early summer book tour. “I thought he was getting better. Do I think he was ever going to be Deacon Jones? No.
“Nobody likes hearing negative comments or whatever. But if that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels. I’m perfectly comfortable with myself. And if there’s a problem that somebody has, I’m not going to please everybody. That’s not the position I’m in. I’m confused because I think I’m fair. I think I’m more than fair.”
Who’s the Backup?
Mark Brunell’s status for today’s closed practice is out with a right calf injury. His availability for the Giants game is also up in the air, which would leave the Jets’ effective QB depth chart as Mark Sanchez-Greg McElroy-Drew Willy. For the Giants and Eagles, that’s OK, but for the regular season? Ryan was asked if he’s looking to bring in another veteran free agent QB.
“We’re not looking at another quarterback,” Rex said. “We think Brunell’s going to be fine.”
But the coach is also thinking fine things about McElroy, who we stated Monday at this time had the best stat line among this year’s crowded rookie class of NFL QBs.
“He’s the highest-rated rookie quarterback — I saw that in one of you guys’ articles,” Ryan told reporters. “I do feel good with the kid. He’s smart, a Rhodes Scholar type — we’ve got nothing in common. But he’s good. I like him.”
I Want My MTV
Ryan on NT Martin Tevaseu, a.k.a. MTV: “This guy’s coming. He’s got that anchor. He’s improved so much from last year. … He goes to work every day and tries to get better. He actually got some pass rush [vs. Bengals], push in the pocket. He’s great in the running game, hard to move. And he’s a great teammate. I’m really impressed with him … but the bowling, obviously, not so much.”
In a team bowling night last Friday, Tevaseu rolled a 58. As a consequence of the low score of the night, MTV has to sit in on an offensive meeting, so the plan is for him to huddle with the quarterbacks later this week.
Of all the injury news, perhaps most interesting was on Rob Turner, who some had speculated was done for a while, perhaps the season, from his leg fracture at Houston. Today Ryan said of Turner, “It looks like he’s going to be out several weeks, so we’re not going to put him on IR right now. That’s not our plan.” It would be great news if the versatile Turner can come around relatively quickly, but as Ryan cautioned, “we’ll see eventually how it goes.” No truer words were ever spoken, of Turner or of any of us.
Other injury news: RB Shonn Greene (foot) will go through practice but will be monitored, G Brandon Moore (hip) is full-go, TE Jeff Cumberland (hamstring) and rookie ILB Nick Bellore (calf) will be reevaluated after individual drills, and LB Calvin Pace (groin) will be monitored. All of these players will be limited: WR Derrick Mason (knee), DT Sione Pouha (knee), DT Marcus Dixon (knee), LB Bart Scott (leg).
Ryan on Vlad Ducasse’s game vs. Cincinnati: “I was happy with the way Vlad played. It was a bounceback game. I thought he played pretty well.” … And on LB Aaron Maybin, who got his first sack as a Jet on Sunday: “We don’t need him to be an every-down player. He’s going to stick on this team based on his pass rush. Clearly he’s tied into the football, he gets off the ball well, he has natural lean toward the quarterback. He was productive [vs. Cincy]. … Ryan announced three releases from the roster: FB Brian Toal, OL Curtis “Jake” Duron and LS Wilson Raynor. The roster is down to 81.
Quiver and Quake
So yes, some of us did feel the earthquake that rumbled up and down the Eastern U.S. this afternoon. The Jets complex swayed and shook noticeably for 10 or 15 seconds, and when it subsided, it brought many of the business staffers on the second floor — including GM Mike Tannenbaum — out of their offices and cubicles and into the hallway.
“We’re evaluating the earthquake,” Mike T told reporters in GM-ese after this afternoon’s practice concluded. “Usually when the building shakes, Rex is laughing. That was my first instinct.”
But seriously, Tannenbaum said, “It was kind of surreal,” adding that even though there are no visible signs of damage to the building or the grounds, “safety first, we’ll have an engineer come in and check everything. But this place is rock solid.”
Tags: earthquake, Greg McElroy, Mark Sanchez, Martin Tevaseu, Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan, Rob Turner, Vernon Gholston, Vlad Ducasse
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