Updated, 6:37 p.m. ET
Rex Ryan was unapologetic, as you might expect, a day after the Jets sweated out their 28-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
“I’ve said it for three years now — I don’t care if I’m known as the luckiest coach in the league. That’s fine with me,” Ryan told reporters at this afternoon’s news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “It’s funny how if we make a mistake we’re horrible, but if we make a play, oh, we’re just lucky. Maybe it’s the green, I don’t now. But I hope karma’s with us and I hope we continue to be lucky. I’d rather be lucky than good. I’d rather be both, and I think we are.”
But that’s not to say the coaches and players didn’t go over their corrections today and will continue to work on the things that made Sunday’s win too close for a lot of comfort.
On offense Ryan referred to “Some of those things, poor decisions or whatever, there’s no doubt we’ve got to clean that up. Are we running routes exactly the way they’re supposed to be, at 12 yards or 15 yards or whatever? We’ve really got to get that tightened up.”
But he continued to praise Mark Sanchez — “He did throw four touchdown passes. … Mark Sanchez is not our problem. He’s one of the strengths of our team.” And he lauded his wideouts, his O-line again, and RB Shonn Greene — ” I don’t think he aggravated anything. I just think he was playing through it,” Ryan said of Greene’s rib injury from Denver. “It seemed like every time he made a run, he got up slow. But he ran great, averaged 6 yards a carry and was really running hard.”
Defensively, Rex said of the Bills’ last drive, “Was it the prettiest thing? No. I’d much rather have ended up with a sack or an interception.”
But he lauded several contributors, such as LB Aaron Maybin — “He plays with his hair on fire. He’s encouraging to watch” — NT Sione Pouha — “He continues to really handle that middle of our defense” — and LB David Harris, who “had a huge game for us as well.”
On specials, Ryan changed the number of this season’s lost fumbles or muffs to five after Antonio Cromartie’s muffed fair catch led a play later to Buffalo’s final TD. The coach went over the reasons for Cro stepping in (Jim Leonhard had the wind knocked out of him the play before, Jeremy Kerley was out and Joe McKnight had a larger role on offense for this game). But he said the reasons didn’t make the turnovers acceptable.
“It’s happening too often to our football team,” Rex said. “It’s uncharacteristic of Jets special teams, that’s for sure.”
Yet the negatives do not detract from Ryan’s belief in his team as it has begun to embark on this perilous trip down the home stretch.
“I definitely think we’re a playoff team,” he said. “We have to prove it on the field but I absolutely think we’re a playoff team. Once we get there, anything can happen. It’s hard to get into the playoffs every year, but that’s certainly what we plan on doing.”
And the plan lives as the Jets make their corrections and get ready to take on their next NFC foe, the Redskins at Washington on Sunday.
At least two players won’t be available for that game though:
DT Mike DeVito — “It looks like he’s got a bit of a knee, an MCL. It’s a different knee from before, though. But I don’t think Mike’s going to play this week.”
S Emanuel Cook — Cook, who recovered the botched Bills squib kick to set up the Jets’ second TD drive, was waived today. Ryan declined to go into details of the release: “Every decision we make is for the benefit of our football team. I’m not going to get into the specifics of what led us to make a decision one way or another. But he was released and we’re going to activate Tracy Wilson off our practice squad. He’s been doing a great job. He’s one of the hardest-working guys we’ve got on this team.”
Ryan didn’t specifically address LaDainian Tomlinson, but LT is getting closer to a return from his knee injury, as is Kerley from his knee. “We’ll be excited to get him back,” Ryan said of his rookie WR/PR. “I’m hopeful he’s back this week.”
“Inside the Jets”
The Jets’ Monday night radio show will be held at Grasshopper Off the Green in Morristown, N.J., from 7-8 p.m. ET tonight and will also air live on 1050 ESPN New York. Ryan Ruocco is guest-hosting for Bob Wischusen and the special guest tonight is cornerback Kyle Wilson.
Jets on “NFL Replay”
The Jets-Bills game will be featured this week on NFL Network’s Week 12 airing of “NFL Replay.” The game, which features the show’s mix of bonus NFL Films and NFL Network footage, will air at 8 p.m. ET, with the Broncos-Chargers game set to air right after Jets-Bills at 9:30 p.m.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Buffalo Bills, David Harris, Kyle Wilson, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Shonn Greene, Sione Pouha, Washington Redskins
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