Updated, 6:37 p.m. ET
Rex Ryan wasn’t his usual ebullient self, no doubt because his Jets have their backs to the wall this week heading toward Miami on New Year’s Day. But he said he and his Jets are as confident as they can be in the position they’re in.
“I think our attitude’s good,” the head coach assessed. “We wish we controlled our own destiny. We don’t. But shoot, we’ve still got a shot at the playoffs. I think the attitude is great and we’re all excited to play.”
The Jets could surely have a range of emotions for this one: bummed out because they had control of that destiny for the past two weeks only to lose games at Philadelphia and home against the Giants, yet energized because they know that this week their only paths to the postseason require a win over Miami (plus some help from three of their friends).
“Everything you do in the offseason, all the practices, training camps, minicamps — well, no minicamps this year — all the games, the whole season, is to get to where you have a chance at the playoffs,” Ryan said. “Obviously you’d like to be in a different circumstance, but it’s a lot easier when there’s a chance to make the playoffs to motivate your guys. It’s right there in front of us. That’s not an issue.”
If LB Aaron Maybin’s approach is an indication of his teammates’ mood this week, Rex is right.
“It’s do or die, and it has nothing to do with the Miami Dolphins,” Maybin said. “It has nothing to do with anything else other than this is what we put ourselves in. We need to get a win. However that needs to happen, whatever we need to do, when we come back into the locker room down there, we have to have a victory.”
If only it were that easy, it would already have been done. But the Jets’ mistakes and inconsistencies have led them to this juncture.
“This is the first time I have ever been in a situation like this,” WR Plaxico Burress said late today. “We left everything get out of our own hands. All we can do is go out there and win this game and see what happens. If we do get in, great. If things don’t work out, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Ryan is still voting for the Jets getting in.
“I’m confident we can right the ship this week,” he said. “That’s all that matters right now. It doesn’t matter what happened behind us. We’ve got to focus on right now, stay in the present and hope there’s a future.”
Ryan on the Pro Bowl Jets
Ryan is, as he said, like every other NFL head coach when it comes to Pro Bowl time. In his first comments after Tuesday night’s announcements of the AFC and NFC all-star squads, he had a few comments on the three Jets who have been named to the roster and the three who are alternates waiting for the call if and when injuries and the Super Bowl pulls players away from their positions.
Rex on AFC starting CB Darrelle Revis: “I’m proud of the fact that Darrelle made the first team. If he didn’t, there shouldn’t be a game.”
On reserve O-linemen Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson: “Obviously both guys are deserving. That [Mike] Pouncey, we’re playing [Maurkice] Pouncey’s twin brother [in Miami]. He must be real good if he can start over Nick Mangold. I know he’s a great player, but I think Nick’s the best center in the league.”
First alternate kick returner Joe McKnight: “From where he was last year, the improvements he made, I think that’s impressive as well and we told him that he should be really proud of himself.”
Ryan saved his most robust statements for his two second alternates, LB David Harris and G Brandon Moore:
“Let the facts speak for themselves — David Harris has five sacks, four interceptions, probably twice as many as any other linebacker. … I told him we are going to get him to the Pro Bowl next year. All he has to do is play exactly how he played this year but take a dance class this summer, do something. If there’s ever a guy that’s deserving of it, it’s David Harris.
“And Brandon, statistically he’s the only guard in the league that has not given up a sack or a hit on the quarterback. Now, he came off hip surgery so he wasn’t blocking people on their backs the way he did the year before because he’s getting healthy, but maybe you ought to look at that. The guy’s a pretty good player. I told him, ‘It’s because you’re not very nice.’ If he was nicer, maybe he’d get more votes.”
Jets injury picture is OK. LB/ST Garrett McIntyre (knee) is the only player who didn’t participate in today’s practice. Six were limited — CB Marquice Cole (knee), DT Mike DeVito (knee), G Brandon Moore (hip), S Eric Smith (knee), RB LaDainian Tomlinson (quad) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (knee). Ferguson (foot) was the only new name on the full-go list.
“We’re concerned with Garrett a little bit. We’ll see how he does during the week,” said Ryan. “I’m really not sure about his availability. I feel good about everybody else.”
For the Dolphins, they will be without LT Jake Long, who was placed on injured reserve today after suffering a torn right biceps on Christmas Eve vs. the Patriots.
Regarding Miami’s injury report, four players were DNPs today: RB Reggie Bush (knee), T Marc Colombo (ankle), CB Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) and LB Karlos Dansby (non-injury-related). WRs Brandon Marshall (knee) and Edmond Gates (groin) were limited during team drills. TE Anthony Fasano (head) and CB Vontae Davis (elbow) practiced full.
Rex said LB Ricky Sapp will be signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. He will take the spot vacated with the waiving of WR Eron Riley announced Tuesday night.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Brandon Moore, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Jake Long, joe McKnight, Miami Dolphins, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl, Rex Ryan
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