Update, 5:59 p.m. ET
Rex Ryan could have spoken at length about the St. Louis Rams, the waiving of LB Aaron Maybin or the signing of RB Kahlil Bell. But he wasn’t asked about the Rams and mentioned the transactions only late in today’s news conference.
Mostly reporters wanted to probe the coach’s reactions to a story of named and anonymous team sources in the Daily News on the theme of the quality of Tim Tebow’s play as Mark Sanchez’s backup at QB.
Ryan didn’t deviate from his position on Tebow that he offered back when the Jets traded for him with the Broncos on March 21.
“I’ve said that from day one. We never brought Tim in here to be the starting quarterback,” Ryan said. “We’ve used him in the Wildcat and you saw him throwing the ball [Sunday at Seattle]. Two snaps, 20 snaps, he has done that for us. I recognize the fact that he’s a tremendous football player.
Soon after the trade, Ryan introduced the idea of Tebow working on the punt team. ” ‘You know what? We’d like you to be our personal protector. We think that’s going to give us an advantage in the punting game,’ ” he reformed the statement he made to Tebow at the time. “This might be the best net punting we’ve ever had here, and a lot of that can be attributed to having Tim Tebow as our personal protector.”
As the PP, Tebow has taken three fake-punt snaps, all for first downs. And Robert Malone’s 39.3-yard net punting average, while only 20th among this season’s strong group of NFL punters, would be the best in 47 seasons, or since Curley Johnson registered a 39.7 net for the 1965 Jets that is still the franchise best.
Another main topic was if the anonymous sources quoted in the story indicated that the ’12 Jets were starting to fray as the ’11 Jets did in the second half of the season.
“Did I address it with the team? I absolutely addressed it,” Ryan said. “If you’re not going to put your name on it, I think that’s about as cowardly a thing as there is.
“I don’t think we have the same problem. Even back then I thought it was a little over-exaggerated about the rift in the whole locker room. I do recognize there was something wrong there and I’ve made it my personal agenda to go out and fix it. You can say what you want, but if I’m going to be judged by this team coming together, that’s fine, I’ll be here a long time.”
We’ll post the transcripts of Ryan’s news conference as well as the informal newsers by Sanchez and Tebow at their lockers as they become available early this evening.
On Kahlil Bell and Maybin, Rex said both moves were related to current personnel needs.
“When you look at this roster, I’m not saying [Maybin] won’t be back or anything else,” the coach said. “But you have to do what we always say is in the best interests of our football team. With us having two backs who are questionable injury-wise in Bilal Powell with a concussion and Joe McKnight with an ankle, we felt we needed to bring somebody else in.
“I like Aaron. I love the way he plays. He flies around and does a tremendous job on the practice field. The numbers haven’t been there for him this year. I’m encouraged with the way Ricky Sapp played on Sunday, and I think he showed it on the practice field too.”
Sapp was on the CenturyLink turf for 19 plays, 13 on defense. Maybin got 116 snaps on defense in the first eight games and totaled four tackles, no sacks and nine QB hits, unofficially fourth on the team. He was also in for 90 plays on special teams.
As for Bell, he’s the 6’0″, 219-pound RB out of UCLA who has a healthy 4.5-yard average per carry in his career, but the sample is limited: 131 carries for 589 yards, all in 22 games (three starts) with Chicago in 2009, ’11 and this season. He has one career touchdown, on a 25-yard reception in the Bears’ fall-from-ahead loss to the Seahawks last season. And he had his career-long 72-yard run in his first game as a pro for the Bears vs. the Eagles in 2009.
John Holt, our reporter, will join the locker room scrum to talk with K.Bell following today’s practice for, in case anyone forgot, the Rams game on Sunday in St. Louis.
CB Isaiah Trufant was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after his short-lived reunion with his brothers at CenturyLink Field. Trufant injured his left knee as he and Garrett McIntyre were going for the tackle of Leon Washington at the end of Leon’s opening punt return in the first quarter of Sunday’s game.
Injury Picture Update
The Jets’ injury report after Wednesday’s first full practice of the week:
Did Not Practice — WR Stephen Hill (illness), RB Bilal Powell (concussion). Ryan said Hill was sent home today.
Limited — RB-KR Joe McKnight (ankle), DT Sione Po‘uha (low back/ankle), LB Bart Scott (toe).
Full — TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), DT Mike DeVito (finger), DT Kenrick Ellis (knee), WR Clyde Gates (shoulder), DT Damon Harrison (thumb), WR Jeremy Kerley (heel), S LaRon Landry (heel), C Nick Mangold (ankle/thumb), G Brandon Moore (hip), LB Calvin Pace (shoulder), QB Mark Sanchez (back), G Matt Slauson (knee), S Eric Smith (knee), QB Tim Tebow (ribs)
The Jets have had a longer injury list than any opponent on any day this season, but no foe has had a shorter list than the Rams today. They list only three players, all as limited at today’s workouts near the Arch: WR Austin Pettis (toe), DE Eugene Sims (knee) and S Darian Stewart (knee). All three are backups and only Pettis played in last week’s tie at San Francisco.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Kahlil Bell, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Ricky Sapp, Robert Malone, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tim Tebow
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