Rex Ryan, fresh from the owners’ meetings in Arizona and a few pro days and perhaps en route to some NCAA Tournament watching this weekend, made a radio stop with Michael Kay and Don La Greca on Mike’s show on ESPN New York 98.7 this afternoon.
And Rex wasn’t about to be pinned by the Kay-La Greca tag team. The Jets head coach declined to discuss any Darrelle Revis speculation or to entertain notions that he’s coaching for his job in 2013.
The best of his take on Revis: “I’m on board with any Jet decision, any decision that’s in the best interests of the New York Jets. I’ve always been on board with it. Any decision we think as an organization is the best move for the organization, I will be behind it 100 percent, regardless of what that move is. And that’s not saying any specifics about this player or that player.”
And his best take on his quarterbacks wasn’t terribly new but was a further firming up of the competitive nature of the beast at every spot on this John Idzik/Ryan creation. It came when he was asked if he knew who his opening-day QB will be.
“No I don’t. It’s going to be a position where we’re bringing in competition,” he said. “That old thing about competition making the best of us all, I think that’ll be true. I don’t think there’s a clear-cut favorite in my opinion. I just think it’s going to be competition from day one.”
Does this hint at a loss of confidence in Mark Sanchez?
“I haven’t lost confidence in Mark, but I do know this: The play at quarterback has to get a lot better, there’s no doubt,” Ryan said. “Whether it’s Mark or somebody else, we know we have to improve in that area. I guess we can file that in the ‘no kidding’ category, but that’s it — it has to get better. I believe Mark will play a lot better. But I also believe there’s going to be some stiffer competition than maybe there’s been in the past here.”
Rex had a few bullet-point opinions on some of the newest Jets. On G Willie Colon: “He’s a huge person, a guy that can knock people off the ball, a mauler, very physical.”
And the thing he liked about RB Mike Goodson besides his explosiveness and speed was that “He was targeted 16 times last year in the [Oakland] passing game and caught all 16. That’ll give you an idea how effective he is out of the backfield.”
That’s a statistic that’s worth expanding on just a little. True enough, Goodson was 16-for-16 for the Raiders, according to Stats Inc., not a lot of passes but nice production with what he got, especially considering his 12.2 yards per catch on those 16 balls.
For his career with the Panthers and Raiders, Goodson caught 59 of the 78 passes thrown his way (75.6%) for a solid 8.9-yard average and a 10.4-yard average after the catch.
It’s certainly not a fair comparison, one player’s four-year career vs. a number of backs’ one season in the same offense, but the Jets’ backs last year unofficially had 80 balls targeted for them and caught 44 (55%) for an average of 7.8 yards per catch and 6.6 YAC.
Of course, those numbers won’t mean much once the Jets take the field in the coming months. This team figures to be vastly different than any of Ryan’s four previous teams. We’ll be pointing out the positives as we are wont to do, but there will be many negatives and bumps in the road as the Jets get themselves back on track.
Yet if that’s the hand you’re being dealt, don’t grumble about it and blame the football gods. Play it the best way you know how. And that’s what Ryan appears to be gearing up himself and his team to be doing soon. That came through in his answer to Kay’s question about his possible lame-duck status heading into ’13.
“I totally disagree with that,” Rex said agreeably. “I believe we’re going to have a football team that’s going to play a certain brand of football that I don’t think we’ve played yet. I think there’s much more for our players to give and I think we’re going to get it out of them.
“We’re going to be committed to that style of football, and quite honestly to playing that style of football that can make our fans proud. We understand that. It was a rough season on the fans as well as on our team. They deserve better than that, and I think we’re going to give it to them.”
Next week we’ll begin to crank up our annual draft preview here on newyorkjets.com with position-by-position previews by reporter John Holt and myself, a piece on the Jets quarterbacks on the roster and perhaps available in this draft from the independent personnel analysts at Real Football Services, and blogs from Eric Allen and myself. For now, enjoy the free agency, the NCAA hoops, and the rest of this weekend.
Tags: Darrelle Revis, Don LaGreca, John Idzik, Mark Sanchez, Michael Kay, Mike Goodson, Rex Ryan, Willie Colon
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