Based on what Rex Ryan told reporters Sunday on a conference call and what Adalius Thomas told Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, it sure seems like Ryan and New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum disagree over what to do at outside linebacker.
Ryan sounded like a conflicted head coach Sunday when discussing the possibility Thomas could join the Jets. Thomas, an unrestricted free agent, played for Ryan with the Baltimore Ravens.
Twice during a conference call with Jets reporters, Ryan expressed desire for getting Thomas signed immediately. The Jets' top pass-rusher, Calvin Pace, was to have foot surgery Monday and reportedly will be out four to six weeks.
"If we're going to do it, you'd rather do it sooner than later," Ryan said.
He later added "The best thing to do would be to sign him tonight. You'd have him with you, see what he does in that Eagles game [the final preseason exhibition Thursday night] and see that he's the same guy that you remember."
But Ryan dropped a caveat.
"There's some things involved, other things involved," Ryan said. "Sometimes what really makes sense might not make sense to the organization."
Ryan obviously knew what Thomas knew: Tannenbaum wants to bring Thomas aboard after the first regular-season game.
"All I know is Mike Tannenbaum called my agent [Bus Cook] a couple of days ago and they're interested in maybe doing something with me, but not until after the first game of the season," Thomas told King.
Veterans on the roster for Week 1 have guaranteed contracts for the rest of the season. By signing Thomas afterward, the Jets would be able to release him during the season without being on the hook.
Ryan sounded glum and gave an uncharacteristically brief answer when a reporter asked if there were plans to bring Thomas to the Jets facility for a physical.
"No," Ryan replied. "Not yet."
This is a common disconnect between coaches and front offices.
Ryan wants the player on the field. He wants to add talent to fill a roster spot immediately. Plus, his frustrations over contract issues probably are at the hilt because of holdout cornerback Darrelle Revis.
Tannenbaum, meanwhile, must handle the business aspect of assembling a football team and needs to make many unpopular decisions out of necessity.