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Saturday, August 10, 2013
Rex turns his back on offense

By Rich Cimini

DETROIT -- Maybe this is no big deal, maybe it is. But it's definitely unusual.

After a 26-17 loss Friday night to the Detroit Lions, Rex Ryan admitted he wasn't watching at times when the New York Jets' offense was on the field.

Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan kept an eye on the defense. The offense? That's another story.
As you know, Ryan has decided to run the defense this season, as he did in 2009 and 2010. It's his bread and butter, and he wants to be heavily involved again. OK, fine, but he apparently had his back turned to the field while coaching up the defense between series.

Asked about Mark Sanchez's interception, Ryan said, "I never saw it. I caught the tail end of it." He saw DE Ziggy Ansah returning it 14 yards for a touchdown. Later in his postgame news conference, Ryan was asked to assess Geno Smith's performance. He didn't.

"I had my own issues on the other side, so I never really focused a whole lot while he was in there," Ryan said. "We'll see it on tape. You probably saw more plays than I did."

This was a stunning admission for a head coach. How could he not watch his rookie quarterback? How could he not have his eye on Sanchez? Maybe Ryan's approach will change in the regular season. Maybe he will spend less time with hands-on coaching and more time managing the entire game from the sideline. That's how it should be; that's his job. It's nice that he has that much faith in OC Marty Mornhinweg, but you can't have two head coaches -- one for defense, one for offense.

It was only one preseason game. But it bears watching.