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Ryan, Idzik explain Hill, Patterson cuts

9/1/2014

After two days of silence, Rex Ryan and John Idzik emerged from their bunkers at One Jets Drive to explain the decisions to release wide receiver Stephen Hill and cornerback Dimitri Patterson.

There wasn't much to say about Hill -- we all saw the dropped passes -- but Ryan chose to focus on the special-teams angle.

"We gave Stephen plenty of opportunities, more snaps than any receiver in camp," said Ryan, stating an absolute fact. "At the end of the day, a lot goes into it. One of them is special teams presence. Stephen never really provided a whole lot of special teams presence, if at all. So some of the guys were prob kept over Stephen for that very fact."

The Jets didn't see Hill as one of their top three receivers. If you're a No. 4 or lower, you'd better be a contributor on special teams. Rookie Jalen Saunders and Saalim Hakim made the team because of punt- and kickoff-return ability, respectively. Greg Salas isn't a core special teams player, but he can play on some units.

On Monday, the Jets picked up rookie wide receiver Walter Powell on waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. At Murray State, he was a prolific kick returner and a gunner on coverage units. The Jets, under new special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey, have placed an added emphasis on the kicking game.

Ryan shrugged off the criticism aimed at him by Hill's agent, Alan Herman, who accused the coach of not supporting his client as he does with defensive players that struggle. Ryan held his tongue, saying it was a "tough situation for everybody." He said the agent is entitled to his opinion.

"Hey, I have skin like an armadillo," Ryan said. "I'll take whatever they throw at me."

Idzik said he was a bit surprised that Hill, a former second-round pick, wasn't claimed on waivers.

As for Patterson, the Jets provided no clarity whatsover. Idzik wants you to believe that Patterson's inflammatory statement, basically accusing the Jets of lying about the reason for his absence, had nothing to do with the decision to release him. If that were the case, why didn't they cut him immediately instead of handing down a one-week suspension? Truth is, they were willing to give him a second chance, but Patterson blew it by making a public stink.

But Idzik wouldn't acknowledge that.

"I don’t put too much weight on statements," Idzik said. "I’d rather hear the statement directly from the player. ... Suffice it to say, he had an open forum here to spill everything out, and we told him our views as well. In the end, it just felt appropriate that we move on from Dimitri. That was the best thing for the Jets."

Idzik, in a conference call with reporters, got flustered by the repeated questions about Patterson. After one follow-up, he paused for several seconds.

"We felt like it was good for our team to go forward, pure and simple," he said, explaining why they cut their most experienced cornerback.