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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Rex Report: Looking for more balance

By Rich Cimini

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan is a defensive-minded coach who, in the past, has preached a Ground & Pound philosophy on offense. Ryan has said he's not married to that philosophy, but he also wasn't pleased that the Jets called only 16 running plays in the preseason opener -- compared to 42 pass plays.

"You never want to have just [16] rushes -- or whatever it was in a game," Ryan said Tuesday. "You don't want that. But will we throw the ball more than we run it? That's certainly a possibility."

Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, known as a pass-happy coach in his years with the Eagles, was asked in a separate interview if he has spoken with Ryan about achieving offensive balance.

"Who said you need to be balanced?" Mornhinweg said. "You score points throwing the ball. Now you're getting into a philosophical situation. Look it, we don't care how we get it done -- running, passing, we don't care who gets the credit. It's whatever it takes to win the next game."

Other takeaways from Ryan's Tuesday presser:

TWO-GAP SHELDON: Sheldon Richardson's role on defense -- specifically, whether he's a scheme fit in the 3-4 -- is a sensitive subject for Ryan. 

"This young man can almost do anything you can ask a D-lineman to do," Ryan said of the first-round pick. "When you look at him traditionally, as some people saw, he can be a three-technique, up-field type guy. Well, yes he can, but he can also do everything else. So I think he's not just limited to one style of defense.  And that's why when we drafted him. I thought it was funny, 'Oh, hey, he doesn't fit the system.' Well, what system is that? Our system is multiple. We take advantage of guys' movement skills, we take advantage of the athleticism of our guys. So, to me, he certainly fits us."

DON'T BOO MARK: The Jets play at home Saturday night, their first game at MetLife Stadium since last Dec. 23. The home fans didn't get a chance to boo Mark Sanchez in that game because he didn't play -- Greg McElroy did -- but they're not likely to embrace him, considering all that went down last season.

Ryan wishes the fans would cut him some slack.

"I certainly hope that we can move past it and we can focus on what's in front of us, and give not just Mark, but all of us a fair shake," he said. "This is your football team, but you certainly have a right to do whatever you choose. If you want to boo whoever it is, our fans certainly have that right. To me, yeah, I absolutely hope that doesn't happen. I hope that everybody is behind us 100 percent."

Don't bet on it.

WRINKLES: We know the Jets will use the Wildcat this season. Ryan also has mentioned the possibility of using the Pistol, as the 49ers did last year with QB Colin Kaepernick.

"If your quarterback has the mobility to do some of that stuff, then I don't understand why you wouldn't do it," he said. "There are other ways of getting to it. If you have a guy like a Jeremy Kerley or a Bilal Powell, who can throw the ball, that can be accomplished that way as well."