Rex admits clock-management faux pas

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
2:58
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan admitted Wednesday that he failed to use his timeouts properly at the end of the first half in the Jets' overtime win over the Dolphins.

The Dolphins got the ball at their own 7 with 1:44 on the clock. Ryan had all three timeouts as his disposal, but he let the Dolphins burn precious time off the clock by not using his first timeout until it was fourth-and-12 with 47 seconds left.

"As it turned out, hindsight being 20/20, I probably should've used them and forced them to punt," Ryan said. "I probably could've done a better job with that."

Actually, the Dolphins did punt, but Eric Smith was flagged for roughing the kicker, allowing the Dolphins to retain possession and run out the clock.

WHAT A SELL JOB: Ryan opened his news conference with a long, effusive statement about the 49ers, making them sound like the 49ers of Montana, Rice and Lott. He said the 49ers' defense has seven blue-chip players, based on evaluations by the Jets' personnel department. Blue chip means All Pro-caliber.

"I don't know if I've ever seen that many," Ryan said.

SIBLING RIVALY: The Jets are ranked 21st in total defense, and that burns Ryan, whose unit finished last season at No. 5. But that's not the only thing that bothers him.

"When my twin brother is No. 1 in the league in defense, that stings a little bit," he said, referring to Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. "Clearly, we need to improve."

The two biggest concerns: Run defense (No. 28) and third-down defense (No. 32).

NOW PLAYING CORNERBACK: The Jets have tinkered with the idea, on and off, for a couple of years, but now it seems like they're committed to making RB Joe McKnight a cornerback. The season-ending injury to CB Darrelle Revis, coupled with McKnight's lack of playing time on offense, were the deciding factors. The handwriting was on the wall Tuesday, when the Jets signed RB Jonathan Grimes off the Texans' practice squad.

The Jets have four corners on the roster -- starters Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson, plus backups Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant. They're also expected to add a veteran once they place Revis on injured reserve. Free agent Chris Carr is slated for a tryout this week.

McKnight isn't expected to contribute immediately, but he has the tools to be a good corner, according to Ryan.

APPEAL TO FANS: It came off as kind of desperate, but Ryan implored the fans to be loud Sunday.

"I'm challenging our fans," he said. "They could very easily be the difference."

JIM YAWN-BAUGH: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh sounded like he was half-asleep during a conference call with the New York media, often providing terse answers. When asked about the officating debacle Monday night, he said it was "disrespectful" to even pose that question to a coach.

Maybe he's still on West Coast time. The 49ers are practicing this week in Youngstown, Ohio, where they arrived after Sunday's loss in Minnesota. The way Harbaugh sees it, it saves them eight hours in travel time.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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