Rex: Jets won't tip their hand on changes

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
12:14
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- With stoplights still out in the streets surrounding the Jets' training facility, coach Rex Ryan wasn’t in a hurry to shine light on specific changes the 3-5 team had made during its bye week, but he expressed hope the team could salvage a sinking season.

“I think our guys will be, I know our guys will come back and be ready to go,” Ryan said Monday. “We’ll be popping out of our skin, and that’s the way it should be.”

Ryan, whose home remains without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, said the coaching staff had considered various adjustments to get more out of the 51 players currently on the active roster. Yes, that includes backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

“I had mentioned last week about finding ways to get Tebow -- looking at everything -- with Tebow, maybe how we’re using him and all those type of things, and you had mentioned Mark [Sanchez],” Ryan said. “It’s more about how we’re using everyone, and is there things we can do to help this player or help this player. Whatever it is, those are things that we really are looking at.”

But he cited competitive advantage when asked for specifics.

“We will be doing some different things,” Ryan said. “I don’t want to get into the specifics of it; I hope you understand. If there’s an advantage to be gained, then I want to gain that advantage without letting our opponent know.”

Still, Ryan was free to talk about the Jets' problems, which will be glaringly evident on film to the Seattle Seahawks as they prepare to host the Jets on Sunday. Ryan noted the lack of run defense, struggles in the red zone, special-teams lapses, poor defensive play on third down and difficulty running the football, to name a few.

“I know we’re not where we want to be,” Ryan said. “We’re not even close. We’re not sniffing the playoffs, we’re not sniffing anything right now, but I want to get there, man. I’m excited about the prospects in front of us. There are a lot easier places to play than Seattle, I can tell you that much. But we’ve got this week to get this team prepared as we possibly can, and I’m excited, man.”

Ryan was optimistic that some injured players, including LB Bart Scott (toe), defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis (knee) and running back Joe McKnight (ankle) could be able to play in Seattle. They didn’t practice today, but could be ready to go when the team leaves Friday for the West Coast.

The Jets have two available spots on the active roster, and Ryan said general manager Mike Tannenbaum was looking at ways to fill them. John Griffin, a running back out of UMass, was added to the practice squad. Linebacker D.J. Bryant was the other addition.

Ryan said the facility was closed to players for several days after Hurricane Sandy hit. Coaches still came to the building to work, or set up offices at home to prepare for the second half of the season. Ryan said the storm and the damage affected the Jets just as it affected the rest of the community.

“You have to make sure you take care of your family, that’s first and foremost, obviously, yourself probably second, and this team third," Ryan said. "But we need our players focused; I believe we’ll have them focused.”
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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