Rex Report: Ryan 'wrong' to predict Top 5 D

August, 21, 2013
8/21/13
6:58
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A day later, Rex Ryan admitted that he was "wrong" to predict that the Jets' defense would finish in the top 5. He said he doesn't want to put any added pressure on his players.

"I'm out of the prediction business," Ryan said. "... I don't want to put any extra pressure on the players or anyone else, just put it all on me. So wherever it ends up, if it's not good enough then it comes right down on me and that's where it should be. If it's good enough then it should go to the players and the coaches."

Ryan rubbed many in the NFL the wrong way in his previous seasons as Jets coach by predicting that his team would win a Super Bowl, only to fall short.

WHAT'S UP, JOE? Joe McKnight went through a full-contact practice for the second straight day but declined to speak to the media to clear up comments he made about his health.

In an interview with the Associated Press, McKnight said he suffered a concussion earlier in training camp, but the team never officially called it a concussion.

On Wednesday, Rex Ryan was asked to clarify. He remained steadfast that McKnight's ailment was a "head injury" but not a concussion.

McKnight declined to speak with reporters after Wednesday's practice.

"I'm staying with the head injury," Ryan said. "Right now, the last two days he's been out there full pads so that's good to see. My information was that it was a head injury and that's all I'm comfortable saying about it."

When a reporter asked Ryan why McKnight would be able to practice with what the player described as a "concussion," Ryan dismissed the question.

"I'll stand by our doctors and our trainers and not look for a witch hunt," he said.

McKnight has had a bizarre training camp. He failed his conditioning test on the first day of camp, was arrested on outstanding traffic warrants (and later released) and suffered a head injury.

Last Monday, McKnight left practice wearing an oxygen mask after he dropped to the field during a drill. He then got into a dustup with a Twitter user whom he thought was a member of the media.

All he said on Wednesday when approached by reporters was "I'm done talking for the week." McKnight said he would address reporters again next Wednesday.

REX EXCITED ABOUT VLAD: Ryan has been impressed with the play of Vlad Ducasse, who has gotten reps at left guard with the first team for the past two practices.

The Jets apparently aren't comfortable with Caleb Schlauderaff and Erik Cook as the backup center, so they gave some reps to Stephen Peterman at backup center, creating an opportunity for Ducassse, a former second-round pick.

"He actually played left guard, right guard and right tackle in a game and did a tremendous job for us against Jacksonville," Ryan said of Ducasse. "I think he's really pushing. I think there's no doubt that Vlad's pushing for [a starting spot]."

ELLIS OUT FOR SATURDAY: Injured lineman Kenrick Ellis (back) said that he will not play on Saturday against the Giants but plans to play in the Jets' final preseason game and remains confident that he'll be ready for Week 1.... Ryan said the training staff deciding to give cornerback Dee Milliner (calf) the day off to give him a chance to rest his injury and get closer to 100 percent.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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