Mike Pettine: Rex Ryan runs D with me

January, 20, 2011
1/20/11
9:34
PM ET

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said he and head coach Rex Ryan have been calling the defensive plays together this season, a possible indication that Ryan has taken a more involved role with the defense lately.

"As it's gone through the whole year, we have done it together," Pettine said. "And it's been by opponent, it's been by series and it's kind of been by feel. It's nice to have the ability if things are not going well, go ahead and switch it up. If things are going well, hey, let it ride."

Pettine said that the benefit of both he and Ryan calling plays is that opponents can't key in on one tendency.

"When you have two guys calling it, you go ahead and chart it and you don't know who is calling it," Pettine said. "It's been a process we have gone through all year and it's gone back and forth. So it's something we'll continue to do."

Pettine said that he and Ryan sometimes argue so much that other members of the staff wonder if there's a potential problem. But the two have worked together for so long and developed a close enough bond that they're like brothers.

"It's funny," Pettine said. "I think it could be if anybody ever recorded the conversations on the headset, we would have our own reality show."

"People say we are like brothers on the headset, and that after the game, we have been approached like, 'Hey, are you and Rex okay?'" he continued. "We're like, 'We're smoking cigars in the parking lot after the game.' Of course we are okay. Half of it, you don't even remember. We both have opinions and he trusts me enough and he didn't want to hire a guy that was a yes man. It gets competitive and heated at times. I think it's for the best."

***

Ryan said he was "sad" Brian Schottenheimer was not considered for any head coaching vacancies recently.

The Jets' offensive coordinator drew interest from the Buffalo Bills last year but chose to remain with the Jets.

"I was sad that he never got an opportunity to be a head coach this year, and actually, shocked," Ryan said. "Because this guy is going to be a star in this league without question. I'll say that five percent of me was sad but 95 percent of me was happy as heck because we get to have him another year."

"We are very lucky to have him. I don't expect to have him after this year. I'm just going to enjoy the time that we have with him right now."

Schottenheimer said he didn't mind not being a hot candidate this season.

"I think three weeks before, everybody was talking about firing me after the Dolphins game so that kind of puts you into an even keel if you will," said the offensive coordinator, who has interviewed with Miami and Baltimore for their openings in the past. "But I hope it happens at some point, I really do. But I'm really happy here and I think we got something pretty amazing going on from the top of the organization through Rex, the coaching staff and the players. I am thrilled to be a part of it."

***

Sione Pouha hopes to have a much better game against the Steelers this time around.

During the Jets' win in Pittsburgh on Dec. 19, Pouha had three tackles but played with a cast over three fingers on his right hand.

He had 12 stitches sewn into his right index finger after slicing it reaching into a trash can by his house.

The cut was so deep the defensive tackle thinks it went to the bone.

He admittedly played a poor game and used the word "horrible" to describe his performance. The Steelers rushed for 146 yards in that game.

Pouha says his hand is fine now and that when takes the trash out now, he does it with his left hand.

- With Rich Cimini
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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