Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Rex talks Ware, cornerbacks, and Unitas
By Rich Cimini
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A few leftovers from Rex Ryan's 60-minute sitdown with reporters at the NFL owners' meetings:
1. Hot for Ware: The New York Jets' coach didn't deny his interest in former Dallas Cowboys pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, who ended up signing a three-year, $30 million contract with the Denver Broncos. Ryan lobbied for Ware upon his release from the Cowboys, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
"Any outstanding player, you’re going to have an interest in," Ryan said, responding to a question about Ware. "Whether that’s attainable or not might be a different story. You definitely entertain any option that can help your football team."
2. Cornerback spin: Ryan continued to blow sunshine on the current state of the cornerback position, insisting he's happy with Dee Milliner, Darrin Walls, Kyle Wilson, et al. But he acknowledged, "Would I prefer having shutdown corners and all that? I absolutely would, because it does give you more flexibility in what you do. But if that’s not the case, I'm not going to beat my head into the wall. Throughout my career, I’ve had some great corners, some not-so-good corners. In our system, we’re able to make adjusmtents."
3. The Darrelle dance: The coach sidestepped questions on whether he pushed to re-sign Revis. Translation: He did. Ryan said he doesn't think about Revis anymore. "He's the enemy now," Ryan said.
4. Byrd man: Ryan talked about former Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd, and how he'll be an ideal fit in his brother's defense with the New Orleans Saints. Asked why the Jets didn't pursue Byrd, Ryan said, "Nine million a year is a lot for a safety."
5. Safety dance: Ryan didn't rule out the possibility of re-signing Ed Reed, but it sounds like a fallback option for the Jets. Ryan said he's OK with Dawan Landry, Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett. He also mentioned Rontez Miles, who spent last season on the practice squad, as a potential factor.
6. Quote of the day: Trying to pump up Geno Smith, Ryan insisted that his second-year quarterback faced tremendous adversity last season. "Yeah, he had that little drop-off, but quite honestly, Johnny Unitas would’ve had a drop-off," he said. "We had a lot of injuries. No excuses, but that’s reality."
A little drop-off? In one stretch, Smith went five straight games without a touchdown pass. That's the Grand Canyon.