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Sunday, July 28, 2013
Updated: July 29, 3:37 PM ET
Rex Ryan: No conflict with me, GM

By Jane McManus
ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- There is no conflict in the New York Jets' decision-making process, coach Rex Ryan said a day after general manager John Idzik refused to say Ryan would have the final call on whether Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez is named the starting quarterback this season.

"I think you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest with you," Ryan said. "Because ever since I've been here, this is my fifth year here, not one decision has ever been made by one man. Not one decision and that's whether it's who's up, who is active, who's going to be the starter at this and this, who we draft. It's always a group effort on what is best for this team."

Idzik insisted Saturday that the decision would be a collaborative effort. Generally a head coach makes the final call, but Idzik said he didn't feel that way.

"I like to believe, it has been the case so far, that if you put in that time and effort when you make the decision you feel like it's a 'we' decision, it's not on one individual," Idzik said.

Clearly, Ryan was publicly backing the new general manager's way of doing things. And said he has the support of Idzik, as well as team owner Woody Johnson.

"There's a lot of teams in this league where the head coach does not have the final say on who makes the 53-man roster," Ryan said.

In past years, for example when Sanchez was benched last season, Ryan had said the decision was his alone. Both Idzik and Ryan insist the new approach is the same, and Ryan said last season he took responsibility so that criticism was directed at him.

"If someone wanted to throw arrows, it would be launched at me," Ryan said.

Ryan said that so far, when it comes to team decisions, he and Idzik have been on the same page.

"Our thought process is so similar, John and I, that we are side by side," Ryan said. "... It's so smooth, it's bad. You guys are trying to make this a situation that doesn't exist."

Ryan said that most teams have a collaborative process, and he remembers being an early Joe Flacco backer when the Ravens had their own quarterback competition -- not that he held sway at that moment.

While addressing the controversy for over 10 minutes, Ryan quipped that there really was bad blood -- since Idzik used to be an offensive player at Dartmouth.

"I don't like John," Ryan said. "He's a former receiver, so that's a given."