Chaz Schilens, Cromartie OK now

Updated: August 2, 2012, 2:57 PM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan held a team meeting to put a quick stop to the public back-and-forth between cornerback Antonio Cromartie and wide receiver Chaz Schilens.

So Thursday, the day after Schilens said he felt "slighted" by Cromartie's assertion that he would rank himself as No. 2 on the Jets' depth chart at receiver, Schilens smiled widely during a moment back with reporters.

"Antonio Cromartie is a hell of an athlete," Schilens said knowingly. "He could play wide receiver if he wants to."

Ryan tweaked both players a bit, saying Schilens was too thin-skinned about the comment, and that Cromartie was grading himself on a curve at a position he's tried out once at training camp this year.

"I think everyone laughed about it except Chaz," Ryan said. "That's the truth. Chaz should know, Chaz, he's not the No. 2 receiver, you know what I mean? How many balls has Cromartie caught, how many routes has he run? Now is he an unbelievable athlete, yes. I was just shocked he didn't say he was the best receiver."

Schilens said he and Cromartie talked, which gave him a little more context to Cromartie's comments on "ESPN First Take" when asked about his possible role with the offense. Cromartie, on Tuesday, responded that he was No. 2 behind Santonio Holmes. Ryan also addressed the issue with Schilens.

"I think it was a teachable moment," Schilens said. "I understand what I could do differently."

Cromartie quickly shut down the idea of talking to reporters as he walked off the practice field. Santonio Holmes, who Cromartie allowed was better than he is, addressed the scrap.

"We'll let the coaches deal with that," Holmes said. "It doesn't bother us. We play on our side of the ball, he plays on his side of the ball."

Backup quarterback Tim Tebow said it was briefly mentioned.

"We had a team meeting the other day, (and) we just talked a little bit about it, but it's nothing that's been really talked about that much at all," he said.

Mark Sanchez's response sounded like something a starter would say.

"That's stupid, who cares," Sanchez said. "Cro is very athletic. Athletically, could he be one of our best receivers? Probably. Chaz is an awesome player. He's playing his butt off, so we're not even going there. It's a non-issue."

Ryan said that he has felt some of his statements -- for example that he was the best defensive coach in the league -- may have blown up to be more than he meant. He seemed to think that was what happened with Cromartie. And a healthy confidence isn't something he wants to take away from players.

"We need to always be mindful of what's in the best interest of our team," Ryan said. "That was the message, and there were others."

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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