New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan made it pretty clear this morning in the first part of our conference call that, despite the appearance of a quarterback controversy from a distance, Mark Sanchez remains the team’s starting signal caller.
“We’re business as usual,” Ryan said. “Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. He’s a young, talented athletic young man. When given time to throw the football, he can make all of the throws. We’re fortunate to have him.
“And then we have Tim Tebow, who’s an outstanding football player. So we feel really good about our quarterbacks.”
Asked about the constant clamoring to put in Tebow, Ryan apparently has ear muffs on 24 hours a day.
“I don’t hear very well anyway, so it doesn’t bother me a whole lot,” said Ryan with a chuckle.
Losers of two straight, Ryan said he knows his team faces a difficult task in trying to get a win on the road in Seattle.
“This week is probably about as difficult a challenge as a team can face,” Ryan said. “Here’s a team that’s 4-0 at home, with wins over Dallas, Minnesota, Green Bay and New England.
“It starts with the running game of course, but – oh by the way – the quarterback has a 120 rating at home, which would be the best in the National Football League. So that’s certainly going to be a challenge.”
Ryan said he’s talked with twin brother Rob Ryan, who serves as the Cowboys defensive coordinator and played against Seattle earlier this week, about facing the Seahawks.
“Cleary, we talk,” Ryan said. “And there’s other coaches that I’ve coached with. Vic Fangio is a good friend of mine, the d-coordinator at San Francisco. So you’ll always do that. Each week, you call around people – colleagues and friends of yours – so you definitely do that.”
Ryan also had high praise for Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, who he liked coming out of the 2007 draft while serving as the defensive coordinator at Baltimore. But Lynch was selected by Buffalo with the No. 12 pick. The Ravens selected Ray Rice in the second round (No. 55 overall) a year later.
“He’s a tough dude – let’s put it that way,” Ryan said. “He’s one tough rascal. I never forget when I was in Baltimore how he came in to visit with us, and as he left we were going back and forth. And I said, ‘If you come here, you’re going to get your butt kicked in practice.’ And he was like, ‘Man, I’ll show you.’
“But I really liked him. As soon as he left I was like, ‘Oh, I hope we get that kid.’ But having gone against him several times, he’s a guy that really is a physical back. … You can never assume that this kid’s down.”