Aside from being a tough game coming up tomorrow, the Jets also get to renew and old acquaintance. They meet up with an old friend, that a lot of Jets fan wish the team had brought back, and that guy is Braylon Edwards. Rex Ryan talked about him this week, and specifically about not bringing him back despite popular opinion:
I think it’s always a two-way street. In our situation, we had just drafted a young receiver that we felt great about. We had Santonio Holmes, (Jeremy) Kerley, a young guy that we thought could be a guy that’s on the upside. You’re looking at your roster and you evaluate your team a certain way. Would things have been different had Holmes had an injury earlier? I don’t know. I’ll say this, I’ve always had a great deal of admiration and respect for Braylon Edwards as you guys know. I thought when he was here, the way he worked on the practice field, the way he blocked, the way he does the unselfish things on the field, was what I really appreciated about him. That’s a tough guy, there’s no question about it. We do “Playing like Jet” videos on Mondays after games and he’d always be in them for his blocks. This guy was a terrific blocker. I think he only had the one or two drops the last year he was here. He had some big years. Both years that he was here, we went to the championship game. Maybe there can be a correlation there as well.
He also talked about how tough it is to cut players in general:
Some of the toughest decisions you’ll make as a coach, for me, the toughest thing in football is to cut people. But (the) other thing (is) guys leave. You have Brad Smith in Buffalo. Braylon (Edwards) went to San Francisco. Jason Taylor went back to Miami. Jerricho Cotchery (went) to Pittsburgh. You have all these type (of) guys, (who) are great teammates and great players, but in this business, sometimes you can’t keep everybody you want to. We would have loved to keep our entire team, but that didn’t happen. The day free agency started, we had 19 free agents.
Observers have said that Edwards doesn’t look like the player that he used to, as mentioned earlier this week in the “Know Thy Enemy” piece. Rex isn’t going to talk about that obviously, but we will see how he looks come tomorrow afternoon.