Why Won't Rex Ryan Criticize Mark Sanchez?

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Nov 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) reacts and gets up from the turf after being hit during the second half on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots at Metlife Stadium. Patriots defeated the Jets 49-19. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

See what I mean? The question on the previous page did not even ask Rex to call Mark out, but to simply talk about what Mark can improve on, which is a very reasonable question to ask. Yet, Rex dodges it, talking about what the offense can improve on. He should be able to talk about what his quarterback can get better at. He’s made comments about other players before, remember how he called out Jeremy Kerley? He’s done it, but he won’t just talk about how his quarterback can get better. A member of the media picked up on this, and asked him if he is hesitant to point out Mark’s problems. Here is what he had to say:

I think when you look at it, there are things that all of us can improve, and to saddle, to put that blame on one person, I don’t think that’s appropriate. I think, if anything, that would be it’s more directed at me than it is anybody else. I have to fix that myself. How am I as a coach, I have to get better and get this team to where we don’t turn the ball over, so I focus on those areas. But as a team we have to get better. You don’t just put that on one individual. If that was the answer, is it’s just one guy, then that’s easy – but it’s not. We have to protect the football as a football team.

In this case, he wasn’t even asked what Mark’s problems are, he was simply asked if he was hesitant to point them out, and Rex deflects that one too. He just won’t talk about Mark in a negative light, and this is where fans get crazy.

Rex is loyal to a fault, and that comes into play here. That is why he sticks with aging guys on defense, like Bart Scott. Bart was a mainstay of his defense in Baltimore, and he came right over with him to New York. Bart has always been Rex’s guy, and Rex is loyal to his guys. Bart stays in there and starts, even though he clearly can’t stay with anyone in the passing game anymore, see the Vereen 83 yard touchdown as an example. Calvin Pace is another example of a guy that Rex is comfortable with, therefore loyal to, even though he doesn’t have a lot left.

Same thing here with Mark. Rex just won’t say a negative word about him, not a one. He simply parrots his “Mark gives us the best chance to win” line, without even giving anyone a reason for it. It might silence at least some of the writers, if he would simply give a reason for that statement. But no. It’s strange, he won’t even identify a place that Mark needs to improve at, and that drives everyone nuts. Rex won’t criticize Mark because he is far too loyal of a guy, and it could end up being his undoing here.

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