Rex Ryan is a lot of things. Defensive genius. Motivator. Players coach. Jets head coach. After yesterday, we can say he could be on “Dancing with the Stars”, the way he did the waltz around questions about his four-year starting quarterback.
We all know about Rex’s undying loyalty to his players, which is one of the characteristics that makes players love him so much. It has been especially true about the guy who, until this season, was his one and only starting quarterback. With the strong possibility that Mark Sanchez’s career as a New York Jet is over, Rex was asked if Mark will play again as a Jet:
Again, I don’t want to get into that. I think he’s going to come back 100 percent. That seems to be how the doctors feel. I know for a fact that this organization will do everything in its power to see that’s a possibility for him, that he can come back and be 100 percent. Whether he’s here or whatever, our thing is on doing what’s best for Mark which would be to get him healthy.
Does he want Mark back?
Again, I’ll say that about anybody. Guys, you know how I feel about all of our players. I never want to lose a player, ever. I also understand there’s (a) business side of every decision, with Barnes included and Mark and every player. But you know how I feel about any player that I’ve ever coached, any guy who sells it out and gives everything they have, I never want to lose that player, ever. That’s a coach thing, that’s a selfish thing. But I also understand that’s not the game. A lot of times there’s a 30 percent at least turnover rate every single year. I recognize that. Of course I want every player. Whether it’s a Brandon Moore or whoever, we even mentioned Trevor Pryce, I love him. I also know sometimes there (are) guys that retire. There’s some guys that move on. We had guys, Dustin Keller moved on, Shonn Greene, I would have loved to have had them back also. At the same time I recognize there are certain things that happen in this league. That’s the unfortunate part as a football coach.
The media was unrelenting, asking if Rex will make a lot of noise, using the expression “pound the table” for Mark to be brought back. Here is what Rex said:
Number one, pounding the table for a player and all that type of stuff, the big picture is, guys I’ll pound the table (knocks on the podium), I want every single player, every Jet. But at the same time, I’m trying to answer the question maybe a different way, but it’s really the same answer because I recognize that you have to do what’s in the best interest of your football team, and that’s on all your players. Sometimes that’s an unfortunate thing. You look at Calvin Pace, Calvin Pace is playing great for us this year. Calvin Pace was let go. We had an opportunity to bring him back, and we did. There are different scenarios. I would assume that Calvin Pace would’ve had more suitors at a certain price, but that didn’t happen. So we were able to get Calvin back and we welcomed him with open arms.
Rex talked about Mark is still “under contract”, which ironically, is the same comment that was made in the off-season about Tim Tebow, right before he was gone. It’s almost cute how Rex is making it sound like Mark might be back, when I think even Stevie Wonder realizes that he won’t be. He is clearly a coach that wants his QB back, but realizes that he won’t have him back.
Rex loves his players. It’s why I am a fan, and it’s why his players love him as well.