Rex Ryan on Rotating Offensive Linemen


Sept 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Jets guard Matt Slauson (68) takes a drink during a time-out in a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

A firestorm was opened on Thursday when offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo told the media that he has been dictated to from “high above” to rotate Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse. There is a perception that higher ups such as Mike Tannenbaum are pulling the strings as far as what players are on the field. In his press conference yesterday, coach Rex Ryan denied that, as obviously he would, and had this to say when asked if there are other examples of offensive linemen being rotated in:

For example),Jason Smith, tight ends and tackles work a lot of things together, and we do play Jason Smith quite a bit as our backup tackle. Obviously, he started a lot of games in this league for St. Louis. We feel really good about that, having him as a swing tackle and a big blocking tight end. It’s kind of an ideal situation for us, but I also felt that with Vlad, we work him in with a rotation of Brandon Moore, Matt Slauson and (himself) on the practice field. That’s how you improve. There’s no question. I also felt, (which) I’ve done as a defensive coach for years, I want to get a guy snaps. I want to get a guy some opportunities in live games that if something (were to) happen that he has at least played. The other thing is (that) I think you practice a lot better if you think you’re going to play. It’s a natural thing. If you don’t think you’re going to play, I’m not so sure you put that 100 percent commitment into learning it as much as you would. I just think it’s human nature to do that. Look, I wasn’t a great player, so maybe I thought I should have played more when I was a backup, which I think has only happened once in my life (joking). It’s one of those deals where (you think), ‘Use your roster. If a guy is up, use him,’ because you can’t tell me if you play a guy five snaps, (that) he’s not going to be better than a guy who played 65 snaps whenever you do it. I just think it gets that person ready. It’s done in college all the time and I kind of carried it over with me when I was an NFL assistant. I used to do it all the time. What’s amazing is those guys develop a lot faster, and all of a sudden, when you do play a guy or have to play him through injury or graduation, that guy is ready to play.

Of course Rex is not going to admit that he is being dictated to, even if he is. And yes, the rotations that he is talking about do exist. But Jason Smith being brought in for jumbo packages is a far cry from rotating a main cog on your offensive line. It’s certainly not typical, and it is a bit troublesome. Playing offensive line is about timing, and how can you get consistent timing if you are changing players?

And note, Rex did let it slip that he thinks Slauson is a better player. It makes you wonder about this situation.

Makes no sense.