May 22, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan during organized team activities at the New York Jets training facility. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
It’s very early in OTA workouts, but of course, it isn’t too early to continue the discussion of the quarterback competition. We all know the players by now, and we know that is the decision that likely will decide whether coach Ryan is back for another year, of if he is finished with the Jets after the 2013 season.
The competition didn’t get off on the right foot with Rex last week, as both guys struggled early with interceptions. After the open practice last week, coach Ryan talked about how the quarterbacks need to have a sense of urgency during the off-season:
Absolutely, I do because we’ve gotten beat because of that. We turned the ball over. We made mistakes. And that’s the first thing that we can correct, making those types of mistakes. Absolutely, I want there to be a sense of urgency with this football team to protect the football, above anything else protect the football, and along those lines, protect the quarterback. I think that’s critical. That’s critical of the punt returners where we have to do a better job. That’s critical of our kick returners as well and anybody who is handling the football.
He talked more about protecting the football later on:
I think it’s a huge issue for our football team. Obviously, that position, you have to protect the football. You’re going to have the ball in your hand every snap on offense, but it’s even more than that. We’ll evaluate the punt returner the same way (and) evaluate the kick returner the same way. So, those are areas that we know we have to improve in. We have a lot of talent. Joe McKnight has led this league in kick return (average), but Joe will probably be the first one to tell you, “I better protect it. I need to protect it to help my team.” So, as we look at it, absolutely that will be weighed into the decision (of) who’s going to play quarterback.
Like I said earlier, this decision will do a lot in determining Rex’s future past 2013. Will he still be loyal to Mark Sanchez, or will Rex be ready to hand the keys over to Geno? And it’s a great thing he is going out of his way to put emphasis on the turnover situation. We know how bad that got, and quickly.