Thoughts from Rex Ryan at the NFL Combine


Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets coach Rex Ryan speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has taken its business to Indianapolis for the event some call the “Underwear Olympics”, otherwise known as the “NFL Combine”. Time where scouts and coaches from all over the country sit at Lucas Oil Stadium with their stopwatches, clipboards, and whatever else they need to start choosing the best fits for their football team in the NFL draft.

Yesterday, head coach Rex Ryan spoke to the media about our New York Jets. First, here is what he had to say about Geno Smith, his rookie year, and his season that is upcoming:

Let’s just say this. When we look at him, there’s a couple of stats that jump out at me, that tell me Geno’s heading in the right direction. Number one, we closed out the last month winning three of four, and I believe the second-highest [ESPN QBR] rating in the league the last month of the season. And if you look at quarterbacks that led last-minute winning drives, only two quarterbacks had five game-winning drives to close out games. And that was Tom Brady and the second one was Geno Smith. So that’s encouraging to me.

What our overall situation is, let’s see what happens, how it plays out in the end. Certainly with Geno, the way he finished, he had some rough spots, but I like the way he finished.

This is what coach had to say about how Michael Sam would fit with the team, should the Jets take him:

He’d be no different than any other player we have. One thing I know for sure, we have 53 different players, all different religious beliefs, different what they look like, height, weight, married, single. Everybody’s different. The big thing we always talk about is respect in our locker room, and even though everybody’s different, it’s a respect thing. And if the young man is a good football player and a good teammate, that’s all we ask for. So he’d fit in just like the rest of our guys.

And finally, his thoughts on the rehabbing process of Stephen Hill:

Stephen, I think, obviously coming from the offense he was in college, we knew that it was going to take some developing and things like that. Certainly he’s got the raw physical tools that you look for. I think he might’ve been the fastest receiver in the draft the time he came out and at 6’5″ that’s impressive. His development obviously was hindered this year when we were expecting big things. He had an outstanding training camp for us, and then out of the gate I think he had 13 catches for [233] yards receiving in the first three weeks of the season so he was off to a good start. Then unfortunately he sustained some injuries and it got to where we had to place him on injured reserve.

But again, he’s a guy we’re excited about, I know he’s rehabbing, doing a tremendous job, and he wants in the worst way to get back and finally showcase what he can really be when he’s healthy and start to really come into his own. So hopefully he’ll have a big year for us.

There were no real surprises here. Of course, Michael Sam would be made to feel welcome if they bring him in. Rex learned from the past, and he would never let a problem arise there.

He couldn’t talk much about the draft, so some thoughts on Geno and others were the order of the day. He’s not going to talk about whether or not the team is souring on Stephen Hill.

Enjoy the combine everyone!