Rex gets specific on TJ, Leon and Gholston
As part of a Gatorade program to talk about dehydration during training camp, Rex Ryan and his wife Michelle gave a few interviews today. After coming out strongly against dehydration, heat exhaustion and related problems Ryan agreed to tackle a few Jets-related questions.
Although training camp hasn’t even started yet, Ryan said he has already decided to start Vernon Gholston in the spot Calvin Pace won’t be able to fill when he is serving a four-game suspension to start the season. Pace earned the suspension for violating the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs, although Pace said it was a substance he inadvertently ingested.
“I was disappointed obviously but Calvin stepped up, he accepts responsibility and I look forward to Calvin being back for that fifth game of the season against Miami,” Ryan said, “but we’ve said all along that Vernon was going to have to step up and that he was gonna be a huge factor in our success.”
Ryan addressed the situation of running backs Leon Washington and Thomas Jones, who both were away for part of the voluntary OTA portion of the spring and want renegotiated contracts. Jones hasn’t spoken to the media, but Washington said that he could sit out of training camp if he didn’t get more money.
“Everyone is under contract,” Ryan said. “This is mandatory so I anticipate our entire football team being there.”
Is he concerned about a holdout?
“Nope. I’m assuming they’re going to be there,” Ryan said.
Ryan said he sent the email Monday (scroll down if you missed the full story yesterday) because he was honestly annoyed by being picked to finish last by one media outlet and he wanted the Jets to know this is how some people looked on them. He admits he usually has a chip on his shoulder and this only makes it worse.
“I wanted them to know I’m going to be in that foxhole with them,” Ryan said.
His wife Michelle said he has always been that way, and she thinks it rallies people around him.
“It galvanizes the team,” Michelle said.
I asked what he thought about the competition for the second wide reciever slot and Ryan extolled the virtues of Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith, David Clowney and Wallace Wright, but then made this statement.
“And I think they’ll be a surprise coming out as receiver as well,” Ryan said.
Really? Someone currently on the roster?
“Currently on the roster, we’ll see,” Ryan said. “I could be wrong, that’s why I’m not going to say the name right now in case he can’t catch when the pads are on, we don’t want him.”
Not much new on the quarterback front. Ryan reiterated that it would be an honest competition and although he had an idea of the outcome (no, he’s not saying) he isn’t letting that influence the way he makes his final pick of Mark Sanchez or Kellen Clemens.
On Bubba Franks, the TE released this month after signing him despite a known knee injury.
“Really Bubba’s not ready for training camp right now,” Ryan said. “So that’s something we thought we’d take advantage of bringing in another player to try to compete. And when Bubba’s ready he’ll let us know.”
Ryan will head up to scout Cortland as the weekend nears, but once football season starts, Michelle knows she will lose her husband until the end of the season.
“Go ahead say your line, babe,” Ryan said. “What do we always say?”
“Goodbye my dear, football is here,” Michelle said with a laugh.
DON’T FORGET: Giants beat writer Ernie Palladino and I will be hosting a live video webchat to talk about all of the above before training camps start next week. It’s at 1 p.m. tomorrow, bring a lunch and ask about anything NFL related. http://lohud.com/protalklive