Rex Ryan Isn’t Frustrated By The Jets Preseason Performance, Claims Tim Tebow Was Never A Distraction In Training CampAugust 24, 2012 – 5:30 am by Steven Cuce
After two preseason games the New York Jets have shown shaky pass protection and compiled zero touchdowns with the first team offense. Wayne Hunter has been benched in favor of Austin Howard at right tackle. Then there’s Tim Tebow continuing to be the center of attention for all of the media.
The Jets appear to be a mess and the fan base is having its doubts already. Rex Ryan doesn’t see the reason for any of the panic. The Jets head coach expects his team to come together when it counts in a few weeks at Buffalo.
Rex Ryan joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to discuss Wayne Hunter being excused from practice on Wednesday night, the character of Wayne Hunter, Tim Tebow not being a distraction to the team, the Jets offense changing if Tim Tebow were to start, the Jets struggles in the preseason and beating the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Did you protect Wayne Hunter the other night at practice by not bringing him out there? Was that something you did or was it really a personal matter?
“It was a personal thing. We had a conversation and I was comfortable with him not being at practice.”
What do you think of the character of Wayne Hunter?
“Wayne Hunter it’s not by accident. This guy has played 10 years in this league. It’s not like he was a one hit wonder. He’s played ten years. He played some great football for us when you look at the first two years we were here. He was basically our sixth man. He fit in any spot. He even played tight end. It was Wayne Hunter. It was tackle. It was guard. Wherever. The guys was really valuable. Now did Wayne Hunter have a great year last year? No. He wasn’t the only one. There were a lot of guys that could have played better that we were expecting better things from. It just never seemed like we had…we were a little off. I don’t think we had a great year from top to bottom and that’s starting from myself. I think that’s something we want to put behind us and the fact that Jason Pierre-Paul had a big day against us? He’s going to have a big day against anyone.”
What do you make of the distraction that is Tim Tebow in the media?
“I’ll say this: You hear those things about it’s a distraction. He’s going to be a distraction and all that kind of stuff. Is it true that we were basically ESPN’s Hard Knocks version? Yes. I think so. They were at everyone of our practices. All that kind of stuff. It’s true. Was it really a distraction for us? No. I don’t think it’s a distraction for Mark Sanchez. Mark is a learning a system and playing quarterback and that’s it. I think the big thing that you notice out here is that the fans are always yelling ‘Tebow,’ and I tell the team to just insert your name there. That’s it. Tim is a football player. He’s a great teammate and the guys really like being around him. He really is a heck of a football player.”
Are the Jets going to marginalize some of their other star players if Tim Tebow were to start? Would you have to change the offense?
“I would look at it this way. Any good coach is going to put your players…you are going to focus on what they do. What is it they do best? You are going to formulate game plans around it. No different on a defensive players or an offensive player. You do the same thing and the fact that he plays quarterback…you don’t have to say we are going to run…obviously you are going to run part of your base offense, but there’s other things you would do with Tim Tebow focusing on his skill set. One thing you can’t deny is the fact that this guy right here is a threat and when you look at some of the things we’ve done. When we brought him in…offensively we had a better offense when we had Brad Smith here and what Brad brought to the table was running that wildcat. Brad averaged eight yards a carry. When you look at it we ran the ball as well as any team in the league with the exception of the Miami Dolphins, where Tony Sparano ran this thing. You are going to get an ideal guy in that situation who can run the ball. He can run the ball inside and he can run the ball outside. He can pitch it with either hand and he can throw the ball. I think when you combine that and he is durable. It’s not like you are going to hurt this guy. He is 250 pounds.”
Are you frustrated right now with the way everyone is reacting to the preseason and the Jets offense?
“Not really. I think they’ll start counting in a few weeks and I think that’s when we’ll see.”
You better beat the Buffalo Bills:
“I’ll tell you this…we better win a lot of games this year.”