Ryan maintains faith in his team despite two losses
The Sports Xchange
Rex Ryan's faith in his team remains unshaken. Even if there isn't a
lot of tangible evidence to justify that faith at the moment.
"I will never lose confidence," Ryan said Monday
when asked if his confidence has been shaken by the Jets' two
consecutive losses. "As long as I'm coaching, I won't lose confidence."
Still, the Jets are coming off two embarrassing
losses, and now face a New England team that has won 29 consecutive
regular-season home games with Tom Brady starting at quarterback.
And yeah, he's healthy, as demonstrated by his 226
yards passing and two touchdowns in a 31-19 win at Oakland on Sunday.
And while it is true that the Jets upset the Patriots in Foxboro,
Mass., in the playoffs last January, that only provides more reason for
revenge-minded New England and Brady to be on point Sunday.
"I'd rather play Summit (N.J. High School), and
Summit's playing pretty good right now," Ryan joked. "I just want to
win. In fact, I don't know how many regular-season games New England's
won in a row at their place (18, with or without Brady starting).
There's probably easier assignments than going up against New England
at New England. That's the cards that we were given and we're going to
It then was suggested to Ryan that because he
considers division games to count as 11/2 games, perhaps a game against
the two-time defending AFC East champs should count as 13/4.
"I'm with you on that math," Ryan said, smiling.
"That sounds good to me. I'll go for that."
More seriously, he added, "It's huge. We're not
going to deny that. It's huge. (It) absolutely is. This is a team that
we have to beat. No offense to Buffalo. Buffalo's playing great. The
simple fact is (New England has) won it two years in a row since I've
been in this division. We need to knock them off."
But to do that, the Jets need much better play
from their offensive line. Center Nick Mangold, who has missed the last
two games because of a high ankle sprain, might practice on a limited
basis Wednesday, Ryan said. His return would stabilize a line that was
beaten repeatedly Sunday.
Ryan said the Jets remain committed to running the
ball, despite gaining only 38 yards on the ground against the Ravens.
"It's something we have to be able to do," Ryan
said. "It's no great secret that we need to be able to run the ball
better. We have to, and that hasn't changed."
He plans to stay with Shonn Greene as the featured
back, despite the fact that Greene has rushed for only 157 yards and
3.1 yards a carry through the first four games. Ryan made it clear he
doesn't think that lack of production should be blamed on Greene alone.
"We have to be better at blocking on the
perimeter," Ryan said. "We have to get better at handling the inside
things, handling the (run) blitzes, the stunts and things like that."
News -- Patriots
--Wide receiver Derrick Mason had a bittersweet homecoming
in the Jets' 34-17 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night. Mason, who spent
the last six years in Baltimore, was dumped in late July in a
salary-cap move. In his first game back, he had two receptions for 37
"Once the ball was kicked off," he said, "I was
good. But after the game, seeing a couple of guys that I had good
relationships with, that was somewhat emotional. You can't really get
into (a long conversation) with the outcome of the game and everything,
so we (the Jets) were just trying to get back in the locker room as
quickly as possible. But I have guys over there that I consider family.
It's kind of bittersweet to come back. You kind of miss the place, but
you have a job to do. For us, we didn't get the job done."
Mason also got into a shoving match with former
teammate, linebacker Paul Kruger, after one of his catches.
"It's football," Mason said. "I wish I had the
opportunity to talk to him afterwards and ask him why he did that. But
it's football, and I like it that way. He's a good guy. I don't take it
personally. What happens between the lines stays between the lines."
--Outside linebacker Aaron Maybin, re-signed last Wednesday
morning, got his first NFL sack after two unproductive years in
Buffalo. His strip sack of Joe Flacco on the run was recovered by
teammate Marcus Dixon at the Baltimore 27, but Mark Sanchez threw a
pick-six on the next play.
"It's kind of an empty feeling," Maybin said of
his milestone sack. "This is a team game. Personal stats mean nothing.
If we had won the game, I'd be celebrating as loud as anyone, but it
doesn't mean anything because we lost."
But he is excited about his and the Jets' future.
"It felt great to be out there," he said. "I'm excited about this
opportunity, and I feel I'm somewhere I belong. I'm very comfortable
with this team."
--Outside linebacker Bryan Thomas, a 10th-year veteran, will
miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles' suffered against
Baltimore. Coach Rex Ryan called it a "huge loss" but said he wasn't
ready to "anoint" a starter, indicating the position could be filled by
committee. Candidates would include Jamaal Westerman, Josh Mauga,
Garrett McIntyre and Aaron Maybin. McIntyre suffered a concussion
against the Ravens and his status for Sunday's game at New England is
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