NBA free-agency tracker:

Ryan calmly avoids QB issue

The SportsXchange

A relatively calm New York Jets coach Rex Ryan offered no real new insight into the mess that is the team's quarterback situation in a press conference Monday.

He repeated known information that veteran Mark Sanchez is "day-to-day" with a shoulder injury and a decision has not been made on the team's starter at that position.

Sanchez injured his shoulder Saturday against the New York Giants after being inserted into the preseason game after rookie Geno Smith threw three interceptions and stepped out of the end zone for a safety.

Even before the press conference Monday, the Jets announced that regardless of which quarterback played, that among the 14 players cut were two well-known veterans -- wide receiver Braylon Edwards and running back Joe McKnight.

Monday's press conference was highly anticipated to hear what Ryan had to say after Saturday's postgame interview became contentious and things literally went sideways -- with Ryan turning sideways during his answers as he contended that he put Sanchez into the game because the team wanted to win a meaningless game in a neighborhood rivalry.

Well, meaningless except for that prized MetLife Snoopy trophy that comes with victory.

That interview became such an event itself that New Jersey's defensive tackle-sized Governor Chris Christie called a reporter an "idiot" for the way in which he interrogated Ryan.

In contrast to that bizarre background, Ryan was relatively composed and sometimes mildly amused in the face of questioning Monday by the local media about the quarterback position. Regarding the so-called competition for the starting job between Sanchez and Smith, Ryan repeated pretty much what he has said previously.

"We have said from day one there was no timetable on naming a starting quarterback," Ryan said. We are not going to rush the decision ... until we are completely comfortable with our decision."

When there was a question about why Sanchez was put in harm's way, playing with backups in a preseason game, Ryan deferred to, well himself two days earlier.

"Again guys, we all know in here, I spent a lot of time discussing my decision after the game and from my standpoint I have to move forward," he said calmly, with a smile. "And that is where we're at. What's happened has happened and we can't do anything about that right now and we have to focus on the present and the future and that is where we are right now."

Reporters did focus on the 'we' in that remark because of general manager John Idzik's statement that he would take part in the decision, which fostered rumors that the general manager is pushing the rookie he drafted regardless of how the competition is working out.

"John and I are side-by-side on everything that goes into it," Ryan said. "We play 'who-is-going-to-make-the-team' ... we are side by side."

Ryan repeated information already known about Sanchez's physical status.

"Sanchez is ruled out for this week, he won't practice this week, he won't play this week. ... technically day-to-day," said Ryan, referring to Sanchez not playing in the final preseason game Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles. "If there is an update I am sure we will get the news to you. ... I am not going to get into that any further."

Ryan disagreed with a comment that he was being evasive about Sanchez and the injury.

"I think I am being pretty open when I say it is a shoulder injury and it is day-to-day and he won't play in the Philadelphia game," Ryan replied. "I think that's being pretty open about the injury. It's not that I am saying that he's got a wrist injury when it is clearly a shoulder. ...

"I don't know what else you want from me," he added, with a slight grin as he exhaled with noticeable, albeit mild, exasperation.

And that was as emotional as this press conference became.

Ryan then did open or leave open the door to the possibility that a quarterback might be brought in from the outside, or one of the players cut might be re-signed.

"If there is a player, not just a quarterback, but any position, that we feel can help our football team, then certainly we'll look into it," he said. "With that being said, I like who our quarterbacks are."

Ryan then recited praise for Smith as well as backup quarterbacks Greg McElroy and Matt Simms.

Meantime, Edwards, who signed with the Jets on July 25 for his third stint with the team but has been unable to fully overcome the knee issues, was released along with a total of 14 players, including McKnight.

Edwards had five receptions for 72 yards in two preseason games, but did not play in Saturday night's third preseason game against the New York Giants. He had been listed as the backup to starting wide receiver Stephen Hill. Jeremy Kerley is the other starter with Santonio Holmes still working his way back from injury.

With Edwards gone, Clyde Gates, Ben Obomanu and Joseph Collins appear to be the frontrunners for the No. 3 wide receiver spot.

McKnight, a sixth-round pick out of Southern Cal in 2010, has been oft-injured through his first three NFL seasons. The team also briefly moved him to cornerback last season when injuries decimated the secondary.

McKnight was expected to make the team this year considering his return skills and the Jets' relative lack of depth in the backfield -- Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are the top two backs, with Mike Goodson yet to report. However, McKnight, who was arrested over the offseason on outstanding warrants for two unpaid traffic tickets, has dealt with migraines and was carted off the practice field after collapsing last week.

"BACK TO STEP ONE," McKnight tweeted Monday.

The Jets' other cuts included: WR Joe Collins, OL Patrick Ford, DB Donnie Fletcher, OL Trey Gilleo, DB Bret Lockett, OL Stephen Peterman, LB Sean Progar-Jackson, P Ryan Quigley, WR Marcus Rucker, LS Patrick Scales, RB Chad Spann, WR K.J. Stroud, WR Rahsaan Vaughn.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments