CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The Jets have vowed to return to their ground-and-pound ways, but even Rex Ryan was caught off guard by the amount of running plays during the team's first padded practice Sunday.
Including the 9-on-7 portion (sans wide receivers), the Jets handed off 22 straight times to start practice. Ryan said the team's goal has been to establish a running game and make opponents take notice, "but 22 straight? I don't know if I even envisioned that much," joked the coach, whose team ranked 22nd in rushing yards per game (105.8) last season.
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In Ryan's first year as coach, the Jets used a 60-40 run-pass breakdown. He wouldn't say if they'll return to that formula. "Whatever Tony [Sparano, the offensive coordinator] thinks, that's what we'll do," he said before adding that every "defensive-minded coach" would prefer to do this.
Bart defends Wildcat
Bart Scott knows there are people who refuse to see the benefit of bringing the Wildcat to the Big Apple, but he doesn't care. The Jets believe in the competitive advantage the Wildcat can bring when it's executed properly -- and with Tim Tebow running it.
"What's always been a weakness of the Wildcat formation is that Ronnie Brown couldn't throw the ball. Pat White was too small to take the poundage," Scott said, referring to two former Dolphins who ran the formation. "But now, when you put a guy that can take the pounding and has the ability to throw the ball . . . I think I'll take my chances with Tim."
Ryan said of his starting quarterback, "Mark Sanchez knows this offense so well that you'd think he's been playing with Sparano for years." . . . WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) sat out practice again and said he hopes to return in a week. As for Ryan's comments that were critical of his play, the slot receiver said he's going to use them as motivation. "He just wants me to get back on the field, and I want to get back on the field myself.'' . . . S LaRon Landry (Achilles tendon, heel) was in uniform but did not practice. Neither did LB Demario Davis (hamstring), FB Fui Vakapuna, LB Marcus Dowtin, WR DaMarcus Ganaway and WR Jordan White.