Rex Ryan says he thinks this team might be his best
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After a relatively bluster-free offseason, Rex Ryan just couldn't help himself. Again.
It took the Jets four preseason games to score their first touchdown, but their coach still believes his team not only can be good but be the best he's ever had.
A day after disclosing his high expectations for the 2012 Jets, Ryan reiterated the same message to the public Friday.
"I really like this team. I really like this team," he said. "I don't know if we're as strong, like, in this one area or that one, or special teams. But overall, in my opinion, I think this has the chance to be the best team I've had since I've been the coach here."
Ryan led the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in his first two seasons (2009, 2010) before they collapsed down the stretch in 2011 and failed to make the playoffs. But he believes this Jets team has the potential to be even better.
The basis for Ryan's (latest) bold assessment is this: His players understand the importance of "complementary football.''
"It's all about winning," said Ryan, whose teams finished 9-7, 11-5 and 8-8 in the regular season in his first three years. "It's not about stats, it's not about anything else but trying to find a way to win. And I think our team understands that.
"I think we have a good football team. And I think we have an excellent group of players and excellent coaching staff and that's why I'm confident. I think this is going to be a good team. Now, I don't know how many wins that'll be. But I know one thing: We will play as a team. And I think we're going to be a good team."
The Jets began their final cuts early Friday by waiving wide receivers Joseph Collins and Eron Riley, cornerbacks LeQuan Lewis and Julian Posey, linebackers Marcus Dowtin and Brett Roy, tackle Robert Griffin, guard Fredrick Koloto, center Matt Kroul, punter Spencer Lanning, tight end Tarren Lloyd, safety D'Anton Lynn, defensive end Jay Richardson, quarterback Matt Simms and nose tackle Martin Tevaseu.
About 15 minutes after the 9 p.m. deadline, the Jets announced their final seven cuts: running back Terrance Ganaway, a sixth-round pick who scored the only touchdown of the team's preseason; receivers Jordan White, a seventh-round pick, and Royce Pollard; offensive tackle Paul Cornick, cornerback Donnie Fletcher, linebacker Ricky Sapp and tight end Hayden Smith.
The Jets waived three of their 2012 draft picks, but the final seven who were cut likely will end up on the practice squad.
Players waived Thursday and Friday can be claimed off waivers starting at noon Saturday.