FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan said his defense didn't quit in the Jets' 34-0 loss to San Francisco as 49ers defensive back Carlos Rogers charged in a Sirius XM radio interview on Tuesday, but it's clear Rogers' condemning words stung the coach and his players.
While they might not agree with Rogers, the Jets plan to use his criticism as fuel for a rebound against undefeated Houston in the Monday night showcase at MetLife Stadium.
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"I think it has to be," Jets safety Yeremiah Bell said Wednesday after practice. "After the way we got our butts kicked, we have to rally. This is a wake-up call. We went out there and got our butts spanked . . . We just got embarrassed, and you're eager to redeem yourself. What better way to do it than playing Houston?"
Defensive tackle Mike DeVito agreed with Bell. "Exactly," DeVito said. "It's going to be a big stage against a great team. We've got to rally behind each other . . . It could be a long day if we don't stop the run. We're going to get it done."
After giving up 245 yards rushing to the 49ers, the most in four seasons under Ryan, the Jets rank 31st in rushing defense (172.8 yards). The Texans are ninth in rushing offense, first in rushing attempts and feature the NFL's fourth-leading rusher in Arian Foster, who carries a league-high 25.8 times per game.
According to the 49ers' Rogers, the Jets' defense didn't want to tackle and was "ready to go to the showers" after the 49ers gained a 24-0 lead. "That's a Rex Ryan team," Rogers said. "His defense plays throughout. That was the shocking point."
Ryan took that last part as a compliment but said, "As far as us quitting, there's no way. That wasn't the case. We got beat."
Ryan suggested his team simply got fatigued while spending 36:56 on the field. "You've got to respect his opinion, but I don't think we quit," Bell said of Rogers. "It may have been fatigue. We didn't play in the fourth quarter like we did in the first quarter . . . We didn't feel good about , but at the same time, we played like crap."
Bell said the Jets' defenders had "no excuse" for poor tackling, and DeVito added the defense can't afford to give in to fatigue. "We can't be tired," DeVito said. "We've got to be the rock on this team, and we've got to be the constant. Whatever the reason was, we didn't pull it together."
Ryan clearly is relying on his defense to do just that against the Texans. "I will never question the character of the men in our locker room," Ryan said firmly. "In fact, I'm leaning on that . . . I guarantee you the effort will be there."