Rex Ryan says wide receivers must be in shape
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- As the injuries mounted, so too did Rex Ryan's frustration.
Santonio Holmes became the latest victim of the "soft-tissue injury" epidemic and was forced to sit out the last period of team drills. Wide receiver Chaz Schilens still is dealing with a groin injury, and Scotty McKnight had to have his legs stretched out by a trainer.
Ryan was visibly upset over the rash of injuries to the wide receiving corps and questioned their overall conditioning. To avoid further injuries, the coach added 10 minutes to the team's stretch period, but "obviously there's still some issues," he said.
"Part of that is the tempo, but part of that is the responsibility of the guys," Ryan said. "You've got to be in shape . . . I think those [receivers] are going to have to step up as a position group."
A team spokesman later clarified that Ryan was not referring to Holmes' conditioning.
The coach conceded the faster-paced tempo has contributed, "but this is who we are offensively," he said. "That's not going to change. We're not slowing up."
Vlad Ducasse missed team drills after limping off the field with an apparent knee injury. A player rolled onto Ducasse's left leg, but he said he was fine. Ryan said the trainers weren't concerned. NT Sione Po'uha suffered a cut on his forehead, which required about five or six stitches. He returned with a large bandage on his head.
Ryan was pleased with the offense's fast start in practice, particularly, the running backs. But the defense "took over" the next period. Today will be a short-yardage and goal-line day . . . FB Fui Vakapuna and S Tracy Wilson were waived and Ohio State DB Devon Torrence was signed . . . RB Joe McKnight sat out because of food poisoning, after having a New York strip steak and shrimp meal on his "cheat day." He said he spent the whole night vomiting and needed an IV . . . LB Brett Roy (concussion), DB Donnie Fletcher (hamstring), RB John Griffin, LB Marcus Dowtin, WR Royce Pollard, CB Ryan Steed and WR Eron Riley did not practice.