Tony Dungy, a past critic of Rex Ryan's public behavior, came to his defense Tuesday, saying Ryan was right to choose his family over football this past weekend.
Pictures of Ryan clad in Clemson orange surfaced Saturday, several hours before the Jets' final roster cuts were announced. But while some criticized Ryan's supposed lack of influence and involvement in the organization, others lauded him for going to see his younger son, Seth, a walk-on receiver, in his first game at Clemson. Including Dungy.
"I'm going to give him a big round of applause,'' the former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Colts and current NBC analyst said on an NBC Sports conference call.
Dungy, whose 18-year-old son, James, committed suicide in 2005, added: "I think it's great. I think coach Ryan is like any dad, excited to see his son. When you can work out the schedule to do it, I think you should. It actually made me feel good.''
Ryan reiterated on ESPN Radio Tuesday that he did nothing wrong, explaining that he stayed at the Jets' facility until 2 a.m. Saturday and didn't leave for South Carolina until 4 a.m. Ryan called the flak surrounding his trip "comical'' and added, "I love the Jets and I love my family.''
Ryan, who said his father, Buddy, never got to see him play because of his coaching schedule, said he doesn't regret his decision. "Absolutely, 100 percent, I would do it over again,'' he said.
Two recently cut players, LB Danny Lansanah and DL Junior Aumavae, were added to the practice squad, from which T J.B. Shugarts was released . . . On the latest depth chart, WR Santonio Holmes (foot), S Antonio Allen, LG Vladimir Ducasse and OLB Quinton Coples (ankle) are listed as starters.