FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Rex Ryan's message to his players was simple: Just stay together.
The calls for a quarterback change have grown louder in the past few weeks, reaching a crescendo after the Jets' 19-3 loss in Baltimore on Sunday. But Ryan is determined to keep the white noise outside of his building.
"I think it's easy to blame him. It's easy to attack him," right guard Willie Colon said when asked about the criticisms of Geno Smith. "It's a brotherhood right now. So I take it personally when they attack him . . . I was frustrated [after the game] because it's easy to call out one guy. I think that's unfair."
Despite Smith's struggles (18 interceptions, 22 turnovers), Ryan seems sensitive to the criticism of his rookie quarterback. And he refuses to have doubters create a wedge among his players.
"My team is close," he said. "I know the way outside influences can try to chip away at your team and the foundation of your team. And we certainly don't need that."
Muhammad Wilkerson reiterated Ryan's message, saying the team is determined to "stick together" despite outsiders trying to "break us apart."
Said Colon: "We're going through a lot right now. All our expectations, trying to get into [the playoffs] and we're coming off two losses. So it's easy for outside people to criticize and cause doubt. But we've got to stay together and keep it like a family."
Smith has 22 turnovers after the NFL credited the Jets' botched-snap fumble in the second quarter to center Nick Mangold instead of the quarterback . . . David Nelson said the receiving corps officially was charged with three drops by receivers coach Sanjay Lal . . . Linebacker Troy Davis spent the night in a Baltimore hospital after suffering a chest injury on a blindside hit by the Ravens' Courtney Upshaw . . . According to ESPNNewYork.com, defensive line coach Karl Dunbar was responsible for the 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty when he obstructed an official on the sideline during a Ravens punt return.