FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Jets woke up Wednesday with yet another brushfire to put out, which has become a theme during the past 11 months.
An Internet report on deadspin.com shows a barefoot woman who strongly resembles coach Rex Ryan's wife, Michelle, talking about a foot fetish in four videos. In one she hangs her feet out of a pickup truck and is heard conversing with the cameraman, who sounds an awful lot like Ryan. He tells her "she has really beautiful feet.''
Despite a 10-4 record and being on the verge of a second straight playoff berth, the Jets consistently have created negative publicity this year. Wednesday, a still photograph from one of the video clips was featured on the Daily News' front page, and the cycle started again.
When asked about the report's accuracy, Ryan said, "I understand I'm going to get asked this question frontways. sideways, backways and all this, but it's a personal matter."
About all Ryan did was describe Michelle when asked about her. "My wife's beautiful," he said. "We've been married for 23 years. She's awesome."
Ryan felt the need to address the issue with his team before practice.
"He basically said, 'You guys might know about this Internet situation, some of you guys might not know,' " cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "He said, 'You'll find out later on today.' And he said, 'Right now, I feel embarrassed, but you know it's something personal with me and we just need to focus on Chicago' and he'll take it from there."
General manager Mike Tannenbaum said: "Woody [Johnson] and I have met with Rex. This is a personal matter, and he has our full support."
Ryan also has the full support of his players, who said they didn't see what all the fuss was about.
"Foot fetish? Whatever," Revis said. "I mean, that's his wife. At the end of the day, that's his wife and he can do whatever he wants with his wife. It's not like he's out committing adultery or anything negative."
These Jets have a long list of controversies. There was Ryan's obscene gesture to a fan at a mixed martial arts event, and then the problem with TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz. Braylon Edwards was charged with DUI in September. A month later, Deadspin reported Brett Favre sent sexually explicit text messages to former Jets employee Jenn Sterger in 2008. Last week, strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi was suspended indefinitely and fined $25,000 for tripping a Dolphin.
Linebacker Bart Scott is confident the latest off-field incident won't be a distraction. "This is a tight group," he said. "We love each other and we support each other all the time.''
Added Edwards: "We have the kind of locker room where things come up, we can address them amongst each other. I've been in situations where there's a lot of separation and guys get to smirking and side commenting about another teammate. It's ugly and it's childish . . . ''
"We are not like that. When it comes to adversity, we're tight in this locker room and keep it amongst ourselves."