Derrick Mason's playing time was cut extensively in the Jets' 30-21 loss to the Patriots yesterday, but it's not for the reason one might think.
The veteran wide receiver was only in on six total plays, with five of those coming in the second half. Mason said after the game that it was "a coincidence" he didn't see much of the field a week after his critical postgame comments in Baltimore, when he said there were some "cracks" within the Jets' offense.
Rex Ryan made it clear today that Mason's time wasn't diminished in favor of rookie Jeremy Kerley because of his mouth.
"I can tell you this: it had nothing to do with the conversation he had with the media," Ryan said. "I had a conversation with Derrick [last week], and the reason he never played as much had absolutely nothing to do with the conversation he had with media. We never brought it up. You guys know I have an open policy with the media
"I didn't put a muzzle on anybody."
If you're thinking Mason's time was shaved down due to him complaining to Ryan about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer -- as was suggested in a published report yesterday -- then think again. The report said also said Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes also went to Ryan to voice their displeasure, but Ryan reiterated today that never happened.
"I said it was untrue because it was untrue," he said. "The great thing with that one is I can guarantee you it was untrue, because I was the guy that supposedly had the conversations. Well, I can tell you this 100 percent -- I did not have the conversations."
Ryan did expect Kerley's workload be to increased in favor of Mason, though. The rookie wideout, who had been playing mostly on special teams through the first four weeks, was solid against the Patriots, posting three receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown in his 18 snaps.
"We knew going into it that regular personnel was going to be a bigger group, as was two tight ends, two backs," Ryan said. "We’ll call it 'U.' But those things were going to be bigger parts of the plan. But it’s also a thing where I wanted to get Kerley involved more.
"Derrick is still going to be a part of what we do. I just thought that we can do some things with Kerley. I think we’re excited the way he is out there on the practice field, and we’ll see going forward."
Ryan said he hasn't lost confidence in Mason, who has 13 receptions for 115 yards.
"Well guys let’s face it: I thought Derrick would catch 80-90 balls, Ok?" he said. "That hasn’t happened. I thought we were going to be more three wides, and in that particular plan, we tightened it up a little bit. But again, each week will be based different."