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Rex on Terrell Owens: 'Never say never'

Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills stands

Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills stands on the sideline during the game against the New York Jets. (Oct. 18, 2009) Credit: Getty Images

Rex Ryan and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum always leave the door open when it comes to signing potential free agents or scouring the waiver wires for a diamond-in-the-rough upgrade.

It should have come as no surprise that Ryan was just as noncommittal when it came to Terrell Owens, the free-agent wideout who tweeted during Monday night’s game that he’s “ready, willing & able” to help the Jets.

The Jets currently are without Santonio Holmes, arguably their No. 1 receiver, as well as tight end Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill, who have been sidelined by hamstring injuries. Plus, waiver-wire pickup Clyde Gates is awaiting an MRI on his left shoulder after separating it during Monday night’s game against the Texans.

“Well, you never say never to anything,” Ryan said during his Tuesday conference call with reporters. “We’ll look at all options like we always do.

“But right now I think, we picked up Jason Hill and then we had the big drop on (Tim) Tebow’s pass, which was tremendous. (Hill)’s got to catch that ball,” the coach added, referring to the wideout the Jets signed on Wednesday without having worked him out. “But he actually did some decent things on tape. Even had a couple of good blocks and things. Here’s a guy that has a lot of speed, hopefully he can do some things. It’s unfortunate with Gates having that shoulder because he provides some of that speed on the outside. And it seems like he was getting better each day on the practice field. And we’re encouraged by some of the things he can do.”

That doesn’t sound like much of a T.O. endorsement. But Ryan quickly closed the door last week on the Plaxico Burress speculation following Holmes Lisfranc injury.

“I have a great deal of respect for Plaxico and he had eight touchdown catches last year,” the coach said the same day the Jets signed Hill. “There’s some things he did really well for us. We’re trying to look for guys who are maybe a little younger and with a little more speed.”

Ryan, however, wasn’t as clear-cut when it came to the Jets’ interest (or lack thereof) in Owens.

“I said no before about Plax,” he said. “For that decision, we went with Jason Hill. But you’re going to look at everything. We don’t know what the severity of the injuries are or anything else right now. But I could say a definite for T.O. and anybody else out there that’s not on our team. But again, you look at your situation, let’s see how Gates is. I don’t think the injury’s going to be a major injury so I would assume we’d go with the same crew. It would just be good to get Stephen Hill back.” 

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