Rex Ryan shot down a report stating the Jets are privately questioning if Mark Sanchez is the long-term answer at quarterback.
Speaking this afternoon on 1050 ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show,” Ryan said the Jets remain behind Sanchez and that Pro Football Talk’s report isn’t accurate.
“Quite honestly, it’s not true” Ryan told guest host Stephen A. Smith. “I've said repeatedly, 'This is my guy.' "
Ryan was pressed about the possibility the Jets could go after Peyton Manning in the offseason, replacing Sanchez with the Super Bowl XLI MVP and 11-time Pro Bowler. Manning, who turns 36 in March, is recovering from fusion neck surgery and has sat out the entire 2011 campaign.
He’s due a $28-million bonus in March and there’s speculation the Colts may not be willing to pay that hefty sum, especially since there’s a good chance they could land the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft and select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Ryan denied the Jets want to part ways with the third-year signal caller.
"I'm going to say this,” Ryan said. “There is no way we are looking to replace Mark Sanchez.”
Ryan didn’t deny an affinity for Manning, though.
"I’ve said from Day One I thought he was the best quarterback in the National Football League,” Ryan said. “I even put him over Tom Brady. So, of course I recognize Peyton Manning is an unbelievable quarterback. But do I think it’s even a consideration for us? No, I don’t.”
He added: "If they were both out there and you were starting a draft, would you take Peyton Manning? Yeah, I’d take Peyton Manning over anybody. I'm not saying that. Of course, I'm not telling that lie. Of course I would take him. But right now, when you are looking at our football team and our franchise, we feel great about our quarterback situation.
“He’s young. Is he going to get better? He absolutely is. Is he perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination right now. But, we think he has the ability to be special.”