DENNIS WASZAK Jr.,AP Sports Writer
CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) — Rex Ryan wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about.
Sure, the New York Jets coach missed a few plays by his quarterbacks as he focused on the defense in the preseason opener at Detroit on Friday night.
But Ryan insisted Sunday that’s not unlike every other NFL coach — it’s just that he wasn’t afraid to say it.
Ryan took some criticism after the game when he said he didn’t see Mark Sanchez’s interception returned for a touchdown or some of Geno Smith’s plays.
“I told the truth,” Ryan said. “I promise you, every coach, there’s no difference. I guess I need to be tactful and say, ‘Hey, we’ll watch the tape.’
“From now on, that’s all I’m going to say.”
When asked how the quarterbacks looked to him now that he has been able to see all the plays, Ryan made light of the criticism.
“Well, I never watched the film,” he said sarcastically, smiling. “I still haven’t seen the film.”
He was joking, of course, and made sure it was clear he knows exactly what happened — after watching the film — with both Sanchez and Smith.
“That’s what’s so funny,” he said. “I see every single play, every special teams play, every offensive play, every defensive play. I see every one of them. I guess my thing is, I shouldn’t have said the truth.”
Ryan, who will be calling the defense this season, was with his unit when Sanchez had a short toss returned by Ziggy Ansah for a score early in the opening quarter of the Jets’ 26-17 loss.
“The truth was, did I see the interception? No,” Ryan said. “I heard the interception when I heard the fans going crazy and I looked up and I saw the young man, the big dude from BYU (Ansah) running with the football into the end zone and so I relayed that.”
Smith, the team’s second-round pick, is competing with Sanchez for the starting job — a potentially franchise-changing move. So it seemed a bit peculiar that Ryan would have seen only a few of the rookie’s plays in a preseason game.
“At the time, we were trying to make an adjustment on defense and things, so look, I wasn’t going to get into particulars,” Ryan said of his postgame comments. “I saw nine plays of Geno Smith and missed two. … I saw him, but did I see every single snap he took? No, I did not. Not live, but I’ve seen them now.”
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