Newsday’s Bob Glauber has a very detailed discussion with Rex Ryan from the league meetings. Coaches were available for a Tuesday media breakfast and here’s what Ryan had to say about his QB situation and on the weapons of this offense. Keep in mind this is just a snippet (although a long one) with much more good stuff at Glauber’s blog:
On comfort level with the quarterbacks: “I’m comfortable with the guys that we have. These young men have a lot of ability. They just haven’t had an opportunity to showcase what they can do. Kellen Clemens was a second-round pick and I saw him up close and personal (in 2007) while I was in Baltimore. We had a big lead. He brought that team back and if it wasn’t for a dropped post route, they would have tied the game in the fourth quarter against us. I certainly know what his capabilities are. As far as Brett Ratliff, all I can go on is what I saw on tape. I even watched practice tape on him. He had a 122.5 passer rating in the preseason. That’s hard to do against air. He’s going to get a good shot.”
On whether he will bring in a veteran: “I look at it this way. I brought in a veteran quarterbacks coach to lead these young guys in Matt Cavanaugh. Matt played 16 years in the League and won two Super Bowls as a player, won a national championship as a quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh and was the offensive coordinator in 2000 when the Ravens won a Super Bowl. I think I’ve got plenty of leadership there. I also have Jon DeFillipo as the assistant quarterbacks coach. I feel great about the coaching staff. I feel great about the guys that are going to be lead these young guys. I just think these young quarterbacks need an opportunity. Another thing I’m excited about is that they’re not coming in as just rookies. These guys are young but they have veteran experience in the system. This is Brian Schottenheimer’s fourth season, it will be Kellen Clemens’ fourth season. This will be Brett Ratliff’s third season. They’re familiar with the offense and I think that they can hit the ground running.”
On whether he would consider a quarterback that he thought could help his football team: “I feel good about our quarterback situation. Everyone seems to think we have major issues there. I don’t think the situation is what people think it is. I think we’re going to be just fine. As I look at our offense, if we don’t have the best offensive line in the League, I think we’re certainly in that mix. We have one of the best offensive line coaches in the League, if not the best, in Bill Callahan. That’s a great foundation right there. We have two Pro Bowl running backs in Leon Washington and Thomas Jones. We have a former Pro Bowl fullback in Tony Richardson. We’ve got a great receiver in (Jerricho) Cotchery. We’ve got a tight end that scares the heck out of defenses in Keller. I think we’ve got plenty of weapons on offense. I’d like to be the quarterback for those guys.”
Given his weapons on offense, on whether he would still prefer to have a proven quarterback to go with them: “Last year (in Baltimore), we drafted Joe Flacco and he wasn’t supposed to play. Then in a span of three days, we lose Kyle Boller to a shoulder injury, we lose Troy Smith to an illness and now all of a sudden Joe Flacco is our starting quarterback and we made it to the AFC championship game and we were close to beating Pittsburgh. You might have the next superstar in your own building. You’ve just got to give him an opportunity.”
There are QBs who can be successful regardless of what’s around them, and we’ll call them elite players, and then there are barometer quarterbacks … those who are successful when other things around them are successful. Chad Pennington was a barometer quarterback. The Jets don’t necessarily need an elite player (although I’ll take one) they need a caretaker who can work with a very successful line, a very successful running game, and an emerging passing game.
For much more, check out Glauber’s What about Bob? blog.