It’s been nearly three weeks since the league meetings in New Orleans. But intriguing tidbits from Jets coach Rex Ryan continue to emerge.
Last night, we posted on Tim Graham’s recent item regarding Ryan’s Louisiana lamentations on Vernon Gholston. Now, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe explains that Ryan also spoke positively about receiver Randy Moss, who’ll be a free agent whenever free agency begins.
“Randy Moss, I’ve said all along, is a great vertical receiver,’’ Ryan said, per Bedard. “And you have to roll coverage. Most teams would have to roll coverage to him. We never did, but we got burned for a touchdown. But he was a weapon. A vertical weapon down the field.’’
Actually, Ryan’s team was burned twice in 2010. With the Patriots, Moss made a great one-handed catch in single coverage from Darrelle Revis (who tweaked a hamstring on the play). Then, after Moss was traded by the Patriots to the Vikings, Moss got behind Antonio Cromartie (who otherwise handled Moss fairly well in single coverage) for a touchdown, the 500th of Brett Favre’s career.
For those of you wondering whether Ryan engaged in tampering by mentioning a player under contract with another team, Ryan added that he checked with team spokesman Bruce Speight to make sure that Ryan could say what he said.
It’s probably not tampering, given that the contract between Moss and the Titans had expired when Ryan said what he said, and the Titans have done nothing to hold onto his rights. Still, if Ryan deliberately checked with Speight about Moss before saying what Ryan said, it looks like Ryan possibly was trying to send Moss a message.
Moss previously had expressed interest in playing for the Jets, when former Marshall teammate Chad Pennington was the starting quarterback. When Moss was last a free agent in 2008, the Jets did not jump into the bidding. Since then, however, the Jets have shown a greater willingness to pursue big-name veteran players, and Moss could fill a void if either or both of the big-name receivers for whom the Jets traded in 2009 and 2010 don’t return.
And Ryan surely thinks he can press all the right buttons on Randy Moss, getting the most out of him without Moss becoming a pain in the butt, like he last year was in Minnesota and, to a lesser extent, in New England.