Though at times it may not seem that way, there are 88 players, give or take a few, other than Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow on the New York Jets roster. One of those players currently isn’t present for Organized Team Activities.
Addressing the media on Thursday, coach Rex Ryan said he has no problem with safety LaRon Landry not participating.
“These are voluntary-type things,” Ryan said in comments distributed by the team. “Obviously, I think we’re so used to it over the two previous seasons and even this year we probably had as many guys in our offseason program as anybody, even though it’s voluntary. We probably had as many guys in our program this year and the first two [years] as anybody in the league. But it is a voluntary-type thing. I’m excited to coach the people that are here and they’ve done a tremendous job so far.”
Rex is saying the right things, in part because there’s nothing else he can say. Coaches aren’t allowed to say or do anything to suggest that offseason workouts are anything other than voluntary, other than the single mandatory minicamp each team may conduct. And with the NFL and NFLPA currently fighting in court on multiple issues, the last thing the league needs is to have a head coach suggesting (as more than a few did in past years) that players should be volunteering to attend voluntary workouts.
So it’s safe to say that there will be no comments calling out players who aren’t attending OTAs, and no retaliation against guys who stayed away by knocking them down the depth chart. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a bad thing.
Thus, even though Rex Ryan may be making his best Hector Salamanca face in the photo accompanying this article, Rex realizes that, no matter how many times he rings his bell, the players don’t have to come running for voluntary workouts.