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Rex says McKnight misunderstood the message of his new position

Rex Ryan AP

When Jets coach Rex Ryan told Joe McKnight that he’s been traded from the offense to the defense, McKnight took that as an indication that he’s not good enough as a running back.

Ryan says that was the wrong message for McKnight to get. Instead, Ryan thinks McKnight should take it as a compliment that the coaches think he has the talent to move to cornerback, even though he hasn’t played there since high school.

“I think Joe misunderstood,” Ryan told reporters today. “We’re trying to teach Joe our defense. The coverages and things like that. He still has a role on offense. It’s not that he’s being forgotten as a running back, that’s not the case. I want him to learn the coverages and things like that on defense. The way the league is now, you almost can’t have enough corners. They’re going three, four, five, receivers or something, so you have to be able to match up. The one thing I know from a physical standpoint, [is] that Joe can, from a talent and a physical standpoint, he can match up. He can run. He’s got size. He’s got some natural instincts, and that’s what we’ve seen. When we used to put him on scout team, that’s what we saw. Yesterday, he actually picked off all three quarterbacks. That’s a good thing and a bad thing.”

Ryan heard that McKnight took it as a criticism of his ability as a running back, and that he thinks he didn’t communicate well enough to McKnight.

“That was certainly not the message that I wanted to send to him, so I wasn’t clear on that,” Ryan said. “He’s got talent as a running back. The one thing I know about Joe is when given an opportunity, as a kick returner, he led the NFL as a kick returner, so I think that’s pretty impressive. He was the number one kid in the country coming out of high school. His talent is pretty special. I had a coach from USC tell me that the day he walked on campus he was their best corner. They wanted to play him at running back, but that’ll give you an indication of the kind of talent that Joe has.”

Ultimately, a player’s job is to play whatever position his coach tells him to play, and if Ryan thinks McKnight can help the Jets more as a cornerback than as a running back, then McKnight is a cornerback. McKnight shouldn’t have a problem with that.

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25 Responses to “Rex says McKnight misunderstood the message of his new position”
  1. gettingpwned says: Sep 27, 2012 7:18 PM

    Right. He’s a great running back. Who can’t beat out a rookie for playing time. And we think so highly of him we’ll sign the guy off the texans practice squad too. Rex is terrible dealing with guys on offense. Terrible. Great D coach, like his dad and brother. But terrible head coach.

  2. lmoneyfresh says: Sep 27, 2012 7:22 PM

    Why does everybody continually misunderstand Rex? It’s almost like he’s an ignorant blowhard or something.

  3. jetsarestacked says: Sep 27, 2012 7:29 PM

    2 afc championships in 3 years and he’s a terrible head coach? riiiiight. lets face it, you dont like rex. to deny he isnt one of the better head coaches in the nfl is just ignorant.

    belichick, coughlin, payton, mccarthy, and tomlin. those are the only guys who you can say have been better than rex since he’s been a head coach.

  4. hawkforlife says: Sep 27, 2012 7:30 PM

    Ultimately, a player’s job is to play whatever position his coach tells him to play, and if Ryan thinks McKnight can help the Jets more as a cornerback than as a running back, then McKnight is a cornerback. McKnight shouldn’t have a problem with that.
    ——————-
    So any player that’s forced to change positions in your mind should be happy he has a job. Seems at odds with your bias against the NFL in both the players and refs lockouts.

  5. hawkforlife says: Sep 27, 2012 7:31 PM

    Great D coach, like his dad and brother.
    ——————
    Really? Maybe his dad but the brothers haven’t shown me anything.

  6. miriam45 says: Sep 27, 2012 7:35 PM

    I liked Rex more when he was fat

  7. dkms2k says: Sep 27, 2012 7:35 PM

    He plays the most fungible position in the NFL, can’t beat out a rookie, they sign another guy at his position off of a practice squad and because of his physical talent gets moved to one of the premiere, highest paying positions in the league – and is unhappy about it. It sounds to me like they like him a lot and did him a favor.

  8. billsfan27 says: Sep 27, 2012 7:40 PM

    Rex sure is being misunderstood alot lately.

    How long before he “guarantees” his own unemployment.

  9. lordrevis says: Sep 27, 2012 7:43 PM

    rex a terrible head coach? lmao. get the heck out of here with that nonsense. learn the game junior and leave the football analysis to the men.

    love rexy!

  10. blacknole08 says: Sep 27, 2012 8:05 PM

    If Tebow can swallow his pride and play on special teams, McKnight can man up and play some DB.

  11. jetsareajoke says: Sep 27, 2012 8:10 PM

    “Ryan says that was the wrong message for McKnight to get. Instead, Ryan thinks McKnight should take it as a compliment that the coaches think he has the talent to……..”

    What? Did he just take the Reggie Bush excuse and plug in Mcknights name?

  12. habsman says: Sep 27, 2012 8:19 PM

    Maybe they should try McKnight at QB.

  13. stlsteelerfan says: Sep 27, 2012 8:32 PM

    A couple guys already beat me to the punch about every time Rex opens his mouth he’s misunderstood.

    Funny thing is, it’s not only him. Calvin Pace, Antonio Cromartie, Mark Sanchez, basically any time anyone associated with NYJ makes a comment, he has to go back to the media the next day and say everybody else didn’t understand what he meant.

  14. vincentbojackson says: Sep 27, 2012 9:28 PM

    jetsarestacked says:

    2 afc championships in 3 years and he’s a terrible head coach? riiiiight. lets face it, you dont like rex. to deny he isnt one of the better head coaches in the nfl is just ignorant.

    ————————-

    The measuring stick of success isn’t AFC Championships, it’s Superbowls. The problem with Rex is he started popping off after some initial success and his team apparently thought they had arrived. The more he talks, the more his team slides backward.

  15. michael228 says: Sep 27, 2012 9:36 PM

    jetsarestacked says:
    Sep 27, 2012 7:29 PM
    2 afc championships in 3 years and he’s a terrible head coach? riiiiight. lets face it, you dont like rex. to deny he isnt one of the better head coaches in the nfl is just ignorant.

    belichick, coughlin, payton, mccarthy, and tomlin. those are the only guys who you can say have been better than rex since he’s been a head coach.

     ———————————————————————————-
    Actually, the Jets have 0, that’s ZERO AFC Championships under Rex.
    They’ve been to 2 AFC Championship games…and lost both.

  16. fatjimi says: Sep 27, 2012 10:09 PM

    “Yesterday, he actually picked off all three quarterbacks. That’s a good thing and a bad thing.”

    Jesus footsie – any idea why there’s confusion still leaking out of your piehole? Traded? Really cute in this cut throat business. He should have walked out right then.

  17. gpack22 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:26 PM

    Rex can’t even explain a position change correctly to his own player. lmao, he’s the ringleader of the circus!

  18. dolphins512 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:39 PM

    LOL…..he is the most misunderstood person in professional football. This is the 2nd time this week he has been misunderstood (Reggie Bush and the hot sauce comment).

    He is his own worst enemy.

  19. nycoccet says: Sep 27, 2012 10:43 PM

    Anyone who is in the NFL at any position is talented. He should definitly take as a complement that Rex thinks he can play corner at this level. That is very impressive and totally changes my opinion of Joe McKnight. The NFL is more and more becoming a passing league and therfore corners are becoming more important. Teams now need at least 3 starting caliber corners. All of this spread offense started bout 10 years ago when the Steelers had seemingly unbeatable defense nd the Patriots put 5 wide on the field exposing the depth of corner nd changing the way the NFL runs there offense.

  20. wolfmanpatriot says: Sep 27, 2012 11:34 PM

    Several people noted that there is a bunch of misunderstanding going on w the Jests.

    Course, what should we expect? Rex doesn’t even understand that feet were made for walking, not breakfast.

  21. markbul says: Sep 27, 2012 11:36 PM

    If I was a salesman and the boss told me he wanted me to work the reception desk, I’d be pissed. Even if it was for the same money. In high school and college, they can force you to change position, but these are professionals. Players should be asked, not told.

  22. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Sep 28, 2012 12:09 AM

    So everything Rex ever says is misunderstood?

    The sooner this guy is fired, the better.

  23. rboutote says: Sep 28, 2012 7:18 AM

    Just to clarify for several of the commentators on this discussion board that Bilal Powell, the guy Joe McKnight lost out to, is not a rookie. I also would like to point out that in Rex’s ONLY three years as a HC of the NYJ he has two AFCCG appearances with Mark Sanchez leading his offense.., but, yeah you’re right.. He “is a good D coach, not head coach like his dad and brother” (who’s never even been a HC before mind you). Unbelievable. If you don’t like the guy fine, but referring to one of the great defensive minds in the game “ignorant” seems pretty unfair to me. It’s his team, if he decides that he has a great athlete that he’d like to see get some work at a different position, who’s to say he can’t?

  24. nab0404 says: Sep 28, 2012 10:17 AM

    Here’s an idea: the player and coach talk to EACH OTHER about things, rather than talking through the media.

  25. rboutote says: Sep 29, 2012 7:00 PM

    “If I was a salesman and the boss told me he wanted me to work the reception desk, I’d be pissed. Even if it was for the same money. In high school and college, they can force you to change position, but these are professionals. Players should be asked, not told.”

    I find it comical that you would compare sports to a sales business. Sports are unique, while football may be a professionally run business any other, there is no comparison to a position change that a coach believes to be for the better of the TEAM to a demotion in the business world. Ridiculous analogy.

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