Jets coach Rex Ryan says the fact that his team has millions of dollars tied up in a long-term contract for quarterback Mark Sanchez has nothing to do with his decision to keep Sanchez as the starting quarterback.
At a press conference a few hours after Ryan informed the team that Sanchez will start Sunday against the Jaguars, Ryan was asked how much Sanchez’s contract has to do with his status as the starter. Ryan answered, “Absolutely zero.”
Ryan also denied that Jets owner Woody Johnson had put any pressure on him, saying that Johnson always tells him only that it’s his call who to play.
“I don’t get any pressure from Woody,” Ryan said. “I’m fortunate. I have a great relationship with my owner, with Woody. We have conversations — open conversations — all the time. We can say things to each other and all that. But where I’m real fortunate is from the day Mr. Johnson hired me, he said it’s 100 percent my decision on who plays and what their role is. And that’s it.”
So why did Ryan decide to go with Sanchez? Ryan said it’s simple: Sanchez gives the Jets the best chance to beat the Jaguars on Sunday. And Ryan said the decision is “one I feel great about.”