Jets coach Rex Ryan is a fairly confident character when it comes to his defense, but the prospect of facing Panthers quarterback Cam Newton gives him a little pause.
Before the 2011 draft, Ryan said that Newton could throw a strawberry through a battleship and he remains full of wonder about the physical abilities of a quarterback who is almost the same size as one of the Jets’ outside linebackers.
“This guy’s a scary athlete,” Ryan said, via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “And when you meet him, he’s scary because it’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ I just remember that when we were in the preseason. I’m like, ‘Who’s going to tackle that guy?’ He’s about as good looking an athlete at quarterback as I’ve ever seen, and he can throw. He’s got a bazooka for an arm. The kid’s just ridiculous. It’s Calvin Pace back there.”
It would help to have all hands on deck when dealing with such a player and the Jets took a step toward that on Thursday when cornerback Antonio Cromartie returned to practice. He was in a no-contact jersey because he hasn’t progressed fully through the league’s concussion protocol at this point, but his presence was a good sign for his chances of playing this Sunday.