Rex Ryan wants Santonio catching passes, not calling plays

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Rex Ryan loves Santonio Holmes, he just wants him to stay in his lane.

The Jets coach said Thursday he appreciated Holmes’ input, but would prefer he limited it to catching passes.

Holmes said recently that he didn’t think two-quarterback systems (such as the Jets are planning with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow) can work in the NFL.

But Ryan offered a rebuke with his rebuttal, in an interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio (via ESPNNewYork.com’s Rich Cimini).

“Well, I understand what Holmes is saying, you know Tone’s talking about a guy . . . [the starting quarterback] has to get a feel and all that kind of stuff,” Ryan said. “But I brought Santonio in here to be a receiver, not to be the offensive coordinator. And that’s the way it is.

“I love Santonio, but if I wanted to hire him as our offensive coordinator, we would’ve.”

The man he chose for that job, Tony Sparano, defended Holmes’ right to his free speech, but obviously disagrees, since it’s what he’s implementing.

“First of all, every player is entitled to their own opinion,” Sparano told Paolantonio. “Every person is entitled to their own opinion. I been around long enough to know that there’s a lot of definitions of two-quarterback systems, and what some of these things mean, and what they don’t mean.”

Even though Holmes’ message may have lacked nuance, there’s a kernel of truth in what he says. Sanchez might lack the ability to gain a certain rhythm if Tebow’s coming in to run around. But the bigger problem the incumbent has is handling the pressure of keeping Tebow on the sidelines.

It’s nothing more than good theater at the moment, and the Jets have just the cast of characters to keep things fresh.

Ah, Jets, don’t ever change.