As it turns out, Jets coach Rex Ryan didn’t intend to diss rookie receiver Stephen Hill. Or the front office. Or anyone.
Asked Monday about comments to Don Banks of SI.com that seemed to clearly indicate Ryan wasn’t on board with the decision to trade up in round two and draft Hill, Ryan clarified the remarks.
“That one took off way different than the intent was,” Ryan said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
The comments, even in the context of the full quote, suggested that Ryan didn’t want Hill, which fairly can be interpreted as a slap against both Hill and, to a lesser extent, G.M. Mike Tannenbaum.
‘Well, nothing told me he would [contribute],” Ryan told Don Banks of SI.com. “Nothing. When I saw the tape [of his collegiate play] I was concerned. But [Jets G.M.] Mike Tannenbaum and [senior personnel executive] Terry [Bradway] and all our scouts were adamant about this guy. They were adamant that this guy can do it. He can run all these routes, he had good hands and he’s got 4.2 speed at 6-foot-5. He was the guy they all wanted, but honestly, when it came down to it, a wideout? Not my dream pick. But now that we have him, of course, I want to claim him: ‘Oh, that was my pick.’ But it really wasn’t.”
Banks later clarified the comments on Twitter, explaining that Rex was joking and attempting to reflect self-deprecation. Ryan said today that his skepticism flowed from the fact that Hill played for a team that ran the ball much more than passed it.
“We talk about us being ground and pound, Georgia Tech that’s major ground and pound,” Ryan said.
“You see him on the practice field, he gets off press, he runs good routes,” Ryan said. “He’s definitely my pick now, because I think he’s going to have a really bright future.”
None of it changes what Ryan said. And whatever his goal was in saying what he said, the effort apparently was unsuccessful.