New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said Monday that he in uncertain right now whether or not quarterback Mark Sanchez will play in the team’s final game of the regular season Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Sanchez is nursing a shoulder injury, and the Jets have already clinched a berth in the AFC playoffs.
“My first thinking was good, we’ll just rest him, but I’m not so sure. I don’t know if that’s best for him. We’re going to weigh it as the week goes on,” Ryan said. “I want to win this game. I think it can really help us. Winning 11 games in the regular season would be an outstanding regular season for us. That’s the goal. It’s a fine line. If a guy’s injured, we’re not going to play him.”
Ryan appears to believe in the theory Tom Coughlin used with the Giants in 2007. Having clinched a playoff berth a week earlier, Coughlin could have rested players in the season finale against unbeaten New England. He chose not to, and the Giants turned in a great performance — even though they lost — that helped propel them to a Super Bowl title.
“You want to go in with a win. That’s really what we want to do,” Ryan said.
Ryan also expressed concern about the defense that is supposed to be the cornerstone of everything the 10-5 Jets do following a 38-34 loss to Chicago in which the unit did not play well.
“We have to get this defense back to the way we’re capable of playing. It’s like beating a dead horse, but it’s like we did with Mark (Sanchez). We talked fundamentals and (worked on) his technique. We really focused on it and he got better. Now, he’s looked like a different quarterback these last couple of weeks,” Ryan said. “That’s what you have to do. I don’t want to say I’m diminishing what Chicago accomplished because they made some plays, but that wasn’t our best. We need to get back. There are no excuses. To get back to who our defense is, we need to practice. We’re going to go back to individual drills (and) fundamental drills and really hone that in, which is kind of unusual at this time of year. We really have to because that’s how we’re going to get better.”