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Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum Defends Rex Ryan, Antonio Cromartie

Maybe Reggie Jackson has a problem with Rex Ryan and Antonio Cromartie running their mouths. Maybe everyone who does not root for the New York Jets does.

That doesn’t mean Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum is bothered by all the talk. Tannenbaum was on ESPN Radio in New York with Boomer & Carton earlier this week to talk about the Jets upcoming divisional round playoff game with New England. Sports Radio Interviews has the transcript, and we have some of the excerpts for you.

On Antonio Cromartie’s pointed words about Tom Brady:

"Sure, I know a lot’s been made of it. But from a big picture standpoint I’m really glad that Antonio’s here, he’s been good for us, he cares deeply. You know, one story that hasn’t been out was in the middle of last week guys, Cromartie goes into Coach Westhoff’s office and says ‘hey look, whatever you need, I’m here to win a Super Bowl. If the long snapper goes down, if you need me to return a kick, I’m here.’ And Brad Smith gets tweaked during the game, Antonio comes in and probably makes the biggest play of the game getting us out to midfield with 52 seconds to go. What he said, maybe that’s not my style or your style, but he spoke from the heart and that’s truly how he feels. And Rex always tells his guys you’re accountable for what you say, and say what you feel. So again, maybe that’s not how I would have said it, but he respects Tom Brady, and what he said is how he felt about him personally."

On Rex Ryan seemingly having personal issues with everybody in the NFL:

"Well first of all, you should hear what he calls me behind closed doors [laughing]. Rex is Rex. He’s very genuine, and he believes what he says. He feels like going back six weeks ago Belichick outcoached him, and it’s up to him to give us a better plan. He’s very transparent and he’s very sincere, and I think that’s why players and coaches want to play for him. He has their back, he speaks the truth in how he sees thing, and he’s not going to be beholden to coach speak. That’s just who he’s been, and we’ve just got to go by the results. Last year we made it to the final four, right now we’re in the final eight, and that’s a real tribute to him."

Whether he thinks Brady is playing the best football of his career:

"Yeah he’s playing at a really, really high level. Obviously ’07 was really special as well. But he’s an all-time great. You can put him up there with anybody. To me what’s impressive his accuracy. It’s not just a completion, but he puts the ball where guys can make plays after the catch. And that to me is the most impressive part of his game."