The lust of the regular season is initially dulled by the painful day known as “cut day”. The excruciating moments wear on Jets head coach Rex Ryan as he knows that talent exists beyond the 53-man roster.
“On a serious note, when you look at the tough parts of coaching, (one of them) is when you have to make cuts," admitted Ryan. "We have already made the first round of cuts, but it gets tougher,” said Ryan. “We’d like to keep everybody, but quite honestly, we just can’t do that. That’s why it’s so tough in this league.”
The day of cutting veterans and others is a bright day for the lucky few that make it on to the roster; a place that Matt Simms seems even more likely headed.
Simms played wonderfully on Thursday night; completing 33 of 44 passes for 285 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in the team’s final preseason game. He played the entire game and made a case for the third QB spot due to his rocket arm and improved accuracy.
“The good part is when you see some guys really step up," noted Ryan. "You see some young guys like a (Matt) Simms come in,” said Ryan. “Obviously, he’s a smart kid, has a great pedigree and (is) a local product. It was really great to see him get the opportunity and take advantage of it.”
The competition for the third quarterback spot is not the biggest topic of talk in Jets’ camp. That belongs to the safety, guard, and quarterback positions. With the extent of Sanchez’s injury unknown, Ryan stated that he would let the media know by Wednesday of his status.
Ryan says the competition for the left guard position between Vlad Ducasse and Brian Winters is becoming “a great battle”. The safety position is heating up as Antonio Allen and Jaiquwan Jarrett continue to slug it out for the starting spot.
“I think it’s maybe a little too close to call,” said Ryan on the closeness of the safety competition. “So, we’ll look at it, study who the opponent is and maybe it comes down to opponent-specific as well, but we’re happy with both those guys.”
The competition the Jets are breeding fits into the type of team that Ryan is attempting to cultivate. The scrappiness and diversity of the complement each other and help develop team chemistry.
“I think this team is really meshing together, and as I said before, this is what you want as a football team, you want your whole to be greater than the sum of its parts, and I think that our team is, and we’re going to need to be," Ryan said. "We recognize that, but we have to be all in together, and I feel like our team is really coming together like that.”
The timing couldn’t be better to test that statement; the regular season starts in just over a week.