INDIANAPOLIS -- Rex Ryan thinks he put too much pressure on last year's Jets by saying too much, but now he's put heat on his quarterback, Mark Sanchez, now by not saying enough.
I'm talking about what Rex said ... or did not say ... at Thursday's NFL scouting combine. When he was asked about the possibility of the Jets landing Peyton Manning if and when he becomes a free agent, he didn't pledge allegiance to his current quarterback.
All he said he was that the Jets "will look at all possibiliities."
Ryan said that wasn't unusual; that the club does that with all positions. But that's not the point. When he had a chance to support his embattled quarterback, he did not. Instead, he said that the club "will look at everything."
If I'm Mark Sanchez, I'm not sure what to make of it. All I know is that when Brett Favre became available in 2008, the Jets couldn't wait to get the guy, even though then-coach Eric Mangini was opposed to the idea and even though they had a playoff quarterback in Chad Pennington.
But they made the move, anyway, basically because owner Woody Johnson loves to make headlines, and the Favre deal put the Jets on the back pages of the Daily News and Post for days. A Peyton Manning deal would, too, provided, of course, he's released, he's healthy and he's agreeable to joining the Jets.
Oh, yeah, one more thing: Provided the Jets want to supplant Sanchez, who led them to two conference championship games in his first two seasons. I'm not saying it happens, but when Ryan had an opportunity to back his quarterback with a strong statement he did not.
"I think Mark Sanchez is an outstanding quarterback, " he said, "and he's our quarterback, and he has a great future. I'm not coming off any of those. But will we look at every scenario? Of course. Will we look at every kicker out there? As painful as that it is, absolutely. But that's what we do."
But it's not what you do if you make a commitment to the quarterback you have.
"So do you expect Mark to be your quarterback this season?" Ryan was asked.
"I definitely think," Ryan said before stopping. "He's our quarterback now, and he's got a great future. Last I checked, Mark's under contract, and he's our quarterback."
That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.