|Ryan has plenty of confidence in his team. (US Presswire)|
Late last week, Jets coach Rex Ryan said this about 2012 second-round pick WR Stephen Hill:
"Well, nothing told me he would (contribute),'' he told Sports Illustrated's Don Banks "Nothing. When I saw the tape (of his collegiate play) I was concerned. But (Jets general manager) 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.''
We suspected it was Ryan's latest attempt to motivate one of his players, but Hill thought it was something much less convoluted than that.
"I know he was (joking), definitely," Hill said in comments distributed by the Jets.
So nothing to see here … except that in his season preview, ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini calls Hill the team's biggest disappointment coming out of the preseason: "Talented, but oh so raw. Needs time to develop, but he doesn't have that luxury on this team."
Cimini's right -- Hill, who had just 49 receptions in his college career, is raw. And the Jets, already thin at wide receiver, don't have time for him to develop. They're going to need production starting, well, now. But if such things concern Ryan he's not letting on. He's already said this team could be the best he's had since coming to New York. And during an appearance on the Michael Kay Show, Ryan didn't sound particularly worried about losing his job if the Jets' 2012 season resembles their 2011 effort.
"I know I'm a great coach, and what makes me a great coach is the guys that coach with me and the guys that play for me," Ryan said (via PFT.com). "It's hard for me to look at myself as not being successful. I don't see that as a possibility. One day, it might be 10 years from now or 15 years from now when Woody Johnson wants to go in a different direction, and that's fine."
This much is certain: if Ryan is coaching the Jets a decade from now that'll mean he had a lot more AFC Championship appearances than 8-8 finishes. We'll have to wait to see if reality matches his vision of the future. Fun starts Sunday when the Jets host the Bills.
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