Rex Ryan's already long night got longer when he had to face the media following the Jets 24-21 overtime win over the Giants. Ryan's team may have won a meaningless preseason game against their Big Apple rivals, but it came at the expense of losing quarterback Mark Sanchez to a shoulder injury.
Ryan said it was his decision to insert Sanchez into the game in the fourth quarter behind the backup offensive line. Too bad the coach doesn't have a time machine. Because on Sanchez's second series, he took a big hit from the Giants' Marvin Austin, a play that ended with the quarterback writhing on the turf grabbing his right shoulder.
That was the end of Sanchez's evening, but Ryan's was just beginning.
Predictably, the coach was grilled in the post-game press conference about playing Sanchez.
"We're there to win," he said. "We had our starting offense out there for three quarters -- we're trying to win the game, that's what we wanted to do. … We're trying to compete. Everybody's out there and injuries are part of the game. … We'll see the severity of Mark's injuries. Obviously it didn't work out the way we wanted it to, but we're here to compete."
But Ryan grew testy when one reporter pressed the coach for a straight answer on whether Smith has a chance to win the regular-season starting job.
“I don't have to answer a question. … We will make the decision on a starting quarterback when we think it's the appropriate time. Not when you, not when this person or this person or this person,” Ryan said, while pointing to various reporters in the room.
Things got even more bizarre with this follow-up exchange.
Reporter: How can you say--
Ryan: I can say anything I want. That's the beauty of the country.
And with that, Ryan turned his back to the reporter and answered the question again.
Yep, no way this ends badly for Rex.