Rex Ryan defiant about Jets' many penalties: 'We're not here to take anybody's stuff, period'
By Dom Cosentino
CINCINNATI -- The final tally looks pretty grim: The Jets were flagged 12 times for 133 yards in their 25-17 preseason victory over the Bengals on Saturday night at Paul Brown Stadium. That total includes a whopping six—three for personal fouls, three for unnecessary roughness—that went for 15 yards, plus a seventh that wound up being declined.
Sure, the Jets want to get that corrected. And, yes, they're aware they can't succeed during the regular season by giving up so many yards via mistakes they can control.
But several Jets—with the blessing of head coach Rex Ryan—also suggested there was a method to the team's frequent madness on Saturday night—that the Bengals had engaged in behaviors that, at times, warranted physical responses.
"I think the main thing is," Ryan said, "our guys were protecting each other."
An example: In the first quarter, quarterback Geno Smith threw a pass that was picked off by safety Terence Newman, who caught the ball near the ground. Jets receiver David Nelson touched Newman while he was down to end the play, but right tackle Breno Giacomini said he never heard a whistle.
"And I couldn't tell if [Nelson] tagged him," Giacomini said.
Giacomini came over and grabbed Newman, which caused Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt to shove Giacomini, which then caused Jets right guard Willie Colon to angrily jump in to go after Hunt.
Said Colon: "I reacted how I felt like I needed to react."
You know where this is going: Both Giacomini and Colon were flagged for personal fouls. Colon's was declined.
"It was getting a little feisty," Giacomini said. "That's the type of physicality we want to come with."
Giacomini also got flagged for a cut block, which he owned up to by saying he didn't get in front of his man. Cut blocks are a point of emphasis for NFL officials this season.
Left guard Brian Winters got hit with three penalties: Two for unnecessary roughness, and one for a hold. Colon, one of the league's most penalized players last season, also got hit with a holding penalty.
But it wasn't just the offensive line: Wideout Stephen Hill and linebacker Demario Davis were flagged for unnecessary roughness. Tight end Zach Sudfeld was flagged for holding. Same with linebacker IK Enemkpali, who got pinched for holding on special teams.
"Again, we’re not here to take anything from anybody," Ryan said. "If a teammate is at risk, then we’re not going to take that. We want to be a clean, physical football team, and that’s what we plan on being."
Asked if anything had participated all the chippiness, Ryan doubled down.
"We're not here to take anybody's stuff, period," he said.
Davis was called for giving Bengals backup quarterback Matt Scott a light shove after he had run him down out of bounds. He declined to answer a direct question about it.
"The league is changing where you can’t have as much contact on the field as you would like to have," Davis said of the Jets' penalty-filled night in general. "You really can’t play football the way you want to play football. So you have to be able to adjust to that."
Winters suggested the Bengals were doing a lot to set the Jets off. He didn't get too specific except to say there was activity both before and after the whistle.
"Some things got a little out of hand," Winters said. "But we're looking out for one another. We want to be physical, but sometimes not in that way."
Giacomini and Winters both acknowledged the Jets need to clean it up. So did quarterback Geno Smith.
"We can't have those penalties throughout the course of a regular-season game," Smith said. "We understand that all of our guys are tough, but there is a way to exhibit it out on the field."
Edited by T0mShane, 17 August 2014 - 12:28 AM.