Are Jets players starting to turn on Rex Ryan?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12: Head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan looks on from the sideline against the Miami Dolphins at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

After losing their last two games in rather embarrassing fashion (and in two different forms of embarrassment, no less), frustrations are starting to boil over for the Jets.

According to ESPN writer Tim Graham and New York Post reporter Mark Cannizarro, several Jets’ defensive players weren’t happy with the way Rex Ryan summed up their performance in a 10-6 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. To everyone but Ryan, the Jets’ defense played pretty well.

“According to Rex, we played [expletive],” Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis told New York Post reporter Mark Cannizzaro. “He said we weren’t good enough. I guess we needed a shutout. I guess that’s what he was talking about.”

The criticism did not sit well with the defensive players, likely explaining why most of them bolted from the locker room before reporters were allowed in. Linebacker Bart Scott, the so-called leader of the group, had someone bring him his clothes from his locker.

“It’s frustrating to hear that because we played a solid game,” Ellis said. “I guess he just expects so much out of the defense that there should have been zero points on the board, not 10.”

If I were a Jets’ defensive player, I’d be ticked off too. As I wrote in my “I’m Just Saying” column this week, watching Mark Sanchez try to run the Jets’ offense was like watching a drunk try to start a car with his house keys. He was awful, as was the entire offense.

What more could the defense do? They came up with three huge turnovers and their offense turned them into a measly three points. And considering the Jets turned the ball over twice themselves, the defense should be lauded for only holding Miami to 10 points because it could have been worse.

That said, I see what Ryan is trying to do. He’s not going to divide the locker room by scolding the offense and applauding the defense. He didn’t do that last year when Sanchez was running around the field like a monkey trying to hump a football and he’s not going to do it this year either. He holds his defensive players to a different standard and if players like Ellis don’t like it, then that’s their problem. Besides, one team, one collective loss.

But again, I don’t blame Ellis and Co. for having a “WTF?” moment. There is plenty of blame to go around for the way the Jets played on Sunday, but little to none of it should be pinned on the defense. I’m sure Ryan will eventually pull some of his leaders to the side and rally the troops. After all, they’re still 9-4 and they don’t have any time to feel sorry for themselves with a trip to Pittsburgh coming up on Sunday.

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