CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Somehow, Rex Ryan got it into his mind that second-year LB Demario Davis was labeled a bust. Hey, sometimes coaches take a perceived slight and turn it into a rallying point. On Monday, Ryan delivered a strong defense of Davis, predicting a big season for the former third-round pick.
New York Jets
"Really, okay, we'll see if he's a bust," Ryan said. "Now he gets to prove it. The guy can cover, he can run, he can blitz, he can do all. ... He is everything we thought he was, but that will be proved out as this year goes on. That will definitely be proved out.
Davis, who backed up Bart Scott last season, is slated to start at inside linebacker. He will get more preseason reps than other starters because he needs game experience.
NO GUSHING: Other than his horrendous interception for a touchdown in the opener, QB Mark Sanchez has played reasonably well over the last week to 10 days. Reminded of that, Ryan gave a positive, if not enthusiastic evaluation of Sanchez.
"He's had some good days, and he's strung some good days back-to-back-to-back, so that's been encouraging," Ryan said. "The one day when everyone had a bad practice, he had a great one, so that was good."
And that was that.
CUP OF JOE: Ryan was asked if he's exasperated by Joe McKnight various issues -- dehydration, traffic arrest, migraines, etc. Ryan gave a tactful answer, but it wasn't hard to read between the lines: His lack of dependability could cost him.
"These are young men and ... some things come up," Ryan said. "There's nobody that's perfect. But where he's at from a reliability standpoint ... durability is a big thing in this league, so there's no question about it. Has Joe had his moments here? Absolutely he has. When you look at it from a statistical standpoint, Joe averaged over six yards a carry last year, has led this league in kick return [average]. So we know when he's healthy, Joe can be a good contributor for our football team. But right now we've just got to get him healthy."
J.J. GETS A SHOT: Ryan didn't hand the starting free-safety job to Jaiquawn Jarrett, but he said Jarrett will start Saturday against the Jaguars.
"He'll start this week, but I'm not talking about for the season," Ryan said. "I mean, there's some great competition there, there's no doubt. Both those guys played well, but Jaiquawn, I'm like, 'You know what? Let's put him out there, let him work with the [starters] as well, where he gets communication with [Dawan] Landry, and then Antonio [Allen] will get communication with [Josh] Bush and we'll just see what happens.'"