FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After hearing the critics weigh in, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan wanted another crack at the whole idea of who has the final say on benching a struggling player.
Ryan clarified Wednesday that the committee approach ends when the game starts.
"That falls on my shoulders, and I think it's obvious," Ryan said. "What became obvious is that I should have handled that question differently."
Earlier in the week, Ryan described the process of how benching a player, for example quarterback Geno Smith, would be a team decision.
Ever since John Idzik arrived as general manager Ryan has moved away from the idea that he is the sole decision-maker and instead iterated that roster decisions are more by committee -- including the GM of course.
"I just thought it was so obvious that, obviously in my position as the head coach you are going to make decisions that during a game -- who else is going to make them?" Ryan said. "I am not going to call Randy Rasmussen up and say, 'Hey Randy, what do you think?' "
Rasmussen was an offensive lineman for the Jets from 1967-81.
Ryan was brought to the Jets in 2009 by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum. When Idzik replaced Tannenbaum in 2013, it wasn't clear how long Ryan was going to stay.
Last year after the two started working together, Ryan's contract was extended; it is now guaranteed through 2015. But now that another developing quarterback has stalled on Ryan's watch, his job security may not be quite as solid.
The questions continue to come up for Ryan as the 1-3 Jets head into a difficult three-game stretch -- this week they visit the San Diego Chargers, followed by games against the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots.
And as the losses mount and the fans chant "We want Vick" at MetLife Stadium, it's not going to get any easier for Ryan or Smith.
For his part, Smith, now in his second year, hasn't been progressing the way the team had hoped.
Smith started the week cursing at a fan, and the pressure hasn't eased.
The quarterback bristled during his news conference Monday, when he revealed the offense had held a players-only meeting.
While he awaits a likely fine from the NFL, Smith couldn't cloak his frustration when peppered with questions about Michael Vick at Wednesday's news conference at his locker. First he was asked if Vick could come in as a kind of reliever, to provide a spark for the Jets.
"I don't know what you're trying to lead to with that question," Smith said. "Maybe that's your opinion; that is not a question."
Later, Smith was asked if he expected to play all four quarters.
"Next question," he snapped.