New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said he held a team meeting and told players he’s tired of dealing with off-field embarrassments, a day after receiver Braylon Edwards was charged with driving while intoxicated.
Edwards’s blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal level in New York when he was stopped by police early yesterday morning in Manhattan.
The arrest came four days after the National Football League issued a statement saying Jets coaches and players exhibited “unprofessional conduct” toward a female television reporter.
“I’m tired dealing with some of these issues,” Ryan said during a news conference today at the team’s training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. “I’m tired of the embarrassment to our owner and this organization. I said, ‘Let’s just end it.’ We don’t need to be that team. This team works too hard at everything else to be looked at in this light.”
The Jets said yesterday that Edwards, 27, won’t start their Sept. 26 game against the Miami Dolphins.
Ryan said today that he hasn’t decided how much playing time Edwards will get this week. Edwards caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 28-14 victory against the New England Patriots.
“None of us know the facts 100 percent,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to tell you that Braylon is going to miss X amount of the game because I’m not ready to do that now. When it’s the right time, I’ll make that decision.”
Revis Won’t Play
Ryan said today that cornerback Darrelle Revis won’t play against the Dolphins while he recovers from a hamstring injury. Revis, the runner-up for last year’s defensive player of the year award, missed training camp and the preseason while holding out for a new contract.
“It’s too risky of a proposition to put him out there,” Ryan said.
Edwards, the third overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, issued a statement today apologizing to his family, fans and members of the Jets’ organization. He also said he’s cooperating with the league’s investigation into his arrest. Edwards was released without posting bail yesterday and his next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 9.
DWI incidents fall under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and a first-time offender would be subject to a fine, though not a suspension. If Edwards had a previous violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse program, which is confidential, he would face a suspension.
While with the Cleveland Browns last year, Edwards was accused of punching an acquaintance of LeBron James during a fight outside a Cleveland nightclub. Edwards pleaded no contest to misdemeanor aggravated disorderly conduct, was fined $1,000 and received probation for that incident, which was covered by the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Ryan said he wants the focus to return to how his team, which fell one win short of the Super Bowl last season, performs on the field.
The Jets made headlines in New York during the offseason with their contract impasse with Revis and a preseason appearance on the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” during which Ryan said the Jets would win the Super Bowl.
Ryan was criticized by Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach who is now an analyst for NBC Sports, for his frequent use of profanity in the program. The New York Post also said Ryan was involved in the Sept. 11 incident involving TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz. The newspaper said Ryan purposely overthrew passes so they landed near her, while some Jets players “hooted and hollered” at Sainz when she entered the locker room.
“We have a great time, we get after it, we play a physical brand,” Ryan said. “But that’s what we should be focused on instead of other issues, and myself being as guilty as anybody.”