NEW YORK (AP) Rex Ryan wasn’t pleased when a Pittsburgh Steelers player tried to break up the New York Jets’ victory formation.
In the final seconds of the Jets’ 20-13 win at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Michael Vick took a knee to run out the clock – but Steelers safety Mike Mitchell launched himself at the line of scrimmage, likely trying to cause a fumble, and center Nick Mangold flung him over his shoulder and to the turf.
”I thought that was kind of bush league,” Ryan said during a conference call Monday. ”I’m surprised. I can understand in a short-yardage situation, you would have praised the guy for timing it and all that stuff. There’s no question. But in that part of the game, where we’re just kneeling on it and things like that, I was surprised by it to say the least – and disappointed.”
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Players on both sides pushed and shoved each other after the play, which Mangold called ”dirty” after the game. The Jets took one more knee to end the game – and snap an eight-game skid.
Ryan, in his sixth year as New York’s coach, has faced the Steelers several times in his career, dating to his days as an assistant with Baltimore. He wasn’t sure if the Steelers coach that sort of play.
”I have no idea,” he said. ”You have to ask them, but I’ve played against them a long time and never seen that before.”
Former Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano came under fire for ordering his team to break up opponents’ victory formations in a couple of games in 2012 and 2013.
Ryan was fired up as he walked to midfield after the game, with TV cameras catching him yelling an expletive at someone – it was unclear if it was meant for the officials or the Steelers.
”I think I was saying, `Thank you,”’ Ryan joked without going into details about his profane comment that could draw him a fine from the NFL.
”Emotions run high in games,” he said. ”Sometimes it’s best to … what happens on the field stays on the field. That’s where it stems from. It’s a very emotional game. Obviously, I’ve got to do a good job of controlling my emotions. Things happen. I’m sorry if I offended anybody.”
Ryan drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with two minutes left in the game, after Vick was also called for unsportsmanlike conduct. After the game, Ryan inferred that the Jets quarterback wasn’t being protected by favorable calls as much as Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger was.
NOTES: Ryan would neither confirm nor deny that rookie S Calvin Pryor had been late for at least one recent team meeting, and that led to his benching in favor of Jaiquawn Jarrett, who had two interceptions, a sack and a fumble recovery against the Steelers. ”What happens in our team meetings, I am just going to leave there,” Ryan said. ”The reason he didn’t start was Jaiquawn Jarrett. That’s the reason.” Ryan praised Jarrett’s practice efforts and also said he should be the AFC defensive player of the week. … After giving the players off most of the week in previous years, Ryan is having the team practice Tuesday and Wednesday before letting them go on a break. ”We’re (1-4) off the bye, so we were going to try anything,” Ryan said.
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