FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Rex Ryan is calling an audible and going to the bullpen.
Michael Vick as the New York Jets’ quarterback? Nope.
Geno Smith? Uh, no.
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”All right, we’re gonna go with that Bumgarner guy, I think,” Ryan joked to open his news conference after practice Thursday.
That ”Bumgarner guy,” of course, would be San Francisco Giants ace and World Series MVP, left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who earned a five-inning save in the clinching game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night to go along with two wins as a starter in the Series.
”You’ve got to be kidding me,” Ryan said. ”Five innings after all that work? But, anyways, a machine.”
Then, Ryan – a die-hard Yankees fan – put on his baseball analyst cap.
”With that being said, I think the Royals should’ve leaned in on the pitches,” Ryan said. ”Crowded the plate and leaned in a little bit.”
Bumgarner pitched a record 52 2-3 innings during the postseason, and improved to 4-0 in his career with a save and a 0.25 ERA in the World Series, along with three championship rings in five years.
Despite his Jets’ 1-7 start, including seven straight losses, Ryan has at least been able to maintain his sense of humor. In all seriousness, though, Ryan will be sticking with his own lefty, Vick, to start Sunday at Kansas City against the Chiefs.
Smith, who started the first 24 games of his NFL career, appears likely to be available after practicing fully Thursday. He had been limited Wednesday and didn’t throw after injuring his right shoulder in the Jets’ 43-23 loss to Buffalo last Sunday.
”He threw about 50 balls today,” Ryan said. ”So, that’s really what you expect your backup quarterback to throw. So, yeah, I would expect, unless there’s some kind of setback, that he would be the backup quarterback.”
Unless, maybe, that Bumgarner guy is available after the Giants’ championship parade Friday.
NOTES: CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) was the only player to not fully practice. … WR Eric Decker drew several negative responses to a contest Wednesday on Twitter in which he asked followers to tell him why they love being Jets fans. Jessie James Decker came to her husband’s defense Thursday as the country star ripped the team’s ”haters” in a series of tweets, including saying, ”People are so overly dramatic,” before apparently deleting her account.
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