Added Smith: “I was just listening for that double whistle so we could stop.”
It was the angriest Ryan had been during a practice with the media watching in his three-plus years as coach.
“He’s tired of it,” DeVito said.
After the laps, there was another incident on the field during 1-on-1 drills in which offensive lineman Dennis Landolt injured a knee after trying to block defensive lineman Marcus Dixon. Right guard Brandon Moore, who declined to speak after practice, yelled at Dixon, apparently thinking he tried to hurt Landolt, who was carted off the field with what Ryan called a “subluxed” knee that could sideline him a few weeks.
On Monday, about 20 players were involved in a brief brawl after running back Joe McKnight and safety D’Anton Lynn tangled following a play. Lynn, the son of Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn, shoved McKnight out of bounds. An angry McKnight then fired the football at Lynn.
McKnight charged Lynn and threw a punch that didn’t land. Lynn then pushed McKnight _ with help from cornerbacks Julian Posey and Donnie Fletcher _ and all four went rolling through advertisement placards and into an area where reporters were watching practice, and several players jumped in.
Ryan refused to call it a “melee” and added that he had seen worse fights since coming to New York, particularly in his first year. But for a team coming off a disappointing season that was derailed in large part by in-fighting by players in the locker room, Ryan has been determined to maintain control _ something he has repeatedly acknowledged he didn’t have last season.
Some fans and media think the past few days’ festivities have been a carry-over from last season, and that perhaps Ryan still doesn’t have control.
“Everybody has a right to their opinion,” Ryan said, “no matter how wrong they are.”
When Cromartie said last week that he thought he would rank as the second-best wide receiver on the team, Chaz Schilens said it was “a slight,” and it was the first sign of disharmony. Ryan addressed the squad as soon as he heard both players’ comments and told everyone to be mindful of what they say in public to not hurt the team.
The Jets have one more day of practice in Cortland before their preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati.
“I think the guys are just eager to hit somebody else,” wide receiver Santonio Holmes said. “They’re taking their frustration a little bit out on each other, which shows what happens in training camp around this time, all around the NFL. You look at other teams, I’m pretty sure guys have gotten into fights throughout their practice days. The same thing with us guys. … Cincinnati can’t come fast enough for these guys right now.”
So, Round 3 on Wednesday?
“I bet we don’t have one tomorrow,” Smith said, laughing.