Lowell Cohn: Rex Ryan should be canned

  • New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan smiles during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in East Rutherford N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

I don't like Rex Ryan.

He's the loudmouth who coaches a football team over in Jersey. He coaches the Jets. Talks a good game. For years, he has won zilch. For what he did Saturday, he should get fired.

Quick summary: Jets playing the Giants. Big rivalry, hoo hah, except it was an exhibition game. Forget big rivalry. Jets were having a quarterback controversy. You know a thing or two about quarterback controversies.

It was veteran Mark Sanchez against rookie Geno Smith. Smith went first. He threw three picks. He also stepped out the rear of the end zone. Safety!

Not ready for prime time. Not ready for Broadway. Not even ready for Jersey, or as the cognoscenti say, "Joisey."

Cue the loudmouth, self-promoting coach: With 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Ryan decided to put Sanchez in the game. Smith already had proved he can't handle the NFL. Now, Sanchez was the Jets' only option for starting quarterback, and Ryan put Sanchez in behind the scrubs. I don't mean to offend the scrubs by calling them scrubs.

In Sanchez's second series, Marvin Austin wiped him out, drove him to the ground on his right shoulder, his throwing shoulder. Sanchez stayed down, gripped said shoulder in agony.

Goodbye Jets season before season even starts.

It is unprofessional — insane? — for a head coach to insert his starting quarterback into a game when the quarterback is surrounded by reserves, when the head coach fully knows the quarterback would not be given adequate protection. It's as if Ryan wanted to humiliate Sanchez, embarrass him publicly. And toward what end?

Here is a fair assumption. Sanchez's teammates lost respect for Ryan after that — if they respected Ryan to begin with. A coach does not treat players like that, except Ryan is, well, a Ryan along with his father Buddy and brother Rob. Family traits: crude, uncouth, insensitive.

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