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Rex Ryan is nothing if not a protector of his players.  To his credit/detriment, he rarely directly calls out players.  All season long he talked about the need to limit turnovers, and all season long he defended Mark Sanchez.  While it might have been obtuse, it was still oddly noble in some strange way.  Manish Mehta writes about this trait of Rex Ryan in the Daily News and how it's so integral in understanding how the Jets got into the current backup quarterback mess they are now stuck with as they head into the offseason.

Ryan was never going to throw Tebow under the bus for his discontent at being bypassed for the starting job. Frankly, he could feel Tebow’s pain.

He was never going to tell the public that he realized long ago that Tebow simply doesn’t have the skills to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

He was never going to admit that trading for the polarizing lefty in March turned out to be a flat-out mistake.

He certainly never was going to hint that Tebow was insubordinate with his desire not to play in Wildcat packages last week.

“I think I’m about as open as any coach,” Ryan said. “I don’t try to hide things."

However, Ryan was right to deviate this time from his transparency doctrine that has guided him for the better part of four seasons.

Ryan is transparent, but I'd never say it's an always open policy.  Ryan is transparent when it suits him to be.  Transparency is important to Ryan, but rarely moreso than protecting his players.

One of the biggest problems facing the Jets this offseason is going to be their need to fill starting and backup/roleplayer spots at bargain prices.  Ryan's aggressive style and sales pitch might be key to the Jets filling positions (OL, RB, TE, DL, LB, S to name a few) all over the team in 2013.  Players around the league like and respect Rex Ryan for his glowing talk about all his players and they might still flock to play for him because of it.  Might.  Of course it's an easier sell to bring in veteran players on minimum deals when the team has just gone to a AFC Championship.  In 2010 the Jets brought in both Tomlinson and Taylor to play key roles in their return trip to the AFC Championship.  The Jets front office is going to have to do more of the same this offseason as they seek to rebuild this roster.

Tags: NYJets , Brian Bassett
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