Everyone at the New York Jets' opening day of training camp Thursday was on their best behavior and Rex Ryan intends to keep it that way. The team— which seems to have more dramas than an episode of "Dallas"— has a quarterback controversy ready to boil over and the head coach wants his players— specifically Santonio Holmes— to turn down the heat.
Ryan publicly took on Holmes for the first time by telling his wideout to put a lid on the Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez pot boiler and just be quiet, reports Gary Myers of the New York Daily News.
Holmes turned up the flame on the controversy when he was asked by the NFL Network if a two-quarterback system can work in the NFL. "No," Holmes answered. "I don't think so, because you have to let one quarterback get in the rhythm of a game."
It was the first time Ryan came down on a player for yapping about the quarterback saga— at least publicly. The head coach has a lot [job?] riding on this season and is basing some of the Jets' wins on Tebow— the unorthodox Wildcat quarterback.
It's no secret that the Jets traded for Tebow to give the team a one-two punch with the Wildcat system and to possibly light a fire on the underachieving Sanchez.
Ryan sounded annoyed after he heard about Holmes' public assessment of the quarterback situation on ESPN earlier this week.
"I brought Santonio in here to be a receiver. Not to be the offensive coordinator. And that's the way I like it," added Ryan. "I love Santonio, but if I wanted to hire him as our offensive coordinator, we would have."
Ryan— in his new Take Charge of the Team mode—said he won't let player's opinions influence his choices.
"We will make those decisions," he said. "We will always do what we think is in the best interest of our football team."
By publicly reprimanding Holmes, Ryan might have opened up a whole other can of worms after Darrelle Revis threw his opinion into the mix. When Revis— another recurring character in the ongoing Jets soap opera— was informed of Ryan's comments by the Daily News, the defensive back had his coach's back.
"Rex is right," he said. "Santonio is a receiver. So he has to play receiver. He has to stick to that. Rex usually doesn't call out his players. Maybe that might have been a moment where he needed to stand up for Mark and Tim."
It doesn't matter if Tebow says and does everything right by the Good Book or the playbook. The "backup" quarterback hasn't even admitted he wants to take Sanchez's job but— as long as he is in the Cortland, N.Y. camp— Tebowmania will polarize the fans and the team.