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.
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