When the New York Jets ignored their coach, it was time to run. And run some more.
A day after a 20-player throwdown highlighted a chippy practice, Ryan made his players run a series of sprints Tuesday as punishment for a few minor scuffles on the field.
"I think, sometimes, you're trying to be physical, but being physical is one thing," Ryan said. "Going past that is something else, and that's what I didn't like. That's why we stopped and had to remind the guys that the enemy is not in green and white."
With most of the media off to the side speaking with owner Woody Johnson, linebacker Demario Davis and running back Terrance Ganaway — both rookies — got into it after Ganaway was a little too physical on a play. Ryan immediately called everyone over to tell them to be physical, but smart and not selfish.
Another skirmish erupted a few minutes later involving cornerback Antonio Cromartie and rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill, with Cromartie threatening to punch him. Moments later, Cromartie and tight end Dustin Keller got into it.
"Apparently, someone didn't get the message," Ryan said, referring to Cromartie.
He added that he thought Cromartie, who refused to speak to reporters after practice, should have backed off and not hit Keller as hard as he did.
Ryan immediately shouted at his players and had them all line up on the sideline.
"It's just part of training camp," safety Eric Smith said. "We're out there banging around, it gets hot and people get frustrated. Tempers escalate."
Every player on the Jets, from the quarterbacks to the kickers, was then ordered to run about 10 gassers — sprints from sideline to sideline — for at least 10 minutes. It was the first time, Ryan confirmed, that he has punished his players in that way as coach of the Jets.
"I guess the big thing is, I just felt it needed to be done," Ryan said. "There's no question I thought it needed to be done. And the point I want them to understand is I'm serious about it."
"You know, as a big guy, you never want to be running gassers," said 305-pound defensive lineman Mike DeVito. "No fight is worth running gassers when you're over 300 pounds. It gets guys' minds reset and back to focusing on playing football and not the extra stuff."
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.
So, Round 3 on Wednesday?
"I bet we don't have one tomorrow," Smith said, laughing.
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