The Jets have spoken in Indy.
Head coach Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum both had their news conferences at Lucas Oil Stadium at the NFL combine workouts this morning as scheduled. We're having some technical issues in getting reports to you, but I can tell you that Ryan, far from shying away from his confident statements upon being named Jets coach on Jan. 21, repeated one of his mantras to the national reporters at the combine, saying:
"We will have our defense playing at the level of Baltimore's defense this year. We are one or two players away."
Tannenbaum's media session began with questions more about the combine process rather than where the Jets have been and where they're going under Ryan. But Mike T did invoke Curtis Martin a few times, including in his response to just how much of an effect Brett Favre's one year as a Jet had on the team.
"I think when you build a program, you try to bring people in that can affect people for years to come," Tannenbaum said. "Just to go back to Curtis Martin for a second. He came in in 1998, and I'll never forget Coach Parcells saying, 'Our best player is now also our best worker.' His work ethic resonated with people for years to come, with Leon Washington and Thomas Jones.
"I think the effects of Brett Favre will be felt on our program for a long time. Was he with us for a long time? No, but I think the tangible effect he'll have will last a long time."
The GM reflected on what he called his "favorite play of Brett as a Jet," which occurred during the week of practice before the season finale against the Dolphins.
"There was a 1-on-1 competition between the receivers and the DBs," he said. "On the last play, Wallace Wright, one of our backup receivers, caught the pass to win the period. And here's Brett flying down, 40 yards down the field — looking pretty unathletic, as I reminded him — jumping over the pile.
"That was Brett really in a nutshell, his unbridled enthusiasm to play football. And I think that will resonate with a lot of people, not just Erik Ainge, not just Kellen Clemens but a lot of people, to go out to practice, compete, make it fun, get your work in. I think that's Brett's legacy with us."
I'll bring you more of the comments from Rex and Mike as they come in.