Rex Ryan on Monday clarified the comments he recently made about wide receiver Stephen Hill, which appeared to suggest that the New York Jets coach was not on board with drafting the rookie from Georgia Tech.
"What I was kidding was, like 'Oh man, we're going to take a wide receiver,' like he's not my pick," said Ryan, referring to his quotes in a piece by Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. "I love the fact that I'm always trying to convince (the media) that he is my pick. He's definitely my pick now, because I think he is going to have a really bright future."
In the SI story, Ryan was quoted as saying: "Well, nothing told me he would (contribute). Nothing. When I saw the tape (of his collegiate play) I was concerned. But (Jets general manager) Mike Tannenbaum and (senior personnel executive) Terry Brady and all our scouts were adamant about this guy."
Ryan explained he was trying to praise the scouting department, while proving the point that Hill has exceeded his expectations.
Banks on Sunday cleared up some of the confusion over the quotes, saying on Twitter that during their conversation it was "Rex being Rex, tongue-in-cheek."
UPDATE: Hill took no offense to Ryan's comments, saying Monday that he knew his coach was joking.
"I honestly heard about it maybe 10 minutes ago," Hill said in quotes released by the Jets. "Coach Rex Ryan, I understand, is a defensive coach, but I know he was definitely (joking) about the situation. Honestly, I'm just ready to play on Sunday, that's my biggest focus."