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Ryan downplays Ellis' departure, talks up Jets' young players

  • By NFL.com
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New York Jets coach Rex Ryan will miss Shaun Ellis, who recently signed with the New England Patriots. But Ryan isn't kept awake at night worrying about the defensive end providing an advantage to the Jets' AFC East rivals.

"I don't think he can bring secrets. He can bring mentality," Ryan said Tuesday in an interview with WEPN-AM. "He can talk about the way we are going to approach games against New England and things like that."

Ellis was selected by the Jets in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and he was the longest-tenured player on the team in 2010. Despite that background, Ryan said Ellis wasn't exposed to playbook information that could compromise the Jets if it fell into the wrong hands.

"As far as the playbook, if that was (safety) Jim Leonhard going over there or somebody that was in the back end that knows the front coverage and all that (it would have an effect)," Ryan said. "Shaun's role was basically in a phone booth, so it was obvious he did a great job for us. I really don't worry about that."

Ryan wished Ellis health but not necessarily success. The coach believes his team will be able to compensate for the loss on the field.

"I think (Ellis) was an excellent football player, but just wait until everybody sees these young guys play," Ryan said. "I don't think you have to worry about our defense."

Ryan also touched on the Jets' reworked receiving corps. Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith all have moved on, and veteran Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason joined the fold.

Ryan said Mason plays nothing like the 37-year-old he is, and he also spoke of getting to know Burress, the former Giants Super Bowl hero who's making an NFL comeback following a 20-month prison sentence on gun charges.

"I do like him. He loves the game," Ryan said. "He's also a fan of baseball, basketball. He's kind of an interesting guy. You can tell he loves football just the way he talks. He fits right in."

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