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Rex Ryan defends skipping Jets' cuts for son's game

Most NFL coaches live at the team facility on a normal day. On a day like Saturday's roster cutdown deadline, they spend what must be excruciating hours helping to determine their future roster.

For that reason, it was curious when pictures of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan tailgating at Clemson University on Saturday began popping up on Twitter.

On Monday, Ryan defended his decision to watch his son's football team take on Georgia. Ryan's son, Seth, is a freshman walk-on receiver for the Tigers.

"It's not like I'm going to be able to go to another game," Ryan said, per the New York Daily News. "It just so happened that I could make that one: It was a night game. So that's really what I did. I took advantage of it. It was great. I just played dad there for a day, and it was a lot of fun."

Ryan said he spoke with "most of our guys" who were released.

The coach's absence would seem to fall in line with the theory that general manager John Idzik is piloting the Jets with little input from Ryan.

A team spokesman told the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta that Idzik was in "constant communication" with Ryan throughout the day via phone and text.

"(Rex has) got zero influence," an unnamed source close to the situation told Mehta about Ryan. "(He) doesn't care and he is letting everyone know. He just shows up for his check. ... It's a big (expletive) to all the players."

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie didn't seem to take it that way, agreeing with the coach's decision to put family first.

"I would take advantage of the opportunity if my son was dressing in his first game," Cromartie said. "I'm going, too. Family comes first. This is a big family (with the Jets), but we have people in this office and this organization that can handle those things when Rex is not here."

Even with some of the veterans' support, the calescent seat Ryan is sitting on could burn him before winter hits.

UPDATE: ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted Tuesday morning that other coaches also attended their sons' games Saturday. Mortensen did not give any examples of other coaches, however.

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