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Ryan puts thoughts of Jets' QB controversy to bed

In ancient veteran Mark Brunell, Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn't exactly have a trump card to play in his efforts to motivate Mark Sanchez.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Ryan gave his embattled starting QB another vote of confidence Wednesday.

"I don't ever see myself taking Mark out of a game," Ryan said, according to the New York Daily News.

Ryan did leave some wiggle room, saying it wasn't inconceivable for Sanchez to be lifted for a series. But Brunell again took "a couple" first-team snaps in practice, according to Ryan.

This is the second consecutive season in which Ryan has given Brunell additional practice snaps during a pronounced Sanchez slump. In his book "Play Like You Mean It," the coach wrote about his motivation behind giving Brunell snaps during a Sanchez slump last season.

"Our quarterback was struggling ... I mean, he was (expletive)," Ryan wrote, via He added that "some defensive guys (were) complaining about the offense."

Brunell, 41, already has said this is his final season, so it will be telling to see who the Jets pursue as their new No. 2 QB in 2012. In many ways, Brunell was the ideal backup for Sanchez -- a steady veteran presence with a pedigree, but who also stood little chance of moving up the depth chart.

With Sanchez's third season shaping up as a disappointment, don't be surprised if the team acquires an alternative who will be a legitimate threat to the QB's job were he to fall into the abyss again.

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