NFL Notebook: Safety frustrated by Jets staff
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Star safety Kerry Rhodes is frustrated by the uncertainty of his role with the New York Jets.
Rhodes was demoted by coach Rex Ryan two games ago for poor play, but believes he will be on the field for the first defensive snap Sunday at Tampa Bay. After that, though, is a mystery to him.
"Who knows at the end of the game?" an irritated Rhodes said yesterday. "I don't know. I may go up there in the press box with you all and watch it. We'll see how that goes."
He has played in the past two games and has two interceptions, but was irked by being pulled from the base defensive package after starting every game since being drafted in the fourth round in 2005.
"Anybody would want to know what the situation is, but I guess I don't have that luxury," Rhodes said. "Nobody has that luxury because he's not telling you, either. I'm going to try to do everything I can to help."
Ryan demoted Rhodes in favor of Eric Smith before the team's game Nov. 29 against Carolina. The player Ryan compared to Baltimore's Ed Reed in the offseason hadn't made any impact plays, so Rhodes' role was reduced and he received what he thought was unfair criticism.
"But if the coaches think that way and everybody else feels that way, it must be just," he said. "So, I just have to take it that way and keep going."
Rhodes thinks he will start again after doing a few things Ryan demanded of him -- including sitting down with defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman.
"He told me I'd be in there the first snap, so if that's starting, it's starting," Rhodes said.
But Ryan has refused to say whether Rhodes has regained his starting job and was bothered by questions about the situation.
"Go ahead and name him the starter, if you want," Ryan said. "I don't care. We should be more concerned with the team than the individual. The guy who runs out there, he's starting. If Kerry feels better about it, I'll start him. If he'll feel better about it, go ahead, run out there, you're starting."
Ryan apologized, but didn't clear anything up.
Adding to the confusion, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said Rhodes isn't necessarily starting in the base defense, but is up in most packages.
"I think that depends on Tampa and what they come out with the first play of the game," Pettine said. "I'd say that chances are pretty high that he'll be out there the first play."
Rhodes and Smith were rotating in practice yesterday, and Rhodes said he got angry at Thurman at one point.
Quarterback Vince Young has aggravated his right knee and coach Jeff Fisher calls it a "setback. Fisher said Young originally hurt his knee in a loss at Indianapolis Sunday and had been trying to push through practice. Young had to leave practice early, limping off the field with ice wrapped over his knee.
Quarterback Matt Ryan sat out another practice because of a toe injury, making it increasingly unlikely he will be able to play Sunday against the unbeaten Saints. While Ryan took part in a walkthrough, which was closed to the media, he wasn't even at the indoor practice facility for the main 2 1/2-hour workout. Chris Redman ran the first-team offense.
A woman filed a $70 million lawsuit against linebacker Terrell Suggs, claiming he is father of her two children and assaulted her multiple times. Suggs said that he has nothing to hide, but he was not able to discuss the case yet. Candace Williams, 26, is seeking $50 million in punitive damages and $20 million in compensatory damages from the three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher. She filed a separate complaint seeking custody of the children. She also is seeking a restraining order. She said Suggs knocked her down and poured bleach on her and their son.
Quarterback Tom Brady missed practice for the second day in a row. New England listed Brady with right finger, right shoulder and rib problems although none seemed serious. Before practice yesterday, Brady walked through the locker room, holding a plate of food and smiling. His wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, gave birth Tuesday to their son. Brady said he hasn't had much sleep.
Tight end Martellus Bennett missed another practice because of concussion-related symptoms. Bennett did not report any problems in a loss against the Giants, but he's since complained of headaches, fogginess and that "his eyes were hurting."
Oakland's home game Sunday against the Redskins will be blacked out locally because the team did not sell out the game in time. This is the sixth consecutive home game that Oakland has been unable to avoid a blackout.
First Published December 11, 2009 12:00 am