Published 12:00 am Monday, September 5, 2011
The NFL notebook …
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó Rex Ryan says he feels more pressure coaching in the New York Jets’ regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks “than any game I’ve ever coached.”
He says Monday he feels “a responsibility” to make sure his team has a good showing in the game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. He says “it just feels different,” maybe because he believes the Jets will be representing “this whole region, this whole area.”
Ryan, in his third season as coach of the Jets, was an assistant in Baltimore 10 years ago. He says he was walking by the office of Pat Moriarty, a Ravens executive, and they both watched on TV as the second plane struck the World Trade Center.
REX OVER JOHN
ASHBURN, Va. ó It’s Rex. By the proverbial nose of the football.
Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan ended the suspense Monday and announced Rex Grossman as the starting quarterback, giving the nine-year veteran the nod over John Beck going into Sunday’s season opener against the New York Giants.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in both of them. It was very competitive all the way through,” Shanahan said. “I thought Rex won by an edge.”
Grossman becomes the latest player to be given the chance to hold a position that has lacked stability essentially since the end of the glory days of the 1980s and early 1990s. The Redskins have used 20 starting quarterbacks over 18 seasons.
BUDDY RYAN CANCER
IRVING, Texas ó Not even cancer surgery can keep former NFL coach Buddy Ryan from being in the stands when his twin sons coach against each other Sunday night in the prime-time opener between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Monday his dad was diagnosed last week with a form of cancer “in his gland that’s right through his neck.” Brother Rex said through a team spokesman that it was the parotid gland, the largest of the salivary glands.
INDIANAPOLIS ó The unthinkable suddenly seems possible in Indianapolis ó opening the season without Peyton Manning.
The four-time league-MVP who has never missed a start in his NFL career is doubtful for Sunday’s game at Houston because of lingering soreness in his back following offseason neck surgery. If Manning sits, it would be the first time the NFL’s active iron man missed a meaningful game after 227 consecutive starts including the playoffs.