Scattershooting with Jets coach Rex Ryan (in anticipation of Dolphins-Jets Monday night), plus a few Dolphins and UM notes:
### Ryan conducted a conference call with Dolphins writers on Thursday and heaped lavish praise on Miami’s offense (really!) and Jason Taylor. He also took a playful jab at the Dolphins’ cornerback tandem.
"We’ve got two excellent cover corners,” he said of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. “I understand we’re not as good as Miami’s, but we’re pretty good.”
Vontae Davis said before the season, “I’m going to go out on a limb and say we’re the best [cornerback] tandem in the league.”
### On Taylor, Ryan said: “He’s a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame person as well. We miss him dearly as a player and as a mentor. I am blessed to say I was Jason Taylor’s coach for a year. He’s as instinctive a guy as I’ve ever been around.”
### Asked if it would it be an embarrassment to lose to a winless team, Ryan said, “We have not beaten Miami at home in the [two previous] years I’ve been here. That’s a good football team. They’re in every single game. Don’t think for a second we don’t recognize the fact that’s a good team.” He said it’s a “must win” but views every game that way.
### Does he still guarantee that the Jets will win the Super Bowl? “I guarantee you we’re going to chase it, that’s for sure. Do I think we’ll win it? Yeah, absolutely.”
### On the Dolphins offense: “Chad Henne looked like Dan Marino against us one game a year. The next game, he wouldn’t do anything and we lose. With Brian Daboll, a very creative guy, they’ve been moving the ball well but have struggled a little in the red zone and on third down. It’s a talented group. You’ve got three big-time receivers and the fast kid from Abilene [Clyde Gates].
"Brandon Marshall is one of the best receivers in the game. Davone Bess is a matchup nightmare, great quickness, change of direction. On third down, he carves you up. With Reggie Bush back there, you kind of hold your breath. It’s an offensive line that has four No. 1 draft picks. This is a talented group.”
### On the Jets’ current three-game losing streak: “Of course, you’re down. Everything stinks when you lose. When you lose a game, it’s almost the equivalent of a 10-game losing streak [in baseball]. So we’re on a 30-game losing streak.”
### On what people tell him on the streets during this losing streak: “It’s no big deal. Shoot, I’m still the man.”
### On Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore: “You’ve got a guy that has that gunslinger mentality, great athlete, has the size and mobility you look for in a quarterback. He’s won games in this league. It’s not like he’s a brand new guy that hasn’t experienced any success. He’s a guy where if he gets hot, you’ve got to watch out for.”
### On Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s play: “He’s played well. He’s ahead mentally of where he’s been at any time in his career. Has he played better? I don’t know. We’ve earned that 2-3 label. He’s had his moments he’s played really well. I’d like to see him a little more consistent throughout the game, maybe start a little faster.”
### On the Jets overall: “We can throw the football better than we have since I’ve been here. Our running game is not up to our standards. Defensively, our ability to stop the run has not been up to our standards.”
### He said the fact the Dolphins are coming off a bye helps them because “our defense isn’t traditional.”
### He said one reason receiver Derrick Mason was traded to Houston is because of “the emergence of Jeremy Kerley.” Kerley and former Dolphin Patrick Turner are now the Jets’ third and fourth receivers, behind Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress.
### Look for a story on The Herald's web site later about Brandon Marshall's eye-opening comments after practice on Thursday. The brief summation: He said he wants to play with more emotion and said, "My goal is to get thrown out of the game.'' Marshall insisted he wasn't kidding; Tony Sparano said he was. Marshall spoke of kicking a ball into the stands and paying a fine if he needs to. It was difficult to take any of his "thrown out" comments seriously, but he was dead serious about wanting to play with more emotion. He said he has had an "average" season. Manny Navarro's story on Marshall, with all his quotes, will be on the web site later.
### Davis, Daniel Thomas, Nolan Carroll and Chris Clemons were limited at practice, though Thomas has said he will play Monday. Davis practiced fully last week, leading to optimism that he is ready to return, barring a setback. All have hamstring injuries.
### Bush said the Dolphins' offense "has been all over the place. We haven't found our identity yet. It's coming." He said practices in the past week "have been a lot more productive" than ones eariler in the season.
### With his defense struggling badly, UM coach Al Golden twice this week has made a public appeal to high-school recruits who are listening: “If you’re a young guy and you want to play for a top 40 institution, in the defensive line, linebacker and secondary, there’s a great opportunity to play early” here.
### Receiver LaRon Byrd admits it has been difficult to see his playing time reduced significantly, as younger players have passed him on the depth chart. Byrd said he has played only about 20 snaps each of the past two games. He said he believes coaches want to motivate him to produce more and be more of a leader. But effort has never been an issue with Byrd; this is simply a case of UM believing the receivers ahead of him are too talented to keep off the field.
### Who would have thought this? On a unit that consists of elite recruit Seantrel Henderson and All-ACC preseason picks Brandon Washington and Tyler Horn, coach Al Golden said the team’s best-performing offensive lineman at the moment is Harland Gunn. Brandon Linder is close.
### UM basketball coach Jim Larranaga picked up his first 2012-13 commitment this week in Melvin Johnson, a 6-1 combo guard from St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey. He averaged 12 points and three assists last season. Johnson had 20 offers, including USF, Virginia Tech and Xavier.
UM lost one recruit that had committed before Frank Haith left for Missouri: guard Chris Bolden, who switched to Georgia Tech.
### Larranaga said players told him incoming freshman guard Bishop Daniels was very impressive in workouts before being sidelined in August by turf toe. He has been cleared for the start of practice on Friday. Larranaga said center Reggie Johnson remains on track to return in January from a knee injury.