Rex Ryan: 'New York Jets rookie class is as strong as I've seen'

Jets coach Rex Ryan during a game with Jacksonville on August 17, 2013
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Rex Ryan says that it is harsh of the New York media to be critical of a batch of rookies which are "about as strong" as he has ever seen in the NFL.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has hailed his current batch of rookies, despite the struggles of Geno Smith and Dee Milliner in recent weeks.

Quarterback Smith's performances have dipped of late following a strong start to his NFL career, but Ryan believes that the fact he and Milliner, alongside Brian Winters, Tommy Bohanon and Sheldon Richardson, are all starters for the team already is a good thing for the franchise.

Ryan told reporters: "If this is not an A-plus rookie class, I mean, I don't know what you're looking for. For us to be critical of a draft class that has five starters in the National Football League, as rookies?

"I understand it's New York media, but this might be a little tough. This is a bit of a stretch to criticize this draft class. This is about as strong a class as I've ever seen."

Though Smith was benched during last weekend's defeat to the Miami Dolphins, Ryan named him as the starter going forward earlier this week.

Jets coach Rex Ryan during a game with Jacksonville on August 17, 2013
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