Rex Ryan calls out first round pick Dee Milliner

rex ryan

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan called out rookie cornerback Dee Milliner after a disappointing preseason performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Milliner looked horrendous in coverage throughout the game. The 2013 first round pick was hopefully going to fill the void of departed Darrelle Revis. However Ryan saw nothing that made him believe that was possible Saturday night.

“I didn’t like the way we competed and challenged on the outside — not so much (Antonio) Cromartie, but from Dee (Milliner),” Ryan said after the game. “When we call on him, I want him to get up there. Let’s go. Let’s play.”

Calling players out by name in a press conference is nothing new for Ryan. In fact, it has become one of his staples. He did it to Quinton Coples for his work ethic, and most recently Geno Smith for having a “brutal” practice.

Ryan was once considered a defensive minded coach, and a good one at that. But over the last few years he has lost that distinction. Now he tries his best to be a Lombardi-style motivator.

Not that it has worked.

Milliner was less critical of his performance, but did recognize the need for improvement.

“I played all right,” Milliner told the Daily News. “Lot of room for improvement. I feel like I had a bad game because I didn’t make the plays I should have made when I had the opportunities.”

Milliner said that Coach Ryan addressed him personally after the game.

“He just was saying the plays, because I make them at practice, I should have made them (in) the game.”

Luckily Milliner doesn’t take offense to Ryan’s straightforward personality. The last thing the Jets need is a pissed off first round pick in their secondary.

“That’s the type of coach Rex is. That’s why I like him,” Milliner said. “He’s straightforward with you. He’s gonna tell you things that you need to work, things that you should do better. And I like that in a coach, because if he doesn’t, I’d say he’s not coaching.”

Whether or not calling out a rookie for a preseason performance was the right move Ryan is right for trying to stir things up.

As of now it looks like 2013 will be Ryan’s final year as the Jets head coach if he doesn’t do something big. Fixing this defense would be a good start.

Video: Dee Milliner Highlight Reel