FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Last week Rex Ryan talked about his four safeties and the challenge that the coaching staff has to figure out how to work them all into a rotation. After his phenomenal performance against the Steelers Jaiquawn Jarrett will again start in Calvin Pryor’s place but today Ryan ensured reporters that Pryor will play as well.

“I think his role is that he’s going to play. Whether a guy starts or comes off the bench or plays in this and this, he’s going to play a significant role for us,” Ryan said. “That’s where it’s at, you don’t have to explain yourself. You just do what you feel is in the best interest of the team and you warrant your plays you warrant your playing time.”

During the Bye Ryan said he hasn’t been disappointed in Pryor’s performance, he just thought Jarrett had played and practices so well that he deserved a chance and today Ryan doubled down on that thought.

“But it’s not that I’m down on Calvin, I’m not. I (just) think Jaiquawn Jarrett deserved a shot,” Ryan said. “The way he was practicing, the way he was playing in games, that’s why I made the move that I did.”

At Louisville Pryor was more of an in-the-box safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage but because of the coverage issues in the secondary here Pryor was forced to play more in deep coverage.

“I think going into the season we might of had a different plan on some of our base defenses, what that would look like, but with the way the roster is now you have to make adjustments,” Ryan said. “And we’ll make adjustments trying to put our football team in the best situation, not just one player.”

Ryan admitted asking Pryor to play a different role might not have been the best move for Pryor’s individual game but said he can’t worry about that because he has to worry about what’s best for the entire team.

“I think if you were going to do what’s in his best interest than yeah, you would have done that. But you try to do what’s in the best interest of your team. We’re not looking to just win the Rookie of the Year,” Ryan said. “We’re trying to win games, we haven’t been real good at it now, but you got to look at the pieces you have and try and put your team in the best situation to be successful not just one individual.”

Playing safety in the NFL is an extremely difficult job so some growing pains are to be expected but one area that should come naturally to Pryor, and Ryan wants to see improvement in, is his open-field tackling.

“It starts with tackling, you got to get guys on the ground,” Ryan said. “He gets some great shots, he’s a good tackler but you got to get them down in space, especially when you have that much room and that’s not easy. But I think that’s an area where he’s working hard to improve.”

The question many Jet fans have isn’t about Pryor or even Jarrett but Dawan Landry. Ryan loves the veteran experience and leadership Landry brings but at this stage in his career he just can’t make all the plays he used to. So, naturally the question is could Jarrett and Pryor play together or will they basically be subbing for each other and also joining Landry for the occasional three-safety sets?

When Ryan was asked if Jarrett and Pryor could be the two safeties on the field together he said, “Definitely, our safeties are interchangeable.”

The safeties are indeed interchangeable but will that be enough to convince Ryan to take Landry off the field? It’s something Ryan should more than consider, he should act on because it’s entirely possible the best safety tandem for the sake of this team is Jarrett and Pryor.

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