Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily news
Quinton Coples says Sunday’s win over the Patriots is vindication for Jets coach Rex Ryan.
Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has a simple yet blunt message for anyone who believes the Jets beat the Patriots on a gift call from the officials in overtime.
“I don’t care what people say,” Wilkerson said on Monday at a charity event to benefit Jets receiver Santonio Holmes’ III and Long Foundation at the Fresh Meadows Country Club in Great Neck, L.I.
“Like I said, the ref made the call. It’s his job to make the call, he went on. There’s nothing I can do about that. Everyone’s entitled totheir own opinion.”
And Jets linebacker Quinton Coples said the win against the Patriots was not only vindication for the players, but also for coach Rex Ryan, who was roundly criticized before the season of losing his grip on the team. Coples had four tackles and a sack on Sunday.
“I think people realize his expertise as far as defense, and his dedication and determination and his great attitude and the great player development that he has,” Coples said of Ryan at the event, which was also co-hosted by sports and personal injury lawyer Joel Levin to raise money for Sickle Cell Disease, which afflicts Holmes’ son, Santonio III.
“At the end of the day you can’t sit back and judge a man based on a bad year or whatever you want to call it,” Coples went on. “He’s still a great coach, and we’re looking forward to getting better and he’s looking forward to preparing us and making sure we getbetter as well.”
The Jets won Sunday’s match against the Patriots after a little-known rule was enforced, giving the Jets another chance after Patriots rookie Chris Jones was flagged for pushing teammate Will Svitek as they tried to disrupt kicker Nick Folk’s 56-yard field goal attempt, the first time the pushing rule was applied this season.
A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty was assessed against the Patriots on the play, giving the Jets a first down and setting up Folk’s eventual game-winner from 42 yards to secure a 30-27 victory. The win improved the Jets to 4-3, surprising those who thought Gang Green would struggle this season.
Muhammad Wilkerson dismisses critics who argue that the Jets beat the Patriots on a gift from referees.
“I honestly don’t care what anyone says or thinks about us,” Wilkerson said of those who might have doubted the Jets. “I know what this organization is about. I know what my teammates are gonna bring day in and day out and on Sundays and we just believe in each other. We’re not worried about what outsiders have to say.”
Wilkerson, who had five tackles and a sack on Sunday, said he wasn’t surprised the referees made the call at that point in the game.
“That’s out of my hands,” Wilkerson said. “I’m just playing. The referee did his job and he made the call.”
Coples said the win against the Patriots gives the Jets confidence it can win the division, and ultimately the Super Bowl.
“We know what our No. 1 mission is – our first mission is to win our division and the next mission is to win a Super Bowl and at the end of the day, we got to go out to take care of business to make sure we accomplish both of those,” Coples said.
“I definitely feel like it’s possible,” Coples said of winning a Super Bowl. “We’re going to take one step at a time. The next step is Cincinnati, take care of business, and those are our two goals of ours.”
Holmes declined to comment when approached by a reporter. Other Jets such as guard Willie Colon and running back Bilal Powell also were on hand at the event.
“A win is a win, no matter how you put it,” Powell said. “You get the ugly ones and the pretty ones. Hopefully we can continue to build off this win.”