New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has stepped in to defend the character of defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who is facing accusations of slapping a woman at a New Jersey restaurant on Wednesday night.
Per Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press, Ryan faced questions about Thurman head-on at a news conference following the second rookie mini-camp of the offseason for the team: "Dennis Thurman, I trust, I respect — I love Dennis Thurman. As a person, it's an honor to know Dennis. He's a great person."
"I know Dennis Thurman," Ryan added. "And Dennis Thurman, the guy that I know, wouldn't put his hands on anybody, let alone a woman, OK?"
According to the AP report, "Thurman was accused of striking a woman during a discussion Wednesday at a restaurant in Morristown. Police said Thurman would not be charged, and no further investigation would take place. The Jets issued a statement Friday night saying the team "takes these matters seriously," and they would continue to monitor the situation."
Ryan, who has friends with Thurman for 15 years, admits that he wasn't at the restaurant -- so he doesn't know for sure that Thurman didn't strike the woman in question. However, knowing Thurman, he doesn't feel like he even needs to ask him whether the reports are true:
"I don't need to ask," he stated. "I just know Dennis, not just on a professional level. I know him on a personal level and I've been around Dennis a long, long time and in a lot of different environments."
Ryan finished off his thoughts on the situation saying that he was "confident" everything would blow over after "all the facts come out about everything."
The Jets' HC also declined to mention any potential disciplinary action if the reports are proven to be true.
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