Jets head coach Rex Ryan opened his post-practice press conference here Saturday with an impassioned defense of the character of defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who was accused earlier this week—though not arrested or charged—of slapping a woman in the face.

"I know Dennis Thurman, and Dennis Thurman, the guy that I know, wouldn't put his hands on anybody, let alone a woman," Ryan said. "That's the Dennis Thurman that I know."

Thurman, 58, was accused of slapping the woman at a Morristown restaurant on Wednesday, and the story hit the internet Friday afternoon. Police have closed their investigation, though the cops did tell the woman she could pursue a disorderly persons charge through the Morristown municipal court and that she should avoid going to the restaurant where the incident happened because Thurman is a regular there.

Saturday was day two of the Jets' three-day rookie minicamp, and Ryan's presser was the first opportunity the media had to ask him about Thurman. But before he even began taking questions, Ryan went right in with his defense of Thurman and his character.

"I want to start today by talking about Dennis Thurman," Ryan began. "Obviously, there's something that's out there. I've been fortunate to know Dennis Thurman for about 15 years—worked with him for a long, long time.

"I'll tell you a little bit about the guy. He grew up with five sisters. He's got two beautiful daughters, and Dennis Thurman—I trust and respect—I love Dennis Thurman, OK? As a person, it's an honor to know Dennis. And he's a great person.

"I think when all the facts come out about everything, I think that people will start to realize that it'll com around that the guy that I'm describing, everybody else will see the same way I do. All right? Really I think that's all I'm going to talk about, about this situation, but I know Dennis Thurman."