Rex Ryan Interview Transcript 1/4/11

On Tuesday New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

Opening remarks…

“Bonus coverage, even though we don’t have to give out an injury (report), here it is. Trevor Pryce did not practice today, but he’s going to be fine. Guys that were limited, James Ihedigbo, Sione (Pouha), (Darrelle) Revis, Mark Sanchez, Bryan Thomas, Damien Woody, he was out there today running with the ones as well and took some reps. Guys that were full were (Antonio) Cromartie, Shaun Ellis, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Eric Smith and Robert Turner. There is your bonus coverage on injuries.”

On how the 2009 AFC Championship game plays into this game…

“I hope it has a positive effect one way or another. Clearly there are some things they took advantage of. I don’t think we matched up particularly well against them, but I think we’ll match up better this time. Indy (Indianapolis) is always true to who they are and we’re going to be true to who we are. We’ll see if it’s a different outcome. I believe it will (be different). We are not taking anything away from Indianapolis. They are a (great) football team with one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the sport and two great pass rushers. They have a lot of things going for them. We’re excited about our opportunity.”

On what Mark Sanchez did in practice today…

“Well, Rex worked good today (laughter). (Sanchez) did good today. We still limited his throws, but he was bouncing around pretty well. I thought he even looked better as practice went on.”

On Bart Scott being healthy going into Indianapolis…

“Yes, but he can’t do anything about those vertical routs (smiling). We’re going to have to do a better job, especially in the back end. Bart, just having his energy, passion and him being a physical player, I think will help us. Last year, he was gimping around on his ankle, but I know he’ll be happy to be out there 100 percent.”

On if the team has been waiting all year for the playoffs…

“I think so. I think every time you get beat and knocked out of the playoffs, it hurts. There’s no question. With all the things you do in the offseason, I’m sure the guys would be different, lifting weights, my thing would be is that you constantly think about getting them back. That’s the way it is. If you are a competitor, that’s how you feel. I know that’s how I feel. It’s a lot easier to dream about it, talk about it and think about it so we have to just go out and do it now. That’s our mission and we’re not running from it. We know it’s going to be a huge challenge, but we’re excited for the opportunity. I thought the same thing last time we played them, last year (and) in 2006 (when he knocked the Ravens) out. I thought we had the best team in football that year. We’ll see (what happens) this time.”

On how Darrelle Revis has done this season after the holdout…

“After the way the contract negotiations went, I’m not allowed to talk about Darrelle Revis (laughter). He’s head and shoulders better than any corner in football. There’s no question about that. Everybody knows it. Nobody even throws to him. He doesn’t have a pick so maybe they should try and pick on him because clearly he doesn’t have the numbers. It’s like, “Darrelle is there? Okay, let’s see what happens over on this side.” That’s the way it is. For a corner to have that kind of impact, it’s really amazing.”

On the team’s success on the road…

“The old saying, “When it’s tough on everybody else, it’s just right for us.” That’s almost how it has to be. The focus we have right now is just on one game, and everything we have is on Indianapolis. That’s it. If we accomplish what we set out to do, I don’t know if it will be historic, but it will be close.”

On Mark Sanchez’s shoulder…

“He can zip (the ball). There’s no question. I don’t think it’s a problem at all. I never thought the injury was major. I think he’s doing just fine. When he’s in the game, he can throw it like he always does.”

On if they will throw the ball during Saturday’s game…

“When I looked at the stats from the game (against the Bills), we ran it 50 times and completed 8 passes. We always look at rushing attempts plus completions. I was like, “58? That’s a great number.” Then I looked and it was 50 rushing attempts. I’ll be honest, every old-school coach in America is like, “That’s what I’m talking about. You have to throw it that many times?” (laughter) That was really great. I have a feeling we are going to throw it a little more than that.”

On how previous experience in the playoffs benefits him as a coach…

“I think that what I am selling is easier now. We did go to the AFC Championship game our first year and I think they looked at me initially and said, “I don’t know if I believe him or not.” They know I’m saying what I believe the truth is. It might not happen all the time, but I believe it. I believe in our team and (everyone) from Mike Tannenbaum to our personnel. I think we have the best team. People may argue that and that’s fine. I use the old Ray Robinson quote, “To be a champion, you have to think you can win when no one else can.” That’s what I believe in and that’s something that has stuck with me for my entire life. I believe in myself and I believe in the people we have here. I think if you don’t, you have no chance.”

On Matt Slauson being a new dad…

“He does have a job to do and he wants to feed that baby (laughter). He needs to take care of that job. It’s easy. When you’re a new dad, all you have to do is volunteer. You have to change every single diaper no matter what time it is. You let the wife do the feeding. Do your job and later as things go on you switch. You take the feeding and your wife change the diapers. That’s my philosophy.”

On how much time will be spent preparing for the postseason overtime rules…

“I’ll handle it. We’re going to have (Special Teams Coordinator) Mike Westhoff, like we always do, handle the officiating. On Friday we’ll get Mike to do it because (he) loves this stuff. Then we’ll explain all the rules to our players. We have a good grasp of it and no we will not defer (smiling). We will actually take the ball if we win the coin toss in overtime.”

On how he approaches the playoff rules…

“When you get close, you’re thinking touchdown. In the game, if you have the ball, you have to be thinking touchdown. Obviously, it’s an advantage if a team kicks a field goal on you. If you have a chance to come back, then you’re basically playing four-down football until you can kick a field goal or score a touchdown. I think that’s the advantage for the team that gets the ball second or if that team scores initially. It’s the same for everybody and I think everyone knows the rules.”

On if there is a difference in confidence level with Sanchez from last year…

“I had a lot of confidence in Mark. (Last year), I was going to put it more in the hands of the running game. Three yards and a cloud of dust, punt and we’ll play defense. I think we can do more than that offensively now. Being his second year, the experience he gained last year and the weapons we added (such as) Santonio Holmes, we can be more explosive on offense. I think people have to defend us differently than they did last year.”

On if Sanchez can battle Peyton Manning with his shoulder…

“That’s something that is not ideal for us, but if it happens than absolutely. He’s had this shoulder for the past two-or-three weeks and he’s done just fine. I think our offense has played well. We kind of joked a little bit that maybe we should have done this to him earlier. He’s playing well and we don’t have an excuse. That shoulder is not an excuse for our football team. Nothing is.”

On how other teams play offense against Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie…

“Cromartie has had an outstanding year. I believe he’s a Pro Bowl alternate. He deserves it. He did a tremendous job for us. We always decide if we’re going to travel Revis or not. There were some games when he wasn’t 100 percent with a hamstring that we didn’t, but clearly he generally takes that job himself. When he was out, Cromartie had to travel with the best receivers and he did an outstanding job for us. Cromartie is probably more of a jab-and-hook guy and Revis is more the overhand-right and upper-cut (guy).”

On what went wrong on defense during the 2009 AFC Championship and how will he fix the problem…

“We’re going to find out if it changes. When you watch it, you kind of get sick. We never disrupted (Peyton Manning) enough. He got comfortable. The first time I played him in the 2006 playoff game, you might want to look at those stats, I don’t think they were as ridiculous as most people want you to believe. Not like last years (smiling). The guy got hot and if he gets hot, you can’t stop him. No one can. I feel that we’re going to give him everything that we have and I think we’ll make enough plays to win this game.”

On if there is anything new to throw at Manning that he hasn’t already seen…

“It’s probably impossible to do with this guy. He’s going to go back and study (everything). He went back and looked at my dad when he coached. That’s the truth. My first year coordinating, he studied the old Chicago Bear tapes. Quite honestly, I blitzed every single time in the preseason because we opened up with Indy. (Then when we played Indianapolis) we ran nothing but coverage. It worked for about a half (laughter). This guy has seen everything and we just have to do a great job. Hopefully it’s not that clear to him so that he has to step back and look at things and maybe have to recognize (the play) as he’s going back. We don’t want him to be to comfortable before the snap. We have to be true to ourselves and they are going to be true to themselves. I think we can match up better this year than we did last year.”

On if Indianapolis is a more vulnerable team this year than last year…

“Last year, they were riding a two-game losing streak in the regular season. That team could have very easily been 15-1 last year in the regular season (laughter). Are they showing signs of being more vulnerable this season? I think they are. We will see. We have to play them at their place. We know it’s going to be an unbelievable challenge. I feel great about our team and we’ll see what happens.”

On how the team will match up better this year…

“Adding some of the players we have (such as) Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor and a healthy Bart Scott to our defense. Let’s not forget Trevor Pryce. Trevor Pryce is hard to handle. I think with those pieces that we added (like) Brodney Pool, I feel confident. I really feel better about going into this game maybe than I did last year and I was confident last year. I know I’ve been wrong before, but we’ll see.”

On Sanchez before and after a big game…

“I think he gets excited and has that adrenaline going. All great competitors get up for games like this. Mark is no different. He’s going to be excited. He’s going to be there to lead and lean on his teammates. I think that’s all he has to do.”

On if Sanchez relaxes before big games…

“I’ve seen that focus. The fact is, he doesn’t have to do it himself. He has to go, and just like all of us, myself (included), and lean on each other. Just give the guy next to you everything you have. I think at the end of the day, it will work out for all of us. We have to lean on each other and it’s no different than that.”

On if he saw that Sanchez loved big games in college…

“Oh yes. No question. Just ask Penn State.”


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