Rex Ryan Press Conference Transcript 10/10/11

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

Opening statement…

First off, I would have been here on time but I got locked out. (laughter) When you look at the tape, and I had a pretty good idea what it looked like last night, and (it looked like) the same thing today. Our big thing is, improvements can come in two different ways. Either you improve by changing what you are doing, or you get better at what you are doing. When I look at it, there is a lot of room for improvement. It comes down to alignment, assignment and technique. (It’s) across the board. Whether it’s offense, defense, whatever it is, it is a simple as that. (New England does) a nice job with their offense, they run the football, they’re throwing it, that’s a prolific offense, there is no question about it, but we don’t have to help them. There were some things that we did to help them. We have to get better at that. We play them in a month, and we’ll see how we improve. Certainly that’s an area where we don’t need to help them. Defending the run, everything you do starts with alignment, assignment and technique and we have to be 100 percent on those things. (On the) first play of the game, we got our quarterback hit, (because) we blow an assignment. There are certain things, (problems with) our technique. Sometimes that happens with a young team, but we can’t be young. I don’t care if you’re a young player, a new (player), whatever, we have to get better. I also talk about this, (in) this league (there) is a 100 percent injury rate. 100 percent of the players that play in this league will be injured at some point. It’s also 100 percent fact that each team is going to have to deal with adversity and this is our opportunity. We’ve been resilient in the past and we’ve overcome some things, and I think we’ll overcome it now. We play Miami on a Monday Night, where quite honestly, we haven’t done well against Miami at home. The two years that I have been here, they beat us both times, I think they’ve had a 130 total yards of offense in each of those games and we got beat in both of those games. That’s a credit to them, they found ways to beat us here. We have to change that tide. With that, I will open us up to questions.

On if they are focusing on getting better at what they do or changing what they do…

We’ll certainly look at everything, but I think it starts with getting better at the things that we do. Right down from everything, the alignment, the assignment and the technique. We’ll definitely hit the practice field with that mission.

On what was more concerning, the inability to defend the run or the inability of the offense to get things going…

When you look at it, we had some critical drops I think, which kind of hurt that production on third down. I meet with the coordinators every week on Wednesday and we go over what we need to do to be successful as a team, not just a unit, but as a team. For us, we have a good defense, there’s no question about it, but against New England, you have to limit their possessions. When you look at the numbers converting on third down, (we had) the seven three-and-outs. You’re not going to beat many teams when you have seven three-and-outs. But we did some good things. When you look at it, we were in position, but we have to come up with it, whether it’s a catch, whatever it is. We have to find ways to possess the ball. If we did, I think that really would have helped us, because we’re a team that when you run the football, sometimes it doesn’t pay off initially at the beginning of the game, but as the game progresses, you get better and better at it.

On why he said he was encouraged after a loss…

I’m just telling the truth. I was encouraged by some of the things we saw offensively and on defense. That team right there (New England) is on pace to break all kinds of records. Yet we were there, we know we can stop them. At the end of the game, the thing that was disappointing was that we didn’t get off the field. That was the biggest thing. Did we know it was going to be tough to go against them? Absolutely. When we beat them in the playoffs they still racked up a bunch of yards and things. You’ve got to get off the field against them and that was the difference in the game. They were able to keep possessing the ball, converted some third downs and also kept some drives going, where we kind of stalled on third down.

On if he would take the scenario of being down by six points with seven minutes to play and his defense on the field…

With (us having three timeouts). Absolutely.

On how frustrating it was that New England was able to run out the clock late in the game by running the ball…

The only thing is, with that team, you’re not 100 percent sure you expect them to run. If you stack them all up there, then he (Tom Brady) has a chance to burn you, like he has everybody. It’s still a cat-and-mouse game at that time. It’s easy to look back and say, “Well, you should have expected run.” Well, with New England, really? Is that what you’re going to think? You kind of have to pick your poison against them. They executed, out-executed us at a critical time.

On what he took away from watching the film of that particular drive…

That’s hard to watch, no doubt about it. Again, it’s alignment, assignment and technique. That’s where it starts. Give yourself a chance physically to make a play.

On if the defense had chances to stop BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield on the last drive and not being able to…

Maybe a few of those there were, but the guy breaks tackles. He’s a good back. He breaks some tackles, but there were some things where I thought we could have gotten down to support the run a little faster than we did. Quite honestly, we blew an assignment on a big gain that they had. Those are things that we can do ourselves to get better. You keep striving for it, and no game is perfect, but you have to eliminate all those mental mistakes (and) technical mistakes, and that’s coaching. I think that’s where it comes back to all of us, but we’ll strive to get better at it.

On if the blown assignment was on the direct snap…

There was something where we could’ve played it a lot better than we played it. Let me just put it to you that way, but that was not the play I’m talking about.

On how he is keeping the team united during this losing streak…

I think, number one, it’s right there in front of us, so we have to get better, obviously, starting this week, and that’s where your focus is. Then, you worry about the next day and the next day. We put together a lot better football team and group of characters than that. This team is not going (to break) just because we’re 2-3 right now. That’s when you get stronger. That’s when you come in together and you build that character. This is a resilient bunch. I’m telling you, we’ll see. I believe in this football team. We may get beat, but we’re not going to get beat because we don’t believe in each other or we’re coming apart at the seams. That’s not who we are.

On whether he is considering becoming more involved with the offense…

This whole team is my responsibility, so that’s how I look at it. I’m not there saying, ‘Hey, you need to run this,’ or ‘you need to run that,’ but I’m here for this whole football team. This has my name on it. That’s like when you look at this game, yes, we ran the ball more, but the big picture was that we were running the ball more, not just because it helps our offense, but it helps our football team. Granted, did we miss a few things? We had some penalties at some bad times where, defensively, we could’ve been off the field, but we gave them opportunities to extend drives. (It is the) same thing (where) we had a second-and-one and we jump. Those are things that we have to get better at, and those are things that I think we can fix.

On how he to address the team’s problem with penalties…

Well, you know us. We come up with creative ways to do it. And if we have to start doing the pushups again and all that stuff, then maybe that’s what we’ll do. We had our whole building doing it last year.

On what he draws on to approach these types of situations…

You rely on your past experiences. We can go back, and I said it before, that we’re the only team in the history of the National Football League to make it to the playoffs and overcome two three-game losing streaks. So unfortunately, we’ve had the experience, but we know how to get out of it. And that’s just to go at it and have that resolve and work at it, and we can come through this again.

On if he draws on 2009’s two three-game losing streaks…

Absolutely. I absolutely do.

On his level of confidence in offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer…

I feel great. We’re fortunate to have Brian coaching with us. And I look at that entire offensive staff with Bill Callahan, Henry Ellard, Anthony Lynn, Mike Devlin. That whole group is an excellent staff, and we’ll get this thing righted. I think we made strides. It might not be statistically that you see it and because we didn’t do a great job on third down, but I think we were making strides.

On if the offense is still searching for its identity…

What’s the identity of the New England Patriots? They throw the ball all over the place, right? Well, they ran the ball, they’re more balanced now. We’d like to be balanced. I think every team in this league would like to be balanced.

On Derrick Mason not playing as much as usual…

Well, for the most part, we talked about (Jeremy) Kerley. How many plays did Kerley play on offense yesterday? 18 plays, okay. So we knew going into it that regular personnel was going to be a bigger group, as was two tight ends, two backs. We call it “U”. But, those things were going to be bigger parts of the plan. But it’s also a thing where I wanted to get Kerley involved more, and when you look at it, he was targeted three times with three catches. Derrick was targeted once with one catch. Derrick’s going to still be a part of what we do, I just thought we can do some things with Kerley. I think we’re excited (with) the way he’s out there on the practice field and we’ll see going forward.

On if he is pleased with Mason…

Well, guys, let’s face it. I thought Derrick would catch 80-90 balls. That hasn’t happened. I think we were going to be more three wides, but in that particular plan we tightened it up a little bit. Again, each week is going to be different. I’ll tell you this, it had nothing to do with a conversation that he had with the media. I had a conversation with Derrick, and the reason he never played as much had absolutely nothing to do with the conversation he had with (the media). We never brought it up, about a conversation he had in the media. You guys know I have an open policy with the media. I don’t put a muzzle on anybody.

On if he felt the need to address the media report regarding Schottenheimer even though he denied it publicly…

I said it was untrue because it was untrue. The great thing is, with that one, I can guarantee you it was untrue because I was the guy supposedly that had the conversations. Well, I can tell you this, 100 percent, I did not have the conversations. So that was it.

On how he can tell this team is resilient as opposed to there being deeper problems…

I’ll just base things on past experiences. I think this locker room is closer than what we’re giving it credit for.

On how he can tell his players will be resilient on the field…

I guess we get to prove it. That’s the beauty of it, we get to prove it. So far, we’ve earned the record we have. There’s no question about it. 2 and 3, we’ve earned that.

On if he takes it personally when the defense gives up a lot of yards…

Whether they had 500 yards or 443 yards or whatever it is, I don’t like to give up a yard. That’s how I’m built or whatever. But again, I recognize the fact that we’re playing against a pretty good offense and you have to limit their possessions. That’s one of the things you have to do if you’re going to stop them. When we’ve beaten them in the past, that’s what we’ve done effectively. We’ve limited their possessions.

On giving up big plays over the middle of the field…

We gave up the big 70-yard run to Oakland and we gave up the 73-yard pass there (at New England). We were just playing zone coverage at that time. We should have, obviously, had somebody on top of that.

On if Mark Sanchez needed any tests done on his hand…

No, not that I am aware of.

On if Donald Strickland has a concussion…

He has a head injury, I don’t know officially if we’ve heard anything on that.

On if there were any other injuries from the game…

Well, (Isaiah) Trufant had a hamstring, and I think he has a good one, too. I don’t know if I heard the hamstring or heard him, but that was a definite pulled hamstring.

On if there will be any lineup changes…

We’ll see how it progresses, but I don’t anticipate any lineup changes.

On if Jeremy Kerley is ahead of Mason on the depth chart…

No, I think each game is different. We’ll see what the plan is each week.

On whether the Jets defense had problems setting the edge on defense…

On the one touchdown run, there was a mistake that we made. From a setting the edge standpoint from an outside linebacker or defensive end, I don’t think so. There was one glaring when we were in a maximum blitz and we should’ve had a guy out there and didn’t.

On assignment errors on the defense…

(There were errors) on offense and defense.

On whether he attributes those errors to a lack of grasp of the system…

Well, they should (grasp the system). I think on that zero blitz one, I thought he was lined up in the wrong gap. (He) should’ve been lined up outside and wasn’t. Again, it’s the communication. The 73-yard one – with that team right there that you’re playing, one mistake, they pick it apart. Brady’s smart. He sees it. They hit you with it. They’re might not have been number-wise a ton of mistakes, but there’s enough to get you beat. We gave up, obviously, a touchdown run, and we gave up a huge completion.

On whether he felt Deion Branch fumbled the ball after reviewing the film…

It doesn’t matter what I think.

On whether this is an important time in order to prevent the team from losing its confidence…

No, I don’t see us losing our confidence. I think maybe people outside of that room are going to lose confidence. We’re not. I’m confident in the fact that I see signs of us getting better. We have to, obviously. This is a critical game for us Monday night. That’s where our focus is going to be. (We’re) not going to be focused down on the road to play New England in a month from now, or whoever. It’s focused on Miami Dolphins and that’s it. And not saying we got beat by New England because we’re focusing down the road. That’s not the case. (We) had a great week of preparation; we just never got it done. They out-executed us. That’s a good football team.

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