Rex Ryan Press Conference Transcript 10/18/11


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

On what he learned about his team last night…

Well, I think really what we saw is what we kind of expected. This is a resilient team and resilient bunch of guys that. Obviously our expectations are set extremely high. (We have) been disappointed to lose three straight games, but the season is far from over. We really responded the way I thought we would, and that was with a great team effort. In this league, it’s never going to be perfect, but the fact we hung in there and kept working, kept working, it eventually was able to break the game open pretty good.

On the status of the running game…

Well, I’m comfortable playing LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) a lot, because I think he’s still a great back. But when you look at it, things are different. With Shonn (Greene), I think he’s done well the last couple weeks, and he’s a guy that gets better. The more carries he gets, the better he gets rolling. He had 21 attempts. I’d like to see him around 25 a game, but I think it’s just a matter of time. He’s running the ball hard inside, and that’s what you love about Shonn. But again, I do have confidence in LT and maybe (in) some personnel groupings more and obviously the three‑wide situation obviously, (he’s playing more) than Shonn is. But are the numbers always going to be lined up a certain way, I’m not sure on a week‑to‑week basis. But I have confidence in both of those guys. Our running game statistically isn’t as good as where we’ve been the first two years, but it’s still a work in progress to get to that level, but I think we can.

On Plaxico Burress’ chemistry with Mark Sanchez…

Well, I think that’s true, but it just seems like we’re missing just a little bit. I think the first play of the game, I thought we had a chance to get to get the ball to him, and went a different way. (I think) it’s just a little off, but\ I’m encouraged by the fact that we’ll keep working, and I really think as this season goes on, you’re going to see better and better chemistry (in terms of) having the ball thrown to Plax more as the season goes on.

On what he means by a “little off”…

Well, it’s probably a lot of things. Sometimes maybe we come off him a little early and go to maybe to a check‑down. Maybe the timing on a route is not exactly the way we expected it. Maybe the ball is a little behind or a little in front. You know, they’re just the little things that are just slightly off right now, and I think once we (get into) even more of a routine with each other and everything else, I think it’s going to get better, and I really believe that.

On why the defense has been taking a while to get in a rhythm …

No excuses or whatever, but I thought we had a different personnel group on the field a couple of times, and there was a different group in there than we thought. Sometimes that messes with your keys a little bit. You’re looking for a certain thing, where to call a strength to the formation and all that. So we’ve got to tighten that up. I thought we did an excellent job as the game progressed. I thought we did an excellent job of really recognizing the personnel that was on the field. But you’re right, sometimes you calm down, and when a team has a couple weeks, they’re coming off their bye, you kind of expect some different things, and certainly we got a few things that maybe we weren’t real tight on, but I think as the game went on, we obviously fixed those things. But again, we talk about it and we try to emphasize it, you do different things, and we just haven’t been flying out of the gates like you expect. I think the emotion is there, the intensity is there, but we just don’t seem as sharp as we do in say the second quarter and moving forward. But it’s kind of a feeling‑out process. We’ve got to get better clearly as a team in the first quarter.

On Wayne Hunter’s performance last night and whether it was a step in the right direction…

Well, I think he struggled early against DeMarcus Ware, but when you look at it, I think everybody struggles with that guy. But I think he’s really come on, and the job he did against Cameron Wake -obviously he’ll get a game ball for that performance. But you’re exactly right, that’s an outstanding pass rusher and Wayne took him most of the night one‑on‑one. Everybody knows the kind of player Wayne is, but it’s great to see, that’s for sure.

On whether people pushed the panic button too early on the offensive line, considering the way they played last year with the same personnel…

Well, yeah, and pretty good, too. This line has taken us to the AFC Championship game two years in a row, and that’s it. When you look at this team when we took it over, the big thing was going to be if we can run the ball and protect the quarterback, we’ll have an excellent offense, and those are the things we talk about. I think sometimes the offensive line is taking a little bit too much of the heat, because quite honestly, in some of the pressures and all that, it’s not even the line’s fault. They can only block five guys so we’ve got to really do a good job of looking at protections. I thought they did a tremendous job in the game last night, and Mark showed a lot of poise back there, waited, waited, was patient, made the throws down the field late in the down. I think that’s a big credit to our offensive line.

On injury updates…

I think Cro (Antonio Cromartie) is going to be fine. It’s like a groin pull, but I think he probably could have continued in that game. But I expect him to probably be limited maybe Wednesday and do a little bit more as the week goes on. I expect him to play. I think Nick (Mangold) will play. I think it’s going to be more of the same, be limited up until Friday’s practice, and then play. He’s obviously a tough guy, overcoming that high ankle sprain. But this has been what he’s done the past couple of weeks, but I expect Nick to play and then I expect (Donald) Strickland to play.

On whether he expected the chemistry between Burress and Sanchez to be further along at this point and whether there is anything he can do to improve it…

Well, no, I just think it’s been just a few things. They work hard on the practice field. They’re doing some good things. We’re about where we thought we’d be and I just think we’re going to get better and better as we go. So I’m not down on Plax whatsoever. There’s going to be times when he’ll have 10 catches. I truly believe that’s coming. So it’s just keep working, and it takes a while to get a feel for a guy. I think the chemistry is there, it’s just a matter of fine‑tuning just a little bit more and I think we’re going to be just fine.

On why the Jets get off to slow starts…

I think I’m just going to tell our guys it’s the second quarter. (Since) it’s a home game, we’ll put it on the board (as the second quarter). I think if we do that, we’ll be just fine. It’s crazy because when you look at the struggles we’ve had, especially offensively, it kind of blows me away, because it’s the same plays, the same everything else, we just execute much better when the game gets going. Believe me, we search for answers and all that, and I’m just not sure. We’re going to make some calls, we’re going to do different things. I’m at a loss for it. It just seems strange. But once we get past that stage and we start having a little success, then boom, we start moving the ball effectively. I think that’s certainly a challenge to us, and I don’t know. Drink coffee; I don’t know what it is, man. We’ve got to find something.

On trying to build off of this win…

Absolutely, we have to win this one against an excellent football team. In fact, I think we’re underdogs at our home stadium, which seems really odd to me. But they are an excellent team. They’ve got a ton of weapons, especially on offense, so it’s going to be a great challenge. But again, we definitely need to get this win in our backyard in front of our fans and then have that bye, and like you say, then the second part of the season will start. So this is a critical game for us, and we’re approaching it that way.

On whether he feels the need to prove the Jets can defeat a good team next Sunday against San Diego…

Well, I think we can beat a good team. I think Dallas is a good team, Jacksonville clearly has had its struggles. I think Miami is much better than their record. They’re 0-5 or whatever, but they have some good players on that team. But again, we’ll see. I think this week ‑‑ it’s just another opponent for us, and I recognize the fact they’re a good football and all that. But if we play to the best of our abilities, I think we’ll come out on top.

On Oakland trading two first-round selections for Carson Palmer…

Whoa, yeah, I never realized that. I heard that he was traded, but I did not know that the Raiders gave up two first‑round picks. Well, I think it shows that the Raiders are definitely in the win‑now business. They’re trying to accomplish that now. I think the familiarity with Carson Palmer and Hugh Jackson I think is obviously something that really went into this trade. But hey – hopefully it’ll work out for both those teams.

On opposing defenses double-teaming Dustin Keller…

Well, I think they see that, number one, Dustin is an outstanding tight end so when you’re planning your defense, a lot of it is going to be when you look at us, there’s a lot of issues you’ve got to deal with. You’ve got to deal with Kerley, you’ve got to deal with Plax, you’ve got to deal with Tone on the outside and then you’ve got to stop Shonn Greene and LT. It’s certainly a challenge. But Dustin is one of those rare athletes that you have to account for.

On the performance of Kenrick Ellis …

Yeah, it was great. He had those two tackles for loss and did a lot of good things, and then there’s some things we’ve got to work on. The game is not too big for him. He was telling me practice is tougher. So I think the fact (that in practice) he’s got to go every snap, he was playing a ton on defense, he played every single snap on the scout team, been really working hard and studying ‑‑ I think Mark Carrier is doing a great job with him, and he’s what we think he can be. I think he’s got a chance to be really something, and a young man that’s really working hard. It’s good to see him have some success.


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