Rex Ryan Press Conference Transcript 10/31/11

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

Opening Statement…

Alright, here is some bonus coverage on these injuries. You have (Isaiah) Trufant, with his hamstring, Kenrick Ellis, with a left ankle and (Mike) DeVito, with his knee. All were with (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) Bill Hughan, so they never really practiced today. They were all on the side with Bill Hughan. Everybody else was out there, from Plax (Plaxico Burress), from (Nick) Mangold, with his ankle, Marcus Dixon, knee, David Harris, left foot (and) ankle. Everybody was out there. Ropati (Pitoitua) was also out there. We’ll see how those guys progress. I’d be shocked if DeVito isn’t ready to do more and, I think, Trufant, as well. Kenrick, I’m not so sure (about). We’ll see how he looks. With that, I don’t have a whole lot, so fire away.

On if he liked the tempo of the first practice after the bye…

Oh yes, guys were flying around. You feel that energy. We also know what this game represents. You have Buffalo coming in (as) one of the hottest teams in the league, tied for first in our division. We have to play at their place, so you have to be excited about playing the number-one rated team in our division, them and New England.

On if he is happy that the team is only a game back of the division lead right now…

Yes, shoot, yes. Would we like to have had a better record? Absolutely, we would’ve, but we don’t. We’re 4-3, but we have it right in front of us. This is what I talked about before. The teams you have to beat are right in front of you, so we’ll know. These next few weeks are going to be critical for us.

On the team coming out of the bye sluggish the last two years…

Sluggish, offensively, because I think if you look at it defensively, we held Green Bay really to three points. We had a fake punt (laughter). I think someone should ask Steve (Weatherford) about running that fake punt (joking). They had a three-and-out field goal, then at the end, we’re going for it to try to win the game and then they kick a field goal at the end. I don’t think the whole team has been sluggish, we just never got in a rhythm, we played some good teams, but yes, we have to do something about that trend. We need to win this week.

On what makes playing in Buffalo so difficult…

I think the weather does play into it some because it’s really windy and if you’re not used to playing in the wind, it seems like it can just howl out there. I think that’s always been an issue out there, or you might get two feet of snow, or whatever. (It’s) that, and they (are) just a solid football team that plays hard. Maybe that’s it.

On the status of the offensive line…

I feel really good about where we’re at. I think as an offense, I feel like we’re at our best right now. This should be the best our offense has looked and it kind of feels that way. We’re back to running the ball better. We’re protecting the quarterback, which we better do a great job of because Buffalo did have nine sacks this past week, so we better have our protections dialed in against this group.

On whether he’s happy with the play of the offensive line…

Yes, I’m happy with where we’re at right now. I think overall as an offensive unit I feel good. Obviously, having (Nick) Mangold in that lineup makes a big difference.

On whether he has considered acquiring a backup offensive lineman…

No. Like I said, I feel good about our guys. (Caleb) Schlauderaff is a young man that I feel really good about. When we made that trade we knew he wasn’t ready to play center (and) that it was going to take some time to get him up to speed, learn our offense and things. That’s why we also took (Colin) Baxter, because the offenses were similar to what he had at San Diego, and here he was able to fill in quicker than Schlauderaff was, but I think (Schlauderaff’s) a good player. I think Vlad (Ducasse) as the backup tackle, I feel good about that, as well.

On waiving Baxter and whether he was hoping to add him to the practice squad…

Oh yeah, I was hoping to get him back on the practice squad, but again, I think he ended up choosing (San Diego), it wasn’t like we didn’t make an offer. We wanted him to come back to our practice squad. He chose to go to San Diego and be on their practice squad. I understand where he’s coming from. He thinks he has a better shot playing there than he would here and certainly, I’m not going to argue with that. You’ve got the best center in football, Nick Mangold, and then you do have Schlauderaff and you have (Rob) Turner here, Matt Kroul is doing an excellent job on the scout team. I certainly understand his position. I would never begrudge a guy for doing that if he thinks he has a better chance to play somewhere else.

On signing Shawn Nelson…

Well, he’s a guy I’ve always wanted. This is a guy that I wanted to draft, but Buffalo took him before we had an opportunity to. (He is a) young man out of Southern Miss. When I watched him, the thing that I was impressed with on the college tape was obviously, what jumps out to you is how big he is, a 6’5 target, but he can really run. I think he was a 4.6 guy in the 40 (yard dash), but the thing that really got my attention was he could pass block, as well. I thought that was interesting for a basketball body-type guy, but he can pass block. I was always interested in him and then when we had the opportunity we were able to bring him on board.

On the three-game road losing streak and what he thinks about that stretch…

Obviously the one you’d love to have back would be the Raiders game. We were up 10 points feeling like we were going to take control of that game and they bust that huge run on us. Then you leave a team around like that, they end up beating you. We can’t get it back – losing to Baltimore at Baltimore, losing to New England at New England. I think statistically, you don’t want to accept it or whatever, but those are two pretty good teams, at their place in particular.

On if he had power and watched any of the games on Sunday…

I never had power, but I was able to watch some of the games. I could only stand to watch half of my brother’s game. Whew. (laughing)

On if he watched any of the Pittsburgh-New England game…

I watched a little bit of it, yes. That was a great formula. I love it. Pittsburgh has the formula to beat New England. I’ll give them credit for it. I don’t know what the time of possession was, but man, I’d sign up for that one. I mean they did a great job. The offense kept the football forever. The defense really challenged New England. But it’s much easier said than done.

On putting a challenge out to the league to defeat the Patriots and having two teams do it…

Two of them, that’s good. That’s it. But we have to do that in a couple of weeks. Right now, I’m focused on trying to find a way to beat Buffalo at Buffalo, but obviously we know we have to step up also.

On Buffalo being better record-wise despite having a similar roster…

Yes they are, they’re moving the football really well. Fred Jackson has been a monster. He is really running the ball well and he’s catching the ball. He’s doing a lot of things for them. He’s making a lot of big plays for them. And when you look at that offense, you don’t see as much vertical passing. It’s more catch and run and screens, they’re doing a great job with their screen game and again, they’re running the football. It’s a similar offense, it hasn’t changed that much, but they’re executing extremely well.

On signing LB Ricky Sapp to the practice squad…

Well, (we’re) giving the young man an opportunity. (He’s) another guy that we liked coming out of college. Quite honestly, we brought him in, we worked him out early in the year to see where he was. He wasn’t ready. We said, ‘We’re going to give you x amount of weeks and then we’ll bring you back during the bye and we’ll see where you’re at.’ But we really never thought that he would be all the way back like he is. So we were excited to give him the opportunity to come on our practice squad.

On anything they learned during the self-scouting week…

Nothing that we’re going to share, that’s for sure. (laughing) You always learn. When you go back and you analyze things, there are always a few things that’ll stand out to you. And it’s like, ‘Oh, shoot’. These are things that you need to change and things that through the eyes, this is what your opponent is seeing about you. So I think it’s always good to do that.

On if they changed their approach this bye week…

We always change a little because we weren’t successful before on some of the things. The time off, I always like to give them that. It’s not just about one week, but yes, there are some things that we’ve done. We’re ahead of the game right now as far as preparation goes for Buffalo.

On how they are ahead in preparation…

Just from being able to run plays even today. We were running Buffalo plays. So we have a head start that way and then the preparation, the coaches obviously are way ahead of the game.

On if the coaches have prepared this much ahead of time in the past…

Not as much as we’re doing this week. We have what we call a “10, 10, 10”, and we gave them a lot of looks today.

On Devito doing more as the week goes on and if he’s optimistic that he will play Sunday…

I am optimistic he’ll play, very optimistic.


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