Rex Speaks; Mike DeVito Out For Sunday?

Here is the transcript of Rex Ryan’s press conference on Wednesday.  Some good injury updates but this one is especially non-controversial by Rex standards.

Opening Statement…

We have the injury report here.  Mike DeVito did not practice, knee. It doesn’t look good for this week.  Vlad Ducasse was limited in practice with a knee.  I think he’ll be fine.  Everybody else was full: Marcus Dixon, shoulder, Shonn Greene, rib, Jeremy Kerley, knee, Nick Mangold, ankle, Calvin Pace, groin, Brodney Pool, knee, Matt Slauson, knee, and LaDainian (Tomlinson), knee, so everybody was good.  In fact, I think LT (Tomlinson) and Kerley looked really good out there.  They look fresh and ready to roll, so that’s a good sign.  I’ll open it up for questions.

On how much better it is coming to work after a win…

Oh, man, yeah, that’s good.  You look forward to coming to work every day, win, lose or draw, but it’s always better.  Everything (is), food, you name it, it’s better.  I always tell the players their girlfriend is better looking. (joking)  That’s just how it works.  Everything is better.

On where the team has missed Tomlinson the most the last two weeks…

I guess the big thing would be, even though I think the other guys stepped in and did a nice job, in the protections and third down – specifically, those types of roles.  I thought Joe McKnight and I thought Shonn Greene did a real nice job of stepping in, especially in pass protection.  LT is hard to replace.  You always miss him, a great player like that.

On the team liking Ryan Kerrigan coming out of college…

Yes, we did.  The young man reminds me of a young Jarret Johnson, just the style of play.  He has a relentless motor.  I don’t think he’s missed a snap on defense yet for the whole season so that’s pretty impressive, but they do have two excellent edge pass rushers.  Even their inside guys can rush the quarterback pretty good, but those outside guys, we really are going to be tested.  Our protections are definitely going to be tested this week.

On if Washington is the biggest pass-rush challenge they have had since Baltimore…

Yes, probably so, when you look at them.  I think they’re third in the league in sacks, so that says a lot about how they can rush the passer.  (They are) very talented on the outside.

On the offensive line facing Washington after producing their best performance of the season against Buffalo…

I think that’s going to be a great battle.  Clearly, we can’t hold the ball long.  We’re going to have to throw the ball on time because those guys can really rush.  Again, I feel good about it.  I think our guys really did a great job.  You might recall that Buffalo had 10 sacks against Buffalo, so it isn’t like Buffalo can’t rush the passer.  This will be (a great challenge), but I think it’ll be a great test.  I don’t think there is any doubt.

On if he noticed that Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes not being on the same page against Buffalo and if that is something they are working through…

They are definitely working through it.  That third-and-two, the ball should’ve been a quick-out.  They ended up reading it differently.  Mark (Sanchez) threw the ball as a quick-out and that wasn’t the case.  That was something that could’ve been a big third-down conversion, but it’s just things like that that we’re trying like crazy to clean up right now to where it’s like, hey, it’s not just on offense, it’s on defense, as well.  Late in the game there, you can’t have technique errors and we did.  That’s what we’re really working on right now.

On why Sanchez excels at leading fourth-quarter comebacks…

I just think the big thing is the competitiveness.  Your great competitors find a way.  They rise up to the occasion.  They find ways to get it done, and that’s almost in all sports.  You can always tell like, “This guy is a clutch player.  Well, his competitive desire is phenomenal,” and that’s what you see in Mark.  We’ve seen it around here that the bigger the game, the bigger the time in the game, the better he plays.

On if they have worked on trying to get his competitive fire to translate earlier in the game…

I just think that we have to come out of the gates.  We have to, and understand that all week long we prepared.  You prepared.  Go into the game confident, expecting great things to happen.  That’s what we have to do.  We know we have a big challenge this week.  That’s a good football team, but we have to come out with guns a blazing.

On if there is anything he, Sanchez and Coach Schottenheimer have talked about to try and get the team going earlier…

We’ve tried a lot of different things, but it’s just a matter of our team coming out of the blocks better.

On if he and Sanchez have talked about what happened last week when he gave a few snaps to Mark Brunell during practice…

No, he knows me and I know him, but it’s more of, you saw that steely-eyed focus and determination, and that’s what we’re looking for.

On if they have talked to Sanchez about his decision-making…

It’s kind of like if you’re expecting a route a certain way, you can deliver a ball that’s not (in traffic).  There are a lot of things that he takes the brunt of the criticism (for).  He always takes it.  Sometimes, it’s not him.  Sometimes, it could be a route.  Sometimes, it could be a protection.  It could be anything.  A lot of times it’s not him, but the young man always takes it.  I think that also says a lot about him (and) the kind of character he has.  Is he perfect?  No, and we’re working on things.  There is no question about it, but I’m confident.  He works as hard as anybody I’ve been around.

On how to clean up the route-running and make sure he is on the same page with his receivers…

That’s what you do each week.  You never make the assumption that you’ve figured it out.  Each day is about coming to practice and getting better.  I think we had a great practice today and I expect us to keep working on it to get those things.  If there is any gray area, take the play out.

On percentage of completed passes to Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress he would find acceptable…

I think sometimes on the outside, if you can hit on 50 percent of them, depending on what the coverages are and all that, there are a lot of different things, a lot of different variables that go into it.  Everyone will say the magic number seems to be 60 percent, but sometimes on the outside, I don’t know if that’s really realistic.  I think in man-coverage, what does Revis give up, about a 33 percent completion rate or something like that?  (With) our big guns, we expect them to be around 50 or 60 percent, obviously 60 being on the high end of that.  There are a lot of things that go into it.

On if plays are scaled down based on practice or the execution in the game…

We get our game plan and it may be like 100 plays, just giving you a number.  By the time you go into a game, it might be down to 60.  We do things like that on defense.  Generally, the number was 46 that we’d start the week with and we would probably end with about 38.  We’ve actually even cut that number down some, so each week kind of varies (in terms of) plays.  If you don’t hit them in practice, I don’t see why you’d have it up in the game.  That’s something that Schotty (Coach Brian Schottenheimer) and we look at.

On if he has ever been around a quarterback who could be up and down for three quarters and then be so reliable in the fourth quarter…

Yes, we had Steve McNair in 2006 when I was in Baltimore and we had several games like that.  The great thing is, every teammate (and) every coach wanted the ball in his hands at the end of the game, and you felt confident.  I’m sure that’s exactly the way the team feels (about Mark).  I loved Steve. I thought he was awesome.  (He had) very similar leadership traits as Mark has and I’ll take that any day of the week.  You ask me that, I was around Steve in 2006.

On Sanchez getting booed in the opening introductions last Sunday…

Sometimes it’s tough being a quarterback and all that.  I don’t like it, but the fans have a right to boo and cheer and all that.  What we’re trying to do is work hard to give our fans a reason to cheer and sustain it.  A lot was made of that, but what I keep thinking about when you ask about our fans (is) we’re 5-1 at home now, which is good.  At the end of the game, our fans, it was crazy how loud they were.  I thought that was terrific.  There was no question they were 100 percent behind us at the end of that game.

On if he heard Sanchez get booed…

I really didn’t, but I read it (in the newspapers), not that it must be true (joking).  But, I did read it.

On if he thinks the team can be dangerous in the playoffs based on past seasons or on the current performance of this year’s team…

I just think it’s a combination.  Obviously, you fall back on your past.  It’s not like it is 20 years ago.  It’s last year and the year before that, and we’ll lean on that.  We have playoff experience and I think that helps us.  Obviously, we have to get there.  We put ourselves in a big hole, but I know this group, we’re going to do whatever we can to fight out of it and find our way in.  We know we have to scrap like crazy to get there.  What the number is exactly, nobody knows right now, but I can tell you one thing, we’re going to put forth everything we have, an unbelievable effort, to try to get into these playoffs.  Yes, I do believe we’d be dangerous once we get in the playoffs.  Is it based on the history?  Yes, part of it, because we have experience.  We have more experience than a lot of teams that people write about all the time, or talk about as Super Bowl favorites.  I don’t know how many games (it’s been).  We’ve played probably as many games as anybody out there.  I don’t know, maybe Green Bay has played more over the last two years.  I’m not sure if that’s the case, but we feel very confident that if we get in there, we know what the playoffs are all about and we’ll do some damage.

On what is it about this season’s team that makes him confident…

I don’t think we’re playing our best yet.  I think the best is yet to come.  Obviously, we’re running out of weeks.  We have to get it done right now.  We recognize that.  We’re not ducking from that at all.  We’ve done a lot of positive things. It’s just we kind of lack consistency.  On offense, defense and special teams, we’ve been probably as good as it gets in the league, then there have been moments where we’ve been really poor.  I think that’s why the record is what it is, at 6-5.  We’re not much higher than that, but I think we have the ability and I think it’s in us to where we can be much better than that.

On if Antonio Cromartie has been as consistent as they expected…

I think Cro (Cromartie), at times, has played well.  I think it’s not just him, I think it’s the entire football team.  He had a tough break on the one Brad Smith (touchdown catch).  He had great coverage, he tips the ball up and Brad stays with it and makes the catch for a touchdown.  The fumble, I think, maybe is leading into that a little bit.  I think Cro is a much better kick returner than a punt returner, but I think it’s just one of those situations.  He’s not the only guy that’s ever made a mistake doing that, but again, overall, I’ve been pleased with the way Cro has played.  Do I think he can play better?  I absolutely do.  I really do, but I feel that about a lot of guys.

On facing the Redskins in Washington…

It’s a tough place to play.  I’ve coached against the Redskins several times (and) it’s a tough place.  There is no doubt about it.  They play with a certain personality at their stadium.  I think they’re a talented team, if you look at them.  That’s a who’s who.  You look at the names on the back of their jerseys, I recognize him, him, him and him.  They have a whole group of those guys, but again, we’re coming out there and we’ll see.  We know that the Redskins are built.  This is a big, strong (and) physical football team, so we know it’s going to be a battle.

On the Madison-Summit matchup for the New Jersey North 2, Group 2 State Championship…

I don’t want to make any guarantees.  No, I think it’s going to be a great game.  Alright, I’ll admit it.  I’m disappointed the game is not played in our stadium.  I’ll be honest with you.  I don’t understand it.  You have two natural rivals right there, so I’m going to be in trouble from the New Jersey school board. I don’t care.  The game should be played in MetLife Stadium.  It’s a game that everybody wants to see.  That other team, Don Bosco, is decent, probably just below Summit. (joking)  It is going to be a great game.  I know Madison, everyone talks about (how) they have a great back and all that.  It’ll be fun.  My money is on (Summit Head Coach John) Liberato.  I’ll take Summit.

On who has the better Rex, New York or Washington…

I think Grossman is probably a better thrower than me, but I think everybody would probably say they have a better Rex. I think I coach better than him though.

On the reason Emmanuel Cook was waived…

Remember I said we make decisions all the time here, what we always feel is in the best interest of our football team, and we’ll just leave it at that.

On if Revis is bothered by the fact that he had an off game…

I’ll be honest, we asked him to do different things in that game. We never wanted the ball going over our head. We were willing to give up some underneath routes. And you don’t get beat on six (or) seven-yard routes. He’s in zero coverage. So it’s not like there is any help. At those times, that’s what we’re telling him to do. I know he’s playing in our defense. He’s doing what is asked of him. I’ll take that any day of the week. Would I like to see him challenge and not give up a pass? But those things are going to happen. He gave up the one touchdown, a five-yard touchdown. (Everybody says) ‘Oh, he had a terrible game’. He’s a great player and a great competitor. Knowing him, he can’t wait to play this game. It’s going to be a challenge, they have some good receivers out there.

On Revis backing off right before the snap on Stevie Johnson’s touchdown…

Because what you do, you’re in Cover Zero, so it’s kind of a cat and mouse game. If you press, a lot of times you’re vulnerable to a fade or a back shoulder. If you play off, you’re more vulnerable to a slant. Sometimes you kind of play in between there and you drive the slant. If you get a slant route, you drive it and sometimes I’ve seen him make plays where he actually intercepts that ball. The kid got inside, he has a big body and Harvard (Fitzpatrick) made a nice pass.

On if teams will try to exploit Revis on slants in the future…

Well, yes you kind of hope so, because we run a lot of traps. At that time, they hit us on a couple of those, but sometimes what you see is not necessarily what you get. A couple of quarterbacks have thrown over there, we show them a lot of looks of zero and then all the sudden roll into two-man and Revis can undercut some things. So it’s kind of a little chess match that you play each week.


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