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Rex Ryan: Once You Lose, That’s The End Result

by Phil Sullivan on October 22, 2012

Rex Ryan spoke to the media on Monday, here is the transcript.

Opening Statement…
I just went through the entire game and clearly when you look back on it, we definitely had opportunities to win that game, a play here, a play there. Obviously, it doesn’t matter. Once you lose, that’s the end result. At the end of the day, that’s all you really care about. I will say this – we’re a much better team right now. We’re playing much better than we were three weeks ago as a football team. I’ve seen this team improve on the practice field. Obviously, with the games that we’re playing, we’re just not there yet. We have to keep going and keep getting a little better. We have to win these types of games. I think that’s what has to drive our team to prepare and get better. Obviously, that’s our mission. When you look at it, we have to do something this week that we haven’t done since I’ve been here, and that’s sweep Miami. That has to be it. That’s the only thing that has to be on our mind. We have to learn from mistakes that we made in this game and move forward.

On watching the film…
I just realize how close we are. Jeremy Kerley slips out of a break and that’s a play that’s going to win a game. You can point at different things. You have to give the opponent credit, number one. (Tom) Brady hits a ball into three guys covering a guy that has a window that big, he feeds it right in there. I would start by giving the opponent credit. New England deserved the game. We made too many mistakes to win that game. To their credit, they made enough plays to win it.

On if he feels better after this loss than following the loss to the 49ers…
I know we’re a better team. We had to improve as a football team and we did. I see us getting better. We have a ways to go to get to where we want to get to, but you see it. We’re making strides. It’s not by luck, or anything else, it’s by design. The way guys have approached how they are in the classroom, how they are on the practice field, you see it carrying over. We still have a ways (to go). We’re not where we need to be yet. We have to keep working hard and start winning games like this.

On what makes him believe the team is getting better…
Just in all areas. We ran the ball effectively at times against a team that is pretty good at stopping the run. I thought (Mark) Sanchez was really outstanding. Most of the game, he was outstanding. (He was) accurate with the football and our protection was good. I see it, that we’re getting much better. I thought our coverage, obviously you’re challenged with not one or two guys, you’re challenged with five guys when you’re playing New England. There were matchup problems all across the board and I thought we did a relatively good job against them. We did a good job handling all of their no-huddle and all of the substitution things. There are some things pointed in the right direction. We just have to get a little bit better.

On decision to run the ball in the fourth quarter after recovering the New England fumble…
When you look at it, we had some success running the football in the previous series. Really, Joe McKnight had some big runs on them. I thought we felt good about running the football, or we wouldn’t have called them, obviously. That was it. We knew we needed the first down. We were trying to get a first down. It wasn’t like we were just trying to burn their time outs. We were trying to get a first down to win the game. To their credit, they made some plays.

On if he would have changed any strategy…
In hindsight, when you lose a game, you can say, “Well, I wish I would have called this or this.” That’s always going to be there, but at the time, it felt good with what we called. When you look back at it, sure you can point to a million different things now.

On perception from sports talk radio that the team played scared at the end of the game…
That’s not even close. We go down (there) to win. I think saying we played scared is somebody who has probably never played the game in his life. That’s a ridiculous comment. That’s certainly not what we do. Everything we do is to play to win the game. You’re running traps on two of their best players and they caught two balls in those situations, where if the ball is thrown here or there, we’re feeling a little different today. Again, if you lose, people have the right to any opinion they want. They can make that (assumption), but to say we were scared, that’s not even close to being accurate.

On if McKnight showed anything by playing through an injury…
Absolutely. He didn’t just show me, I think he showed all of his teammates that. Playing with the ankle injury and he’s got that explosive speed you look for. He had a couple of plays, even in overtime, he’s close to sending it out through the back. The guy makes a great play on him. I think it was (Jerod) Mayo, made a great play or that one is out of the gate, but he was impressive. He’s a tough kid, we all know it. He’s a kid who played with a hyperextended elbow and a separated shoulder last year. We know he’s tough. It’s just really unfortunate that we couldn’t get a win.

On whether they can close out games by having Sanchez pass…
Yes, when you look at it, we’ve done that (before). We’ll always do what we think is in the best interest of our team to be successful, whether it’s run (or) pass. We’ve closed out games running the football. We’ve closed out games throwing the football. When we beat New England in the playoffs, we ran Shonn Greene and rode him to victory. Same thing in San Diego, there are times when you do that. There are also times like when we played Houston (in 2010), (where) you just put it on Sanchez’s back. Detroit (in 2010), there are all those types of times. I have faith that you can put it in Sanchez’s hands. I also have faith that we can put it in our running game. Sometimes, you have to give the opponent credit, which I always do, but that’s the way it should be. They’re the ones that came up with enough plays to win the game.

On where the team stands with the use of Tebow…
Right now, we’re at 3-4 with the entire football team, Tebow (and) everybody. That’s not good enough. We understand that. We have to get better. We’ll definitely work. To say that teams aren’t preparing for him, I think, is wrong. You look at them, that team right there (New England), jumped to an odd front, completely out of what they were doing. There were different things. Each team (has) to prepare for you. We know that teams are doing that. Would I like to see him get things going? Absolutely, but again, we have to look at everything we do and find ways to get better.

On the status of Jeff Cumberland and Shonn Greene…
I know Shonn (Greene) was able to return to the game. I think that’s a good sign. Jeff (Cumberland) was not, so we’ll see how that is as the week progresses. I have no update on those two (and) really anybody yet.

On if the team can put together enough wins to make the playoffs…
Yes, but I think the first thing is (that) we better get a win this week. That’s where our focus is. You’re going to have a team that’s fresh coming in there. We’ve never swept Miami since I’ve been here. That’s something that we know is going to be a huge game (and) that’s where our focus is. You just have to get there. You can’t look at what’s down the road. You just have to look at what’s in front of you and that’s the only way we can get it done.

On Isaiah Trufant defending Wes Welker and Demario Davis starting for Bart Scott…
The young man (Trufant) is playing outstanding for us right now. We thought that was the best matchup we had. Bart (Scott) is playing out there with a toe (injury) that most guys would have taken the last three weeks off to (be able to) play. We have to get him (better) physically. I know mentally, Bart would have jumped out there, but from a physical standpoint, there is no way he could have played that spot. I thought Demario, for the most part, played pretty well. There were a couple plays he probably wishes he had back, but for the most part, I thought he played pretty well for us.

On how you teach a team to win…
(We just have to) do what we do just a little bit better. I think that’s it. You see where you’re at. It’s easier said than done, but that’s really what you do. There’s no magic formula (where), hey, we’re going to make this call or that call. Whatever it is, you have to just do it collectively and you just have to find ways to get a little bit better. Whether that’s communication, whether that’s studying, whether that’s physically, we just have to find that. If you have the answers, I’ll sign up for it. The magic formula, in my opinion, has always been hard work.

On if he can understand why the offensive play selection could be confounding to outside observers…
I can see on the outside that we had over 400 yards in that game. There were a lot of positives in that. I thought we ran the ball effectively at times and we threw the ball effectively at times. From the outside, I think that’s the perspective I had. I see this team getting better and that’s it. Sometimes, if you run the ball and we pop one on them, than we’re sitting here with a different conversation.

On throwing on third-and-two in the third quarter instead of running…
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You get one perspective here (and) one perspective there. If one is effective, we’re having a completely different conversation. If it doesn’t work, then we can question everything and I understand that. That’s part of the beauty about being a football fan. Obviously, I wish the result was different, but it wasn’t. There are reasons why we call everything we call. That’s because we think it’s going to be effective. That’s the best way. It gives us the best opportunity to be successful and that’s the only reason we call them.

On if he would’ve run the slant if he had an opportunity to call the play again…
Not right now I wouldn’t, because it was incomplete.  It’s easy to go back in hindsight and say we shouldn’t have thrown a slant.  I agree. Right now, absolutely I agree, because it never worked.  Now just the opposite of, well, we shouldn’t have run, we should’ve thrown the slant.  Whatever.  If you look at it in hindsight, then it’s easy. You have all the answers.  But at the time, obviously, we’re making a call that we think we’re going to be effective (with) and we’re going to have success with. We got the one-on-one coverage, it’s just the execution was a little off. That’s what happened with that slant.

On the defensive performance…
I thought we knew it was going to be tough. You’re never going to just completely stop that team.  You’re going to have to find ways to get off the field. You’re going to have to disrupt them a little bit (and) try to get them off a spot. I thought we did that pretty well, for the most part, during that game. But again, you have to give them credit. I don’t think anybody has stopped them completely. We’ve had times when we’ve held them to under 300 yards or something, but it’s not an offense that is easily stopped.  I mean, they’re number one in the league, and for good reason, they have players. They’ve had a system where they’ve been together a long time. They feed off each other, they probably can communicate, not just verbally, but they can communicate nonverbally and everything else. It’s tough. They’re well-coached, you know it’s going to be tough, but I think we’re a team that actually plays defense. The way we play defense gives us a chance. If we were just going out there playing cover two, you get lit up like most teams.

On what he saw in Trufant to start him for this game…
Yeah, watching him cover a kick, watching him on the practice field, watching him on the game field, he deserves it. He’s been doing a terrific job for us.  And he’s such a competitive young man that we thought that gave us our best chance. I think going against Wes Welker, that’s about as tough as it gets. I thought he really competed well.

On being down on Jeremy Kerley in training camp…
Let’s look at that now. I’m down on Kerley (in camp) because he wasn’t out there. I expected more. This is what I expected from Kerley.

On if he has seen in Kerley what he expected…
Pretty much.

On Kerley’s production since Santonio Holmes was lost for season with an injury…
Right, but he’s not necessarily filling in for Holmes because he’s playing the slot. That’s where it’s interesting. When we talked about the weapons and all that, when you have Dustin Keller, you see the trouble that gives you.  (The) same thing the trouble that (Aaron) Hernandez gives you, whoever.  (When) you get an excellent receiving tight end, there are some match-up problems that you have. (The) same thing with an excellent slot receiver, whether it’s Welker, whether it’s Kerley, this (Davone) Bess kid from Miami. They’re match-up problems and that’s what Kerley brings to us. When I was down on him, challenging him, I wanted to see that he would get our offense down mentally. He’s a smart kid but I was disappointed with him that I’d see mental mistakes and that’s not him. I was just down on the fact that he wasn’t out there and I think that’s it. But Jeremy, that’s exactly what we expect, I think all of us did.  Going into last year, the way he took off at the end of last season and now the way he’s approaching it now, I think is the guy that we expected.

On whether he had to give Stephen Hill any words of encouragement…
No, I think the thing with Stephen is, he was playing a terrific game. I mean, he really was (terrific). Some of the blocks that you’re not maybe necessarily going to see, he was knocking people on the ground, he was doing that, he was catching the football. It would’ve been probably his best game and then he has the critical drop. Now obviously, he has to catch that ball, there’s no doubt, he needs to catch that pass. But when you see the other things, there are so many positives and then he has this big drop. Now, that’s not going to be swept under the rug, he knows he needs to catch that ball. But I was really pleased up until that point with how he was playing.

On whether Hill made rookie mistakes…
(I) just think you can’t buy experience and he’ll get better the longer he plays.  I think he wanted to make a play so bad and sometimes, he knew he had a lot of separation, and sometimes in those situations, he’s not the only receiver that will (say), “I’m going to go make a play,” (and) try to start running with it before you catch it. I think that was just it. But the main thing is, catch the football, then we’ll run afterwards.  I think if you ask him, I’m sure that’s what he’s going to say.

Phil Sullivan

I started JetNation in 2005 and have been a New York Jets season ticket holder since graduating from high school. My dream is to see the New York Jets win the Super Bowl. Until then, I will be right here on JetNation writing, dreaming and talking NY Jets football.

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