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Rex Ryan Press Conf Transcript (Tues)

Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan’s midday news conference following Tuesday’s morning training camp practice.  Courtesy NY Jets PR Department:

Good practice today. The offense dominated in the red zone, 7-on-7, but then the defense responded in the team period. We put them in a situation where the offense had to have it, score a touchdown to win the game, and the defense did great. In fact, the last group that was in there had four sacks in a row. That was good. They’re going back and forth at each other right now. Last year, it was dominated by the defense only. Now, they’re taking shots back-and-forth at each other. It’s going to make the team better. We can beat you in more ways. We don’t just have to beat you with our defense and ground game. We can beat you through the air. That’s really exciting to me.

On Jason Taylor’s limited action during practice…

We held him out of team reps. [Brashton] Satele is still out, but he’s doing much better. He’s out there running and things like that. [Jeff] Cumberland should be ready to go for this afternoon’s practice. Everything’s going well. Marlon Davis is still out, but he’s doing better as well. I think we should be getting all those guys back and out there in a couple of days.

On Martin Tevaseu’s injury…

It’s a boxer break on his hand. It’s just got him clubbed up for four weeks. What’s beautiful about that kid — that’s probably not a term you’d use too often with that kid, he’s not the most handsome guy [laughing] — he just does a good job. He never takes a play off. One day I was counting them and I was just waiting to see how many guys would rest before him. He ran down on 10 kickoffs as a show team guy. He got my attention. He got out of the conditioning test, which wasn’t easy for him, but he did it. He’s a player. He came here to win a job. That club is just an inconvenience. Most guys, when you’re a d-lineman and you can’t grab anyone, you’re pretty much done. He’s got such a girth and he’s just so strong that he hangs in there pretty good. I’ve been encouraged with him.

On if his plan is to start Kyle Wilson against the Giants…

That’s pretty much what we got. I think Dennis [Thurman] likes that. [Dwight] Lowery has been doing well. I don’t know what happened to Dwight today. It wasn’t one of his better days, but he’s been doing pretty well. Today, for some reason he wasn’t very sharp. When Kyle’s out there, you can hear him communicating, which is very rare for a rookie. Most guys are there to listen, but he’s smart, he’s sharp and he studies. He came here for a purpose and that was to play and be part of this defense. Right now, he’s obviously in a much bigger role than maybe we even anticipated.

On the value of the extra reps for Kyle Wilson without Darrelle Revis…

It’s great. Unfortunately, he’s not playing a whole lot of nickel. He’s played some, but he’s not doing it 100 percent, but we’re rotating those guys inside and outside. Without a doubt, you can’t buy experience. Right now, he’s getting plenty of that.

On Dwight Lowery and Marquice Cole trading spots in the nickel packages…

Well when Lowery wasn’t in it he was probably at safety. We’re moving him all over; we call it heads which is basically an extra linebacker, defensive end, defensive back. A lot of mental preparation there, he plays a back, he can play safety, he can play corner, he can play the dime, he can play the nickel so he’s valuable guy.

On how he feels about Darrelle Revis not being here …

I’ve said before I thought that he’d be here. Right now I’m just going to focus on the people who are here and my mindset has to be on the guys that are here right now. Those are the guys who are going to be playing, so if, like I said yesterday, if Darrelle shows up that would be awesome. I never mentioned my name but I’m sure we figured out who I was talking about when I said someone would give him a kiss, probably on the lips [laughter]. That hasn’t changed, but my focus has to be on this football team, the guys that are here right now. The guys who are here, that’s what we have to be ready to go with and that’s what we’re working towards right now.

On if he would reach out to Revis…

I don’t know what I would tell him. I don’t know if he’d take my call. He hires people to negotiate and we have guys that obviously do that for us. We’d say hello to each other I guess.

On if needs to alter his game plan because of Revis’ absence…

We could alter things depending on who we are up against. Honestly, don’t feel sorry for us, we have everything we need right here on defense. With the addition of [Antonio] Cromartie, that was enormous for this football team and so is the fact that we drafted Kyle Wilson, who is an outstanding player. That helps us a great deal. Every opponent, every week, you always do what is in the best interest for your team; with the people that we have. Maybe it’s all of the covers a certain way, maybe it’s we think we’ve got a great matchup on somebody and that’s how we do it.

I’ve been running defenses a long time in this league, been around it, and I’ve had to overcome a lot of great players not being in it. One year Ray Lewis was out ten games. That same year, Ed Reed was out for six games. I’ve been around a lot of great players obviously but I’ve also had to overcome when those guys were out. Kris Jenkins last year, he’s a premier nose tackle in football, and he misses all but six games last year for us. It’s part of the business. I think the worst I’ve ever finished on defense, it might have been sixth or something like that, and that’s probably college, too. We’ll find a way to get it done. I can’t do much, but I know how to call a defense and we’ll take what we have.

We have a great collection of individual talent and these guys play great as a team, great as a unit. That’s what we’ll do. That’s why one guy — obviously, Revis is a tremendous player, Ray Lewis, a tremendous player, Ed Reed, a tremendous player, Kris Jenkins, a tremendous player — but it’s about the unit and we sell that the day we walked out here. It’s about the unit. If you have the decal on the side of your helmet that says New York Jets on it, you’re a special person and we can get it done. We know that the next guy that pops in there, we can feel good about it. Again, the proof will be in the pudding and the great thing is we get to prove it. We’ll see what happens when we kick it off. We’re not afraid of anybody. We look forward to competing against everybody. Our mentality hasn’t changed.

On if the optimism of Revis’ arrival has waned…

Yes. I guess when you get the report back that nothing has changed from their end, I guess that would. I was optimistic. I thought it would be done before we got to camp. I thought it would be done during camp. But again right now the focus is coaching the guys that we have.

On if he can pass the team’s conditioning test…

[Laughs] I can take it, all right. It’d be ridiculous. There’s no way. I would fail it miserably.

On how difficult the test is…

It’s pretty difficult. When you start with the lineman, basically what the conditioning test is is twenty 40-yard dashes. You have to make it in six seconds and you have a 30-second rest in between. You run a group of 10 of those. Then you have a three-minute rest in between. Then you run the last 10. For linebackers and the “mids” — tight ends, quarterbacks — they have to run 50 yards in seven seconds, and still get the 30 seconds in between. Then for the skill guys, they have to run 60 yards in eight seconds with the 30-second rest in between. That’s a pretty good test right there.

On the “Hard Knocks” cameras and microphones following the team around…

To be honest with you, I really don’t notice them. The technology is such that you really don’t notice it. It hasn’t been difficult at all. There hasn’t been anything memorable at all. We’ll see how the show goes. I hope it’s good. I hope it’s an accurate – it would have to be, I would think – picture of who the New York Jets are, how we do business and how we also have fun. We’ll work when it’s time to work, we’ll play when it’s time to play and I think it will hopefully be a great showcase of some of our individuals as well. The guys that we’re so proud of. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

On if anyone is “hamming it up” for the cameras…

Probably Dennis Thurman [laughing]. No, I’m only kidding. No, I haven’t noticed that. We haven’t seen the off-the-field things. Maybe there will be some blatant ones.

On if the team is planning any off-the-field activities together…

I have nothing to say if we are planning it or not. I have no comments on that [smiles]. We had a night off, and a lot of the guys went to the water park and other [places]. You do a lot of things together here. We’ll have evenings off. The thing that I like is they do it together. They’re not out there separately.

On what he did on the team’s day off…

I had my wife in town. We went to a Mexican restaurant both nights. Garcia’s — have to give them a plug. Got a nacho for four bucks [laughter], an [inaudible] combination dinner for eight bucks [laughter]. It’s pretty good. I know I got the extension, but that’s still good business [laughter].

On Jamaal Westerman’s role…

He’s done a tremendous job. Like we said, he really stood out. When we put the — some guys call them the A.Y.O., “All You Others,” — the third group out there, the guy dominated. He’s doing well. He’s doing well on special teams as well. It’s a great problem to have. We have a lot of good players.

On Vernon Gholston’s sudden improvement…

I don’t know if anybody noticed, but Vernon [Gholston] beat Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] on two rushes today. I don’t want to say it, I don’t want to say it just yet [laughs], but I told … I’m not going to say it. But he’s coming. So now, where do you put him? He’s the only guy who has beaten Brick all year. Nobody else has, including Jason Taylor. Nobody has beat him. But Vernon did. So it took him three years really in college before that light really came on. So we’ll see. It’s happening right in front of our eyes. I’m excited about it. I told you guys that yesterday and I’ll stand by it.

On how Gholston will add depth to the defensive line…

It would be huge. Absolutely, it would be huge for us to get him in there. Shaun [Ellis] does a great job, but Shaun’s not getting any younger. You have to be able to rotate these guys. [Mike] DeVito’s doing a great job. The ideal thing for us would be that DeVito rotate with Sione [Pouha] and [Kris] Jenkins, and Gholston can hopefully role with Shaun and then you have big Ropati [Pitoitua]. Our depth is pretty decent.

On the competition for the third quarterback spot…

I think it’s a good competition. [Kevin] O’Connell had a real nice scrimmage, and then Kellen [Clemens] has really had a couple of good days. When he was running with the twos yesterday, he really had a good day. We’ll see what happens. [Mark] Brunell, I think, has pretty much got a lock on that number two spot. Man, it’s good. You think of where we were last year, and look at the depth that this football team has now, we’ve really made strides and really improved our football team.

On whether he has seen what he wants from Kellen Clemens yet…

I think we’ll see them in the preseason games. He’s got a great grasp of the system. He’s having fun out there. He’s making some good plays.

On how the big-name additions mix and blend in on their new team…

It’s been easy. Like we said before, the chemistry was in question and it looks great in theory, but every year is a new team. There’s turnover every year on every team. We added a lot of really good people. When you look at high character guys, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, two former [Walter Payton] Man of the Year winners. Brodney Pool is a tremendous young man. All the guys, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, have come in — they’ve been great. All our draft picks. Kyle Wilson is about as sharp a kid as there is. We added a lot of quality people.

On looking for Dustin Keller to step up in his third season…

To be honest, when we drafted him, we wanted him to look pretty good that first year, also. A lot of times you’ll see that major leap. For whatever reason, it seems like that, where I can go back and look at guys that I’ve had. I had a nose tackle, Aubrayo Franco, from Tennessee, and I said, “Golly, is this kid ever going to do it?” Next year, he gets a little bit better. Next year, he’s really good. The third year, he’s really good, but we can’t keep him. He goes to San Francisco and they franchised him this year.

It takes time sometimes. These are young men going in against grown men, a lot of times. It takes a little bit of time to get used to that speed, to get used, sometimes even, the playbook that can slow you down. If mentally, you’re struggling, you can’t do it physically. I saw that in a guy named Otis Wilson, one of the most physical guys I’ve ever seen. Otis as a rookie had no clue. He couldn’t get off a block. He wasn’t physical. You would’ve cut him if he wasn’t a first-round pick. Then all of a sudden the light came on, and he became a Pro Bowl player.

On the competition for the left guard position…

I think [Matt] Slauson’s ahead of it right now, but Vlad [Ducasse], I see him making strides more. I think Slauson, without question, is ahead. He has a better grasp of the system. He has a better grasp of the techniques that are being used, but that doesn’t mean by any stretch that this kid can’t catch him because I see him improving. I still think it’s going to be a good competition for that spot.

On who will start at left guard against the Giants…

I think we’ll rotate them some, but Slauson will be the guy that starts.

On how he will be able to tell if Keller is emerging with so many players to throw to…

[Joking] Is that a fantasy question or is that an actual question? No, it’s hard to say. Could they throw it to Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and maybe he doesn’t get the catches? I think as a team you can’t worry about it. Dustin presents so many problems to a defensive coach because you’re running out of DBs. Somebody has to cover Cotchery, somebody has to cover Braylon, somebody has to cover Holmes, and so now, who does that leave you to cover Dustin Keller?

That’s what you want. That’s why I’m so excited about our passing game. Oh, and by the way, LaDainian’s not too bad out of the backfield. We have it, and our offensive line can protect. If we go empty, we spread you out, we can still protect for Sanchez. It is rough out there, and our defense is about as good as anybody’s. Our defense is struggling with this group.

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This Article Was Written By Phil Sullivan

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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.