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Rex Ryan interview transcript 12/15/10

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

Opening remarks…

“Before we get to the injures, I know you guys are all aware that Sal (Alosi) has been suspended indefinitely. Mike (Tannenbaum), myself and Woody (Johnson) will sit down when they get back from Dallas and discuss the facts of everything. That’s all I’m going to say on that. The injuries, we had guys that did not practice today. James Ihedigbo (ankle and knee) did not practice today. Trevor Pryce (hip) did not practice. Tony Richardson and LaDainian Tomlinson (did not practice, but it was) not injury related, just what we do as you know. Eric Smith, out with a concussion, did not practice. Damien Woody (knee) had surgery today. (Anytime) you come out of surgery, the surgery went well. He’s doing fine and did not practice. Guys that were full, Nick Mangold (shoulder), Sione (Pouha finger) and Brad Smith (hand). That’s the injury report. Practice was really good today. It was good to get out there in the similar elements we’re going to face when we go to Pittsburgh. It’s cold out there as you guys know. Windy. I believe that (Heinz Field) is in better shape than our practice field. I think they just re-=-sodded it. Our field was kind of hard out there. I thought it was good. Our guys went out and focused. It was a good practice today.”

On if he’s concerned that Santonio Holmes will be too emotional facing his former team…

“Not really. I want him to play with emotion. I want him to play with that passion and that fire. If there is a little extra juice involved, then that’s great. Santonio has been an outstanding team member here. He’s a guy that really picks his teammates up. He’s had a great year up until this point. He obviously had the one drop, but Santonio has had a great year for us. I know he’s excited to go back and play against Pittsburgh.”

On if he is satisfied with what Holmes has done this year…

“He’s been great here. He’s done what has been asked of him. He’s been great here.”

On Mark Sanchez and the offense going into Pittsburgh…

“This is going to be the biggest challenge yet. Clearly, we have to improve and that is a tough combination because you are going against what I think is, always in the top one, two (or) three defenses in the league when you’re talking about Pittsburgh. They’ve done it consistently through the years. Going to Pittsburgh is about as tough a place as there is to play, (especially) in December. We know it’s going to be tough, but I think our guys will respond. I think our offense will respond (and) I think Mark (Sanchez) will respond.”

On why Sal Alosi would be making a decision to instruct the players on where to stand…

“I wasn’t aware of this going on and taking place. I don’t think anybody was aware of it. I think we’re just now learning some new facts that have come to light and I think that’s why Mike (Tannenbaum), Woody (Johnson) and myself will sit down and discuss all the facts because that was not known. It looked, when we saw the picture or whatever, we saw the guys standing there, but I’ve been coaching the whole season there (and) you guys have been watching us the whole season and I don’t know if anybody ever noticed it. Certainly, it was something that I was not aware of, so I don’t see how anybody else was aware of it.”

On if he would have instructed Alosi not to form that line if he had found out about it earlier…

“To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought about it. I wasn’t aware of it until I looked at other teams and thought, ‘Oh.’ I’m not going to say names or whatever, (but) I did not look at those things. Like I said, it caught me off guard. I was unaware of that.”

On whether it was Alosi’s actions or the fact that he wasn’t completely truthful that is more of an issue to him…

“I’m certainly not anybody to judge anybody else. I’ve made mistakes in my life and I’ve continued to make mistakes. (I) try not to, but everybody makes mistakes and I think, when we look at the facts, we’ll make a proper decision. Again, nobody is perfect.”

On if he talked to the defense about criticizing them after Sunday’s game…

“I’m emotional after a game. The defense played great last week. (They held) a team to (131) yards of total offense and (gave) up five completions. They played a great game. As I’ve challenged our defense before, they don’t have to get in there. They don’t have to score. That’s where we have to tighten up. I’ve talked about it before. If we would have scored 11 points and won 11-10, we would have all been happy and everybody would have felt great. If we scored six points and held them to five, we would have all been happy. Sometimes, you’re going to be in games like that (where) you can’t give up a score. That’s the challenge to everybody. We’re in the win business. The only thing we’re judged on, as everybody knows, is wins and losses. Our goal is to win. That’s it. The stats are what they are. We know the stats are going to say where we are at the end of the year. We’ve been saying that for two years now. I know we have an outstanding defense, but we need to win. That’s it. It’s not ever going to be put on one side of the ball or the other side of the ball. If you’re satisfied that, “Hey, well our side did great,” you’re missing the point. The point is we win and lose games together. It’s our collective effort. Sometimes we may score 35 points and the defense holds them to 34, I’d be happy. It wouldn’t be great, but I’d be happy. If we have to shut a team out and win 2-0, then so be it.”

On if he’s concerned that there will be a division between the defense and the offense…

“I was around a team for 10 years where the defense played at a super high level and if you looked at it statistically, maybe the offense didn’t. (I was around the team) for 10 years, and never had a split. It’s never going to split. We’re going to understand that the message is we’re here to win. Whatever that means, that’s what we’re here to do.”

On if he thinks the team has lost any of its swagger…

“I don’t know. We got beat pretty good by New England. That was a blow. (We lost) a tough game to Miami. I know one thing, we’re heading to Pittsburgh and that’s a tough place to play. It’s as tough as it gets, going against as good a defense as there is, going against a great quarterback, a proven two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. (They have) explosive receivers (and) a tough guy in that little guy I can’t stand, who I really do like, Hines Ward. It’s going to be a battle. If you plan on beating Pittsburgh, you have to bring it all and that’s what we’re planning on bringing.”

On if it’s better for them to be going against one of the best teams in the league right now…

“I’d just assume not (laughter), but we’re going to play who they put in front of us.”

On if Eric Smith will play on Sunday…

“I don’t believe he will.”

On what they will do at safety…

“Dwight Lowery will move there full-time. We’ll give him a lot of work there. We’re hoping to have Dig (James Ihedigbo) back as well. If not, then (Emanuel) Cook has got to be ready to roll.”

On if Eric Smith has a concussion…

“I think it was on the (injury report) today as a concussion, so I’m going to go with that.”

On playing zone defense at the goal line on Miami’s touchdown reception…

“That was actually the same play we picked off when we won the game against Miami, at Miami. It was really the same offensive play and the same defensive play. I think if we would have executed a little bit better, I don’t know if we would have the same questions.”

On if has had his weekly meeting with Sanchez today…

“It was actually Thursday when we did it, so maybe we should switch it up and have it on Wednesday (laughter). We’re up for anything.”

On if he will consider benching Sanchez if it gives the team a better chance at the playoffs…

“That’s with any player. There has been times when we’ve had to pull our starting corner out. Maybe this wasn’t his day or maybe he needs to watch for a little bit. That’s really (the case) with anybody. I’ll always do what’s in the best interests of the football team. Do I think that’s a real possibility? I think Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. If he really has struggled for whatever reason, would I make a move? Yes, if I thought it was the best thing for our team.”

On comments made by defensive players admiring the toughness of Ben Roethlisberger…

“Number one, he’s won two Super Bowls. We always had a (saying), “Take it like a man” for a sack. He’ll stand back there, but you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to get him down. He’ll take some sacks. He’s been sacked, but you’ve got to earn them. He’s not just going to let you (sack him). He’s not going to see you coming and hit the deck like some of these quarterbacks in this league. You’re going to have to put him on the deck. He’s a huge man. He’s strong. He’s a lot better athlete than you would think a guy of that size would be. He’s got escapability. In fact, those are the things that kill you. There’s their offense and then there’s their big-play offense. He gets out of (the pocket) and the receivers do a great job of finding ways to get open late in the down. They know he’s capable of making you miss. He’s had a history of burning people that way. I admire the fact that he makes you earn it. You (have) to knock him down. There’s no question about it.”

On if he worries about the toughness of the Steelers…

“Maybe some people will. This is a tough football team. The Pittsburgh Steelers are tough, they’re physical and you’re playing them in those kind of conditions with a stadium full of crazy fans. You’re up against it. I’ve been down that road before. We have to bring it all.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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