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Jets Press Conference

Rex Ryan interview transcript 12/24/10

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

Opening remarks…

“First off, Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Let’s get right to this. Damien Woody never practiced. He’s out. Trevor Pryce was limited today, but he’s going to be out again this week. We’re going to leave Trevor back. He won’t make the trip with that hip. He’s just not ready yet. He’s (close) to 100 percent. It’s been a nagging thing. Hopefully, he’ll be ready next week. Eric Smith is going to make the trip for us. You saw him out there with the bubble wrap on the helmet. He was limited and I listed him as doubtful. Unless there’s something that we feel great about him, he’s going to be doubtful. A guy that would be questionable is James Ihedigbo (who) was limited in practice with that knee/ankle, but he’s where he was this time last week, so I expect him to play. All these guys that are probably, they’ll play, probably. Just kidding (laughter). Three guys were listed as limited in practice: Darrelle Revis (hamstring), Mark Sanchez (shoulder), Santonio Holmes (toe). Everybody else was full: Brad Smith (hand), Nick Mangold (shoulder), Antonio Cromartie (groin) (and) Drew Coleman (groin). All those guys will play, I think. The thing I have to say about Sanchez is you guys saw him today. He threw the ball a lot different today than he did yesterday. He had some zip on it. He looked really good. The thing we have to watch for now is how he comes back. He really pushed it and threw a lot of balls today, so we’ll see how he comes back from it. Is it 100 percent? Probably not, but it’s close. You guys saw him out there today. He really threw it around well today.”

On if Sanchez got a shot in his arm…

“No.”

On if Sanchez’s shoulder got much better overnight…

“Yes. He felt better the first day and that’s what we’re looking (for). He never threw much. Then, he came back the next day and even with the little he did (throw), it never felt as good. The trainers said this is where they expected him. We said all along that we expected him to play, but the trainers really felt good about Mark today.”

On if they are expecting a small step back from Sanchez tomorrow…

“That’s a possibility, but we’ll see. We think he’s going to be right around 100 percent for the game. That’s where we’re hoping he’s at.”

On if Sanchez is listed as probable…

“Yes.”

On if he expects Sanchez to play…

“After what I saw today, (yes). Not as much yesterday, but today I feel really good about where he is.”

On the percentage of Sanchez playing…

“I’m really good at these things (laughing). I would say it’s 90 (percent) for sure. Maybe it’s a little over 90. It’s just how he came back. With the little work he did, he had a setback. We’re hoping he’s just fine.”

On potential for further injury if Sanchez plays…

“He’s throwing the ball well. I had dislocated shoulders (which) is all I can go off of. I’d come back each week and the (shoulder) would pop out the next week. He’s throwing the ball well. I guess there’s a chance if he gets hit in a certain way, like any other quarterback in the league, that he can get injured more, but we don’t think this is an injury that’s going to get worse. Obviously, it could get worse if you take a hit, but that’s any quarterback in this league.”

On Brian Schottenheimer being optimistic yesterday about Sanchez starting…

“I don’t know if you guys were out there when he was throwing it, but (at first) I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not going to cut it.’ That’s how I looked at it. It got better, but I had those thoughts that, ‘Man, that’s just not NFL caliber.’ Today, I think we all saw, he was zipping it. He sent a message to all of us, mainly me, that’s he’s ready to go.”

On if he sensed that Sanchez was determined to play…

“I think he was. Today, I don’t think there was any question that he was out to say, “Hey look, I’m fine.” He was. He threw it good. He never grimaced or anything else. He’s feeling good. He really feels good right now.”

On what this week has been like for him…

“Let’s talk after Sunday, because that’s where the focus is. The focus is on the Bears. You’re facing a team that’s already made the playoffs (and) that’s really rolling right now. We’re playing in Chicago, (which is) a tough place to play, against an excellent football team. That’s it. Our focus is we’re trying to get in the playoffs. We can take care of it ourselves with a victory. We know we’re going to have to play a heck of a football game to get that accomplished.”

On if playing in Chicago means anything to him…

“Maybe not now, but maybe after. My friends are going to be there. Some high school friends. It will be special for me to be standing on that sideline where I was a ball boy for a ton of years. That’s pretty amazing. Now, I’m a head football coach. That’s pretty amazing.”

On if his dad, Buddy Ryan, will be in Chicago…

“No”

On when he was in Chicago…

“I was there all through my high school years. I transferred late (during) my freshman year of high school and I went to (Adlai) Stevenson High School which may be the largest high school in the country. (It was) a great school. The teachers had it out for me, I got lot of Ds and Cs (laughter). Realistically, it was a great experience. I loved it there. It was a great place. (I had) some great friends and it was a heck of a place to live. Not as nice as (New Jersey) area, but it’s right there with it. I had a really great time.”

On whose grades were better between him and his brother, Rob…

“My brother’s. That’s easy.”

On where Stevenson High School is…

“It’s (in the) north-west suburb. It’s in Prairie View, Illinois which is around Lake Zurich. The school is huge. It’s like a college now.”

On Mark Brunell will start if Sanchez cannot play…

“Nothing would change with Brunell. Brunell really looks good. He’s zipping it and throwing balls over linebackers. He’s pumping (the ball) in there. I think he sensed as the week (went on) that there might be a chance (for him to play). His excitement and intensity kind of (rose) a little bit. Not that he hadn’t had it (before), but not (to) this extent.”

On if Sanchez will be a full participant if he plays on Sunday…

“Yes. I don’t think you would want him out there if he couldn’t. I think we all saw him today throwing (it) around pretty good.”

On if Julius Peppers opens up the game for anyone…

“(Julius Peppers) is a guy that causes production. (He is) a really productive player, but he causes it as well. It’s not just looking at his production, it’s the others because he forces a ton of production on other guys. He’s really that kind of player. We talk about Trevor Pryce and he only had the one sack, but he chases the quarterback all over to other people. That’s the way Julius Peppers is. He’s clearly one of the elite guys in this league. Maybe the best defensive end in this league.”

On the importance of securing a playoff spot wrapped up this week…

“It would be huge. That would be huge. It would help us because we never earned the bye, so this would be a way to, like you said, maybe not everybody, but to rest a couple of veteran players. Absolutely, you’d consider it. I just hope we have that opportunity.”

On if he has a Christmas wish list this year like he did last season…

“Honestly, I had one and it started with Peppers, I don’t think there is any doubt about that, and (Brian) Urlacher. If (Jay) Cutler is on that list, that’s fine also.”

On whether he would treat a punter the way Tom Coughlin treated Matt Dodge after the Giants-Eagles game…

“If Steve (Weatherford) did that, yes absolutely (joking). I don’t know, golly. The young man (Dodge) didn’t want to do it, I can understand Coughlin doing that. He wasn’t the only one in the organization that felt like that at that time. But he stood by his guy. The kid is probably going to be an outstanding punter. Sometimes you can’t buy experience and mistakes happen. It’s just unfortunate timing with it.”

On if he would have sat in a dark room for two-and-a-half hours like Coughlin…

“I don’t know. I hope I’m not in that position.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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