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Rex Ryan Interview Transcript 12/31/10

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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, Happy New Year. We’re looking forward to the Bills game. Here’s our injury report. James Ihedigbo and Damien Woody did not practice and they’re out for this game. Guys that are doubtful: Eric Smith with the concussion. Shaun Ellis did not practice today (and is questionable). Eric Smith was limited. Guys that we listed as questionable were all limited in practice: Antonio Cromartie (groin), Sione (Pouha) (back), Trevor Pryce (hip), Darrelle Revis (hamstring) (and Shaun Ellis (back)). Guys that are probable, all of these guys fully practiced today, except Mark Sanchez. Sanchez was limited today in practice, but he is listed as probable with his shoulder. Santonio Holmes (quad), Nick Mangold (shoulder), Matt Slauson was back at practice, he had a boy, Brad Smith (hand) and Bryan Thomas (ankle) (are probable).”

On if he looks at this game as a warm up to the playoffs…

“We’re going out there to try and win the game, first off. Is it a kick start to the playoffs? I guess it is the last game we play, so you’re trying to go out there and get some things done. Will we do some things that maybe we haven’t done? Yes, absolutely. We may try some things getting ready for the playoffs, even looking at different personnel. (We need to) make sure we have the best personnel to make a run in the playoffs.”

On how to get the players motivated for this weekend’s game…

“There’s only one way to play the game and that’s to go full tilt. If you don’t, that’s when injuries do happen. You have to be playing at that kind of tempo. You’re a professional. We want to win this game. This will be the fourth time in the history of the franchise that the team has 11 wins or more.”

On why the team has not reached a decision on Sal Alosi…

“Right now, he is indefinitely suspended. Quite honestly, we’re looking to get through the season right now and then Woody (Johnson), Mike (Tannenbaum) and I will make a decision at a different time. Right now, our focus is on trying to beat the Bills and get ready to move forward in the playoffs.”

On how long Sanchez will play…

“We’ll see how it goes. I just want to get him out there. The main thing is to stay in that routine (with) the preparation and then get out there and get that blood flowing. I don’t believe it will be long.”

On if he’s seen improvement in Sanchez throughout the week…

“It’s been similar every day. It wasn’t like there was a huge difference like last week where we saw that. He’s just been doing good. We wouldn’t play him if we didn’t think he was ready to go.”

On how Sanchez looked in practice today…

“We really never asked him to do much in practice today. We really didn’t. We were giving a lot of opportunities to (Mark) Brunell and Kellen Clemens. It’s not like he did anything bad, we were just giving those other guys opportunities.”

On if practicing could make Sanchez’s shoulder worse…

“Just the throwing and the mechanics? No, I don’t believe throwing mechanics have anything to do with making an injury worse. There’s always that risk if someone drives him to the turf, but that’s inherent with the position. I don’t think he’s in any (more) risk of (getting hurt with) what we’re going to ask him to do.”

On if there is a bonus for the linemen that protect him…

“Yes, make sure he’s not touched. Absolutely. That’s good (laughter).”

On Kyle Williams…

“It’s weird because (Williams) doesn’t get a lot of credit. I didn’t realize he was first alternate, he should have been in the Pro Bowl. That guy, regardless of numbers, is one of the best inside guys in football. We definitely need to get him blocked. We are fortunate we have good centers, but he can play over guards, centers or (any player). He’s always played (like his) hair is on fire. That’s the young man’s style. Right now, he’s not surprised by any blocking patterns. He’s consistent and he dominates consistently. I’m happy he is getting recognized that way.”

On the possibility Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie will not play on Sunday…

“Yes, (there) could be a chance of that.”

On what the game plan would be if Revis and Cromartie do not play…

“If that happens, the other guys have to step up and go. If there’s a chance that they’re not feeling better with their hamstring and groin, then it would make more sense that we have them healthy for the playoffs. I’m not ruling them out, but we’ll see how it goes.”

On the defense playing well during the playoffs…

“We better (play well) or we’ll be out quick. I believe we’ll play well. I really do.”

On how to fix the run defense…

“We are really stressing fundamentals. I know you guys have been out to practice and you see that we’ve had more individual periods. We are going back and extending those periods and not (focusing on) the scheme as much as getting our individual techniques back. That’s where it is. That’s where it starts and finishes.”

On if the run defense has had problems with the fundamentals…

“Schematically, every defense is schemed where you have a forced defender and fill players. Everything is designed that way, but we have to get better from our fundamental technique standpoint. Some of that we have always been really good at and we just have to get back to being who we are.”

On if he has ever gone back to the fundamentals to this extent at this point in the season…

“Maybe not as much as we are now. Depth-wise, we’re not as good in some areas as we have been in the past as far as stopping the run. Maybe better pass rushers, but just the big guys inside. (Sione) Pouha and (Mike) DeVito have done great. They really have. Getting better on the fundamentals outside maybe haven’t needed to (improve as much). There have been some times where we’ve given up 120-something yards to Corey Dillon when I was in Baltimore. It’s not the only time we’ve given up 100 yards to rushers. It’s so obvious what the answers are when you watch the tape.”

On whether he finds it frustrating that the team’s defense has to go back to basics this late in the season…

“No, I think what we did is we kind of got away from our fundamentals, what got us there (to being an effective defense) (and) what our standards are. That’s the answer. (It’s things) like your pad level (or) it’s separating off blocks, ripping off blocks, pursuing the football (and) proper angles. (It is) just those things and it’s a perfect example that you can talk about it all you want, but you have to go out and practice it. I think that’s what we have to do a better job of. The other thing—our tackling usually is outstanding. We haven’t been as (good) tackling. Now, unfortunately, on this level, you really can’t go out and tackle, so you have to talk about it, you have to stress it as far as running through things, wrapping up, grabbing cloth, nose on the football (and) everything. That, actually, is hard to teach this time of year because guys are bumped and banged up and all that kind of stuff. As far as the technique of tackling, blocking patterns and all that type of stuff, we definitely have stressed that this week.”

On football’s huge popularity in the country…

“I think it’s just a great sport. It’s the best sport out there. I think it shows well on TV. It also is unbelievable exciting when you go to the stadiums and watch. I think that’s it. I think there’s so many (people) that just love football and because it’s still one of the only games that it takes courage to play. I will say, standing and watching a 95 miles per hour fastball probably takes some courage, but this is still a physical sport, more so than any other one and I think people really like that. Like I said, it shows great on TV. In the stadium, there’s nothing like being in the stadium on game day.”

On whether he agrees that football is more popular than ever now…

“I do. I think so. You’re exactly right. I just think from kids watching, from women watching this sport, it’s great. Everybody loves football and that’s great to see. Like you said, I think the numbers, when you look at the TV ratings (and) you look at all that kind of stuff, I think it shows how popular the NFL is.”

On what Isaiah Trufant can bring to the defense…

“That’s it. We’re still searching. This young man has some talent. His brother (Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant) is, obviously, a tremendous player in this league, but his change of direction is phenomenal. Now, the thing is, he’s this big (hand gesture). He looks like he’s on the Summit High School team, but one of the smaller kids on the team. On the practice field, he goes up against Braylon (Edwards), he does all this kind of stuff. He’s competitive and all that, so we’re still looking. We owe it to our football team. We have to do what it takes and if that means this young man’s up in the playoffs, then we’re going to find out. We’re giving him that opportunity to see if he can help us in the playoffs.”

On the report of pictures surfacing on the Internet…

“It’s a personal matter and I’m not going to discuss it.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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