Jets Press Conference

Rex Ryan Interview Transcript 1/19/11

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

Opening statement…

“Here’s the injuries: Jason Taylor did not practice today with a concussion. He’s been cleared though. I expect he’ll practice tomorrow, and obviously he’s going to play on Sunday. He finished the game, so it’s just something like he had some signs of a concussion later that night so we’re just being, however you want to say it, cautious or whatever. But he has passed the test, so he’s ready to roll.

Guys that were limited today: Drew Coleman with a knee; Darrelle Revis, hamstring; James Ihedigbo, knee‑ankle; Brad Smith, groin. All of those guys are limited. Guys that were full: (Antonio) Cromartie, groin; Mike DeVito, neck; Santonio Holmes, quad; Nick Mangold, shoulder; Sione (Pouha), back; and (Mark) Sanchez, right shoulder. So that’s the injuries.

This week, it’s weird. I’m not going to tell a lie. This is exciting to be here again in this position. It feels a little different though this year than it did last year. I think the reason for it is I think we’re the only ones who really believed in each other last year. There are more people that realize the Jets are a good football team, and I think the expectations are extremely high, not just by us in this organization and our building, but people obviously around the country that know the Jets are an excellent football team, so that feels a little different.

The fact we’re playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers with about as rich of history as there is in this league, as far as having Super Bowl success, playing them at Pittsburgh, we know it’s going to be a huge challenge for us. There’s no doubt. But this is, we’ve called it before, a triple chinstrap game, a straight-ahead, no fair dodging game. Both teams are built the same. It’s going to be one heck of a game to watch. All I want to do is find a way to win, by one point, whatever. We want to be a part of that. I want that green and white confetti coming down. We want to hold the trophy, the Lamar Hunt Trophy. We want that to be ours. We want the hat, we want the T‑shirts. We want to experience that. We know it’s going to be one heck of a battle. We understand that. But that’s our mission. That’s what we want to accomplish. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.

On how facing Pittsburgh recently affects the game plan…

“I think you’re definitely going to go back and look at that game. You’re going to look at the game they just played against the Ravens and Cleveland. You’ll go back and look at all those games. But the preparation, you’re going to have instead of a five‑game break down, which you normally would have, maybe now you have a 10‑game break down. You want to see if they’re still doing the same thing. Quite honestly, when you see the Pittsburgh Steelers, they’re not going to change a whole lot. They are who they are. They’re about as multiple as it gets on defense and the way they attack you with an outstanding group of pass rushers. They know how to play the game. They get after people. Offensively, they can run the football. They ran it on us. They made some big plays in the passing game on us. I think the challenge for them is, it’s kind of weird, sometimes they’ll play three tight ends on you, sometimes they’ll go to five receivers on you, so you get a little bit of everything from Pittsburgh offensively. Anyway, we know them, they know us, and we know this is going to be a heck of a football game.”

On what he admires about the Pittsburgh Steelers…

“I look at it as the way football’s meant to be played. This is two hard‑hitting, hard‑nosed teams, getting ready to go at it. Just roll the clock back about 30 years or something, that’s the kind of game it’s going to be. That’s who we are, and that’s who Pittsburgh is, and that’s who Pittsburgh has always been, so that I respect. I respect the way they play. Quite honestly, though, it doesn’t matter if my dad was coaching that team or my son was playing on that team, it’s on, and we know it.”

On whether he’s concerned about a potential let-down after an emotional game at New England…

“No. Shoot, the Super Bowl’s not played for another three weeks or something. We plan on being there, and to do that, it’s going to take everything we have to have a chance at it. You thought last week was emotional and all that, just wait until this week. We’ve both had had some huge wins against some outstanding opponents. But we know what this one is all about. It’s going to take everything. Both teams will be committed to the same thing. Both teams want to get to that Super Bowl and have that opportunity. Both teams want to be AFC Champions and represent our conference in the Super Bowl. So, a letdown emotionally, I don’t think that’s even possible this week.”

On how important it was to change the team’s mentality when he arrived last year…

“I never realized the ‘same old Jets’ mentality because I remember Super Bowl III and things like that, some of the successes that when my dad was here that the Jets had. Everybody else told me about the ‘same old Jets’ mentality and all that. That’s why, ‘same old Jets’ mentality, the two years I’ve been here, back‑to‑back to the AFC Championship game. So we’ll take the ‘same old Jets’ mentality next year, too. We’ll sign up for this exact spot. That would be fine with us, and have those opportunities.

Again, I never tried to change a culture or change this or change that. I was just going to be who I was, surround myself with like‑minded people; a coaching staff that cared about their players, that had a great passion for the game of football, and that’s what I was looking for in building a staff. We did that. I got as good a staff as there is in this league – tremendous coaches. I’ve always said that these guys don’t work for me, they work with me and we’re a team. When you look at the type of players we have, they had an outstanding nucleus of talent here and we tried to bring in that same energy, that kind of passion, that kind of teammate to just add with that. If I thought there was any flaw about somebody else, maybe, from a character standpoint as far as what kind of leader they were as a teammate and all that type of stuff, we just moved on. Not saying they can’t play in the NFL; they just couldn’t play for us. I wanted guys that are great teammates, that care about each other, that are committed to winning and committing to building each other up. And that’s what we have. We have a whole team of those right now.

Mike Tannenbaum has done an outstanding job. You look at our roster, about half the roster has been turned over in those two years. I think that’s a real tribute to Mike Tannenbaum and his guys up there trying to bring in the right kind of players. We don’t make moves just to stay the same or make moves just to be selling newspapers or something. The moves that we made went to better our football team. The commitment we have as an organization is to win the Super Bowl. That’s the only goal we have, and that’s what we’ve tried to do. Some of the moves we did might have been looked at through some people’s eyes as, ‘Oh, they’re this and that.’ Well, no. Our only purpose of making the moves we made in the off‑season was to better our chances of winning a Super Bowl. And I think now you see some of those moves really paying off for us.”

On whether the Jets face the toughest road ever to reach the Super Bowl…

“Well, I can say this, it’s not easy. I can tell you that much (laughing). I don’t know who’s next; (Terry) Bradshaw? I’m not sure. But that’s a lot of Super Bowls and those are three outstanding organizations. Clearly, we have a ton of work to do to pull this off. But we think we’re the men for the job and we’re going to find out Sunday.”

On whether the team feels added pressure due to higher public expectations this season…

“Well, I don’t think you can get higher expectations than we have in our locker room. There’s all this ‘You’re going to have to deliver,’ and all this talk. All I said is what I thought was the truth. When I look back to President Obama, which I was today looking back, it’s because I believe it. Added pressure, it’s not pressure; it’s an opportunity for us. We don’t look at it as pressure. We look at it as an opportunity to accomplish a goal that we set out to do.”

On the challenge that Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger presents…

“They’ve got an outstanding set offense, but they do as good a job as anybody in this league when it breaks down. First off, Roethlisberger being able to just knock people around physically, not go down, keep plays alive with his athleticism, with his strength and all that. But the receivers do a great job. They run their route and then they see Big Ben scrambling and they get open. They’ll come back to the ball like most people do, but then they stay active. It’s not just the set thing if you’re high, come back; if you’re across the ball, keep going, all those type of things. They get open and they do an outstanding job of that. Ben is poised, and he makes throws down the field.”

On what he expects from WR Santonio Holmes as he faces his former team…

“I expect him to have the same approach that everybody else has, that all of his teammates have, and that is to give everything he has in preparation, on the practice field, in the classroom and all of that; and then to have that excitement and that energy on the field when we kick it off for real. That is the way all his teammates are going to be as well. Is it added excitement to him? I don’t know if there possibly could be added energy or excitement or anything else. We’re playing for the AFC Championship, so it’s going to be great. But one of the reasons we brought Tone here is for these kind of games. Big‑time players make big‑time plays in the brightest spotlight, and here it is right here. The AFC Championship time, this is Tone time.”

On his reaction when he found out Holmes was available via trade…

“I just wanted him. I never cared about the compensation. Let (Mike) Tannenbaum figure that out. I just knew that anybody that beat me that bad, that I’d just as soon have him on our team. Three games in a row when I was in Baltimore, he beat us. I think they might have scored one offensive touchdown, and he scored every one of them. So he’s that kind of player. You think you’ve got him batted down, and all of a sudden, boom, there he goes. I think all you need to see of what kind of competitor he is, as I’m sure everybody had the same feeling I did, was you remember that Super Bowl and how when the game was on the line, he was begging his teammates to give him a chance, to give him the football. It’s kind of like a guy, ‘Hit the ball to me.’ That’s Santonio Holmes.”

On whether he will have CB Darrelle Revis cover one receiver at Pittsburgh this Sunday…

“Well, we’ll be multiple with what we do with Darrelle, but there’s only one of him. If we had more, that would be great. I’d sign up for that. But he’s the best in the business. Regardless of who we put him on, that’s probably not a good thing for that person. So the Steelers have a great receiving corps with Hines Ward and with (Mike) Wallace. That kid’s about as good a vertical receiver as there is in the game right now. So who do you put him on? I’ll say this, we’re not going to line him up on (Chris) Kemoeatu. We’ll make sure of that.”

On the Jets being claimed by public figures in both New York and New Jersey…

“Well, there’s enough of the Jets to go around (laughing). We’re happy to be the New Jersey Jets, New York Jets. This is our whole area, and before too long, hopefully we’ll be the type of team that the whole country wants to embrace.”

On the last time he can remember Revis being beaten by a wide receiver…

“No, I really can’t. We give him the toughest down. It’s not like he’s just playing corner. A lot of times, we’ll give him the toughest down. You have no help. So that offense knows you have no help. A lot of times we’ll just take a shot over there because we want you to. We have as good a chance of catching that football as you do. I’ve only seen it one other time in my life and that was with Deion Sanders. Those are the two that I can remember. There’s been a lot of great corners in this league, but those are the only two guys that I can think of that will be put in as poor a situation as you can put a guy in, we do that with Darrelle. I’m sure he’s happy that he’s a Jet.”

On QB Mark Sanchez’s postseason success over the last two years…

“It’s something I’m aware of. But again, he doesn’t know the difference; he’s just playing. But he’s got such a grasp of our system now. He knows how to study film. He knows how to study opponents. He’s totally committed. He gets excited, as great competitors do. A lot of times, a guy can think he’s a good competitor, but when you get on the biggest stage, not so much. Mark’s just the opposite. He’s such a huge competitor, but the bigger the stage, the more he wants to play and the more he looks into it as this is his time to shine. That’s just the way Mark is.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

Tyson Rauch



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