Third Party Advertisement

Jets Press Conference

New York Jets Press Conference Transcript 7/28/11

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

On Wednesday New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the New York Jets.

Opening Statement:

MIKE TANNENBAUM: Thanks everybody. Sorry for being 20 minutes late. I appreciate everybody waiting. (Head Coach) Rex (Ryan) and I will try to be as helpful as possible. As most of you know, we can’t address any player not under contract until some point after 6:00 p.m. on Friday. We are excited to be back at work. We’re really looking forward to a great training camp experience. As you guys know, we obviously go to Cortland, which has been phenomenal to us. They are great partners, President (Erik) Bitterbaum and his staff, and we’re really looking forward to having a great 2012 training camp up in Cortland. With that said, we’re excited about being at our Atlantic Health facility for training camp this year. With that, we’ll try to answer as many questions as possible.

On the team’s salary cap flexibility…

TANNENBAUM: One thing I can really talk about is how fun and proud I am of the people I work with everyday, with Rex and Woody (Johnson), (Assistant General Manager) Scott Cohen, (Director of Football Administration) Ari Nissim and everybody else. I know for five months we’ve prepared really hard and we had a plan that we put in pencil. That’s the only part of the process you can control. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Free agency has just begun, obviously, and we’re looking at different opportunities. Then, as I always say to Rex, ‘Let’s make the best decision for the Jets.’ That’s what we do. Unexpected situations will occur, and again, we’re just going to fall back on our preparation.

On whether he thinks the organization will come out of the signing period ahead of others…

TANNENBAUM: Every year, I think the team is going to look a little bit different. We have a number of free agents and we’re looking, but again, I think we’ll have our opportunities to improve our team like we always do in late August, early September off other teams’ practice squads. I think this year is fun and challenging. I think throughout the month of August you’re going to see more player transactions than usual, which is interesting and fun for the sport and fun for the fans.

On if the team has spoken to any players about restructuring their contracts…

TANNENBAUM: Those conversations are private and that’s just something that we’d consider internal. We just won’t address it.

On whether the lower salary cap will be an obstacle when going after free agents…

TANNENBAUM: We look at different scenarios all the time and every situation is different. The cap is just part of the process. We always say the right player, the right price and the right structure and we’ll get the player for us. I think that’s the fun part of making these types of decisions. When you do something, what can’t you do and where are the opportunities at that position. As far as back as our strategy for the draft, we always try to look at the whole offseason and look at the right places to improve.

On Mark Sanchez missing time to develop because of the lockout and the free agent strategy after the lockout…

REX RYAN: I think, first off, with our offense, we’ll be ready to roll, no excuses whatsoever. I think Mark, the biggest thing you’ll find find from Mark is his leadership. I think that’s going to be the biggest thing that we’ll all notice. It jumps out at you. I saw him today and yesterday. I just think the natural maturation of the quarterback position, that second to third year, (I see it) even more so with Mark. I see it the way the guys are around him. This is really going to be his team. I’m not big on giving out those captain (patches), the hockey-type things, even though I was a huge hockey fan as we all know, but we will put the “C” on his jersey this year because he truly is our captain.

On how important is it to have a top corner on both sides of the defense…

RYAN: I think as we talked before, Mike and I have always thought that corners are a huge priority for our football team because we do play so much man coverage. Basically they have to be able to hold up in our system. I have a philosophy that you lose games fastest at quarterback and cornerback so you better make sure you have some corners who can cover some people.

On how anxious these next 24 hours are as the team works to secure the cornerback spot…

RYAN: Well, thank goodness that we let Mike handle all of those tough moves. I just lean on Mike so I’m not real anxious. I have great confidence that whoever we put out there will have the ability to play and will play like a Jet. Like we say everybody plays like Jets, but corners have to cover like Jets. But I have all of the confidence in the world, we’ll make sure we have a guy that will represent our team the way we want to play, but all the heavy lifting this time of year is done by Mike and his crew. It’s easy for me because I get to kick back and watch him do his thing.

On how involved Ryan has been in the recruiting process…

RYAN: I got involved a little bit during these undrafted free agents. I did a little recruiting in that. But it’s easy to sell. I’m selling the New York Jets, the people in this organization and our facilities and our fan base. So it’s really easy to sell the fact that we’ve been right on the cusp of doing some extraordinary things as far as competing and getting to the Super Bowl and all of that. So it’s easy to recruit these guys but I let it fly on a couple of these guys.

On Sanchez being a team captain this year…

RYAN: I’ll still do the multiple captains, but yes he will be wearing the “C” on his jersey. He is our captain. We’ll have three – one special teams, one on offense, one on defense, but I’m just going to name the offensive captain right now. But clearly it is Mark Sanchez, it is his team. When I first got here I know there were several guys (around the NFL) that every time I turned around somebody had a “C” on his jersey. I never really knew the roster the way I know it now, it being our third year here. I’m really comfortable doing this now. Am I trying to drive up the jersey sales for Sanchez? Maybe that’s true, but I think seriously that he’s earned that and I’m excited to watch this young man grow.

On if they have to call the jerseys sweaters now…

RYAN: Well he does have a fighting strap on his jersey, so maybe so (joking).

On any undrafted free agents in particular that Ryan recruited…

RYAN: There are a couple I think. Nick Bellore from Central Michigan certainly was a guy that we felt really strongly about. Courtney Smith from South Alabama and then we had a young man, I don’t even see his name on the list here, but Julian Posey is a corner from Ohio. And there are several really good players, but those are some guys that jump out to me.

On if Ryan recruited any of the bigger name free agents…

TANNENBAUM: It’s really an organizational effort when we sign players—be it undrafted free agents or the first day of free agency or keeping our own. Woody (Johnson) and Rex are great and so is the rest of the building. We have a great story to tell and we just try to be as transparent as possible, but it’s really a group effort.

On if Ryan sees himself as a big selling point in free agency…

RYAN: Well since I had the lap band surgery, I don’t see myself as quite as big a thing as I used to be. But no I don’t see that at all. I think this team, this organization and our fan base and where we’re located and our facilities sell themselves. I think that’s kind of overblown.

On if it is hard for Ryan to sit back and watch…

RYAN: I’m up here watching Tannenbaum, sitting here with Mike. Certainly we’re always together on every decision, Mike and I. But he’s the man at this and I just sit there and we go over several scenarios and things all the time. We stay pretty much busy.

On whether the team needs to address the amount of pass rush generated at outside linebacker…

RYAN: I think it’ll be great to get Calvin (Pace) healthy again. Calvin had an injury, an ankle and foot injury. It kind of hampered him for most of the season, so I’m excited to get him back healthy because he’s clearly a guy who can be an elite pass rusher for us. And then it’s a joint effort, I thought Bryan Thomas had his moments. I’m excited to see (Jamaal) Westerman, we need to give him an opportunity. He does a great job. Every week he played the best pass rusher on the scout team and he’d do a good job so I’m excited to see him. I realize people say we struggled to rush the passer, but I think statistically we might have been in the top 10 in sacks. It’s certainly not to our standards but not as bad I think as first reported.

On if more pass rush is required to get more interception opportunities for the cornerbacks in terms of pass rush…

RYAN: You’re exactly right. I think (we had) a lot more interceptions, probably, the first year than we did last year. The numbers were down a little bit. We actually had a ton of fumbles. (Our defense) might have led the league in fumble recoveries. They do happen in bunches, but it does go hand-in-hand. We’ve always talked about a good pass rush. You can’t get an interception without a good pass rush. You can’t get a sack without good coverage, so they do go hand-in-hand.

On whether the team tries to protect itself by putting certain clauses in the contract when they sign a player with strikes against him in the league’s substance program…

TANNENBAUM: I really can’t address those things publicly.

On the depth chart at right tackle right now…

RYAN: I can’t discuss the one guy. You know what, that’s pretty good, you almost got me (smiling). Maybe there’s a right tackle out there, I don’t know. But after Friday I’d be more than happy after 6pm to discuss that right tackle depth chart.

TANNENBAUM: But what we can do is we can thank Damien Woody for his years of service and he did a great job. Damien is a guy that I know real well and really admire. He came in, we took a calculated chance on him because he played just a handful of games at right tackle for the Lions, but he came in and mentored a lot of our younger players. We really feel fortunate that (we got) not only Damien, but in that same offseason we were able to add Kris Jenkins. Unfortunately Kris hit some bumps in the road injury-wise, but I want to thank publicly both those players for their contributions and I don’t think Damien will be at right tackle this year but he really did a great job for us last year. He played hurt in the Colts game and obviously that was a big win for our franchise and playing against those speed rushers on the road where it’s a fast track and its noisy. He played what I thought was a flawless game in hostile conditions and I just really admire him for that.

On if the Jets tried to express an interest in Woody…

TANNENBAUM: He’s not under contract for this year so I can’t talk about that, but maybe you can talk to him and get a sense of what his plans are.

On if they tried to bring Woody back…

TANNENBAUM: After Friday, we’ll probably discuss that a little bit more.

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

Avatar for Tyson Rauch