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Jets Press Conference

Rex Ryan Interview Transcript 8/9/11

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

Opening Statement…

I’m not going to say a word because I don’t want to offend anybody else (joking). That’s it. Hey, I saw you guys had Mike Pettine up here. I have to give you one inside, running joke we always have with each other, and it started with Pettine. My dad comes in for a game (when) we were in Baltimore, about eight years ago. He (Pettine) comes in, he says, “Hey, the real Coach Ryan is here.” I’m like, ‘Oh, ok. There’s a shot.’ Little did Pettine remember though, his dad comes all the time. My dad comes about once a year. Of course, my dad comes in, he hits that line all the time. Every single time his dad comes in, he is a legendary coach in Pennsylvania history. He had a whole bunch of wins, a zillion times more than I’ve won. Every single time he walks in, (I say), ‘Hey, the real Coach Pettine is here.’ I just make sure I do it in front of Pet. That’s just a little running thing that we always have with each other. Pettine’s a smart guy, but he messed up on that one. Either way, that’s what we have to come up with when we go through walk-thru practices right (laughter.) Anybody else have anything?

On the difference between training camp here and training camp in Cortland…

It’s different. As you know, I prefer to have camp up in Cortland. The reason I always said that was it gives you a chance where all you have is football and each other. That’s a great thing. You don’t have your families or anything else. I think it’s more of a bonding thing and you don’t have that as much here. Obviously, our facilities can handle anything. These are phenomenal facilities. We have five full fields, so this is as good as it gets, but I still miss that part of it. The way the schedule is set up, we’re getting mental work. We have meetings on top of meetings. Then, we have the walk-thru. I think we figured it was 24 practices as compared to 36 last year. That’s kind of what you’re (working with). Obviously, there are no two-a-days or anything like that, so it is different. We’re meeting. Guys will meet until 10:00 at night, so it’s similar as far as the time commitment, but you don’t have the going back to your room. We used to do things (like) movie nights (and) different things. We’d say, ‘Ok, you get to vote on it. You have the night off, but you have to do some kind of activity,’ whether it was going to a movie, whether it was a bible study or whether it was going out and drinking beer. You had to do it with a teammate, but you don’t really have that now, which is a little different.

On how the offensive line is looking with Wayne Hunter at right tackle…

Wayne is doing a great job. (He is) a talented guy. The thing that we looked at, I talked with Bill Callahan today, was that we have to make sure Vlad (Ducasse) is getting reps at tackle because he’s going to be our backup tackle. We’ve been having him at right guard. When we looked at it, we said, let’s move Rob (Turner) in there to the starting right guard while Brandon Moore is out and working his way back. Then, we’ll move Vlad back out. That’s the big thing we needed to do, make sure that Vlad is getting work at tackle. For the most part, that group has looked pretty good. They had some tough sledding yesterday, to say the least, as we all saw, against that defense. Today, there is going to be more perimeter runs and misdirections. Nobody go tell the defense (joking). There (will be) little option (plays) and different things that will, hopefully, slow up that defense a little bit today. The second (offensive) line is the one that really has (struggled). That second (defensive) line, as I talked about, has really been whipping that second (offensive) line.

On whether there is a timeline on Brandon Moore coming off the PUP list…

He’s doing great. In the weight room, those guys are really excited about Brandon, so he’s coming on. He’s still a salty guy, like he always is, but I would expect him to be back out there soon.

On whether he helped push Mike DeVito to mentor Muhammad Wilkerson…

No, you’re giving me way too much credit, but that’s a natural thing that happens. You will look at guys who have been there and done that. It’s funny because when I came here two years ago, Mike DeVito and Bo (Sione Pouha) were looking at other people. When I brought in Marques Douglas, it was because he knew our defense and because I knew he would be a good mentor because he works hard. That’s what these young guys are seeing because they are going to follow who the leaders are, which are Bo and Mike DeVito. Those are two great guys. It reminds me of when we drafted Haloti Ngata in Baltimore. Who was his mentor? Kelly Gregg, who was a heavyweight wrestling champion and just a hard-working guy. That’s what we have now, so we’re breaking in these two guys right. All they have to do is look at DeVito, the hardest-working guy out there, him and Bo.

On Joe McKnight, Derrick Mason and Donald Strickland all having wraps on…

Joe, he has an ankle (injury), so we’re going to look at that. He will go through some individual (drills). We’ll see, (but), I don’t think he’s going to be going through team. As far as D-Mase (Mason), he’s fine. That’s just a precautionary thing. I did tell him though, ‘Listen, we have the best training staff in the league. I want you to go in and see those guys. It’s not one of those things where you have to stay out of the training room. We have 30 guys in there and we’re as healthy as can be.’ Guys know how good our training staff is and take advantage of it.

On how Strickland is feeling…

I think Strick’s fine. He got kicked in the calf yesterday and got stepped on. That’s nothing (laughter). It’s probably something to him, but that’s nothing.

On whether Plaxico Burress will fully participate in team drills today…

I don’t think (so). I don’t think full yet. Again, I’m just trying to avoid that big setback, but he is doing more and more.

On whether the loss of Brad Smith will affect their use of the Wildcat formation…

I think we have three candidates for (the Wildcat), three good candidates. Will they be as good as Brad? I don’t know about that. Brad was a really special athlete. I’m going to say it for the last time until we play Buffalo. (He) was the only guy at the time in college football who rushed for over 4,000 yards and passed for over 8,000 yards. He was ideal in that role, for sure, but I think LT (LaDainian Tomlinson), he’s thrown touchdowns. All you have to do is ask my brother (Rob Ryan) (about) that, because he threw a bunch against him, so he can do it certainly. Then, Joe McKnight is an explosive athlete like Brad. I think he’d be good in that role. Then, (Jeremy) Kerley did that in college, so I think we have three guys (that can fill the role).

On whether he talked with Kyle Wilson about his confidence at any point…

That’s something you have to do individually. I think Kyle is there. Kyle has that confidence back. It’s funny because you see it all the time, especially playing at corner and especially in a new system. You come into a new thing and you’re learning two different positions, outside corner and nickel in a brand new system. Then, all of a sudden, you’re not quite having the success that you had in college. It kind of snowballs on you. That’s why we kind of gave him a, ‘Hey, you don’t have to be there yet.’ I think, right now, he’s different. He’s carrying himself differently and I think a lot of that came with the added strength that he has. I think he got stronger in the offseason and I think he feels good about it. He knows the system, so I think you’re going to have a confident football player there.

On if Wilson put on any weight or muscle during the offseason…

I just think he looks different to me. I’m not sure if he did or not, but he looks different.

On LaDainian Tomlinson’s third-down role this season and his willingness to accept that role…

I think that shows how special he is and maybe this helps him play another year, two years or whatever. You don’t have to take that constant pounding that you’ve taken through the years on first, second and third down. Now, he can do that. We all know he can do that. He showed it to us again last year, but when you have the big back in Shonn Greene, I think he’s ready to emerge in that full-time role. Then, let him play the third-down role because, to me, he’s still one of the best third-down backs in the league. He’s great at protection. Now he can get beat like anybody, but he can catch the football out of the backfield and he has those great running skills. I think he’s an ideal guy that you would put in that third-down role. Then, you add Joe McKnight to back up both those guys and then (Bilal) Powell. I think we’re just now starting to see why we took Powell as high as we did. He has some great running skills and he’s a tough kid, so I think he’s going to be a contributor on special teams.

On losing the likes of Brad Smith, Shaun Ellis and Jerricho Cotchery…

You hate to lose those guys. There is no question, but I certainly understand it. Sometimes, like I said before, you only have a certain amount of revenue and I don’t know if there is another baseball team that can afford to bring everybody they want in, just throwing it out there (laughing). That’s why (the NFL) is so competitive year-in and year-out. You can take a team that was at the bottom and go to the top in this league. It’s hard and I understand it. They have commitments to their family and all that. As tough as we want it, wherever guys go isn’t necessarily their permanent address. That’s the way business is. Hopefully, guys that play here will want to stay here the rest of their lives, but quite honestly, some guys will go even as much as those guys liked it. I guarantee you, every one of those players that actually left and went to different teams loved their stay here. That’s because they’re treated well from top to bottom, from Woody Johnson all the way down. You’re treated with respect and everybody does the most for that individual. That’s why there is no way they can’t appreciate that.

On whether there may have been miscommunication with Shaun Ellis…

Boy, that thing (his comments on not wishing Ellis well in New England) shows up in print a little different than I think the intent of it was. Everybody in here knows me and knows that I say that about every single player that leaves. It could be my son and I would be like, ‘I want him to be healthy, but I don’t wish him well,’ if he’s playing for our archrival or whoever. I guarantee you that could be Seth (his son) walking through there. The Shaun deal, you know how I feel about Shaun Ellis and everybody else that really has been a part of us. The success that we’ve had is based on how those guys have played and that’s it. I’ll always have that respect and admiration for those players. It’s so tough, like we talked about. Would I have loved to have Shaun Ellis back? Absolutely. How about Drew Coleman? How about Brad Smith? Sure, absolutely, but it’s not reality anymore. How about Damien Woody? I would have liked to have had Damien back, but he retired. He chose to retire and go about his life’s work, which will be in broadcasting. There is always things that come up that are different. You wish guys could play forever. That would be great.

On reports that the Jets are $9 million under the salary cap…

Well, (people) a lot smarter than me figure all that stuff out.

On what player has improved the most from last season…

Hard to say, because we haven’t played a game yet. I think from a confidence standpoint, Kyle Wilson, I see that back in him. Let’s see how it works out. Maybe in a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to answer that question better.

On the first preseason game…

See, we were just thinking, this time next week, we’ve already played a preseason game. Kind of feels like you’re behind a little bit. Like I said, I really haven’t even thought about it. We’re trying to get things installed, and catch up, evaluate guys. We get this kid, (number) 99 (Eddie Jones)—now you know he’s shown some things if I know the name already, but he comes on the scene, we just threw him in there, and he’s running through people. So, we’re just trying to evaluate guys right now, as well.

On whether he is concerned there will be some falloff at fullback with John Conner taking over…

We’re going to find out. T-Rich (Tony Richardson) was one of the all-time greats. Tremendous person, tremendous leadership, so we’ll see. I think John has got the physical ability. One day maybe he’ll be a Pro Bowl fullback like T-Rich. They’re different. T-Rich was so smart, he knew how to set guys up. I think there will probably be some growing pains in there with John, but there’ll certainly be some collisions with him in there, also.

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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