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Jets Press Conference

Rex Ryan Press Conference Transcript 9/28/11

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

Opening statement…

Alright, injuries: Logan Payne (is) out with his wrist. Guys that did not participate: Nick Mangold, ankle, (Antonio) Cromartie, ribs. The guys that were limited today in practice: David Harris with that toe, Muhammad Wilkerson, shoulder. And full-go was (Mike) DeVito, shoulder, and Santonio Holmes, shoulder. That’s pretty much else it for that. I don’t have much to say, so I’ll just open it up for questions.

On what went into the decision to bring in Aaron Maybin…

He’s a Baltimore kid, so he we had him (hanging around at their) practice. No, (I’m) just kidding. No, we just wanted to bring in a guy that we felt pretty good about and somebody that knows our system and maybe can contribute to us.

On what has changed since last month when they waived him…

Nothing. Really, I just think that we have a roster spot available. It truly was a numbers thing. He really hadn’t had a whole lot of time to be with us. What was it, like three weeks or something like that? We kind of like what we saw. He did have three sacks in the preseason in about 12 rushes, so that’s hard to ignore.

On if he thinks Maybin will be active and contribute this week…

We’ll see. That’s certainly a possibility.

On how much he believes that Nick Mangold and Antonio Cromartie will be able to play on Sunday night…

I’m hopeful that both will play. I would think that Cro (Cromartie) is probably ahead of Nick, but I’m hopeful both will play. I’m not really sure though.

On if he expects Mangold and Cromartie to practice tomorrow…

I’d think, if they practice, they are going to be very limited.

On whether Mangold will have to practice to be able to play…

You’d like to see him get a little more time, but again, you’re right. That’s Nick Mangold, and I’m not a guy that says you have to practice to play. If he has all the mental things, he’s getting better and all that, and we feel he can go, then we’ll do that. I’d like to at least feel comfortable myself to see what he can do.

On if he thinks Mangold benefits from leaving on Saturday for Baltimore as opposed to last week when they left on Friday for Oakland…

Yes, I think so. I think by him not going to Oakland, obviously as we know, that increase in swelling and all that kind of stuff would have, I think, set him back. The fact that he stayed here, we had trainers on site and got him to rehab, I think, put him aside.

On whether Kyle Wilson will start if Cromartie cannot play…

Yes.

On if the loss to Oakland seems like a wasted opportunity since Buffalo defeated New England…

Yes, I think so when you look at it as a great effort on Buffalo’s part. Now, Buffalo is leading our division so we’ll see how (it goes). Maybe I should challenge people to beat Buffalo, as well. (joking) It does show, and we’ve known, that this division is about as tough as it gets in football. Miami is down there at the bottom right now, but we know that they’re a good football team. Again, really, right now, my focus is on Baltimore – what we can control. I told our team, ‘Let’s not get beat by (the Raiders) twice.’ We got beat by the Raiders, and now let’s not dwell on (the loss) and get beat by somebody else.

On his emotions as he returns to Baltimore this week…

Really, it hasn’t even really hit me yet as much. I think the last time when we opened up the season, I think I was feeling it then. Now, maybe after the defeat or whatever, our focus has been on our football team and getting better. Clearly, I had 10 years there. That’s hard to dismiss. There wasn’t one person in that organization that I didn’t like, with the exception of Ozzie (Newsome) maybe (joking). Really, they treated me great and all that. Was I bitter about not getting the head coaching job? Yes, absolutely, but when it was determined that John Harbaugh was going to be the head coach, I wanted to be the best coach that he’s ever had under him and be the best coach that I can be, and not worry about the job that I didn’t have. That’s how I approached the job.

On if not getting the job in Baltimore motivated him to do a good job with the Jets…

Whoever gave me that shot, they were going to get everything I had. I think I had more of a determination to be myself, and not present somebody else, that I was going to be your typical coach. I think I actually did that a little in interviews. With Woody (Johnson), I never did. It was just, ‘This is who I am. I hope like heck he gives me the job,’ and he did. It’s been a blessing to come here. Right now, as much as I love those guys, they have five defensive players that I coached, specifically. (There are) four Pro Bowlers, by the way, (Terrell) Suggs, (Haloti) Ngata, Ray (Lewis), (and) Ed Reed. Then, Jarret Johnson is a great football player. I’m 100 percent committed to (the New York Jets). As much as I appreciate my years in Baltimore, and those guys were great to me, the big reason I got this job is the way those guys played.

On if he felt the same way about Joe Flacco when the Ravens drafted him as he did when the Jets drafted Sanchez…

No way. I was never involved in (the decision in Baltimore). I just remember (Director of Player Personnel) Eric DeCosta and Ozzie (Newsome) telling me about this quarterback, Joe Flacco. I’m like, ‘Joe Flacco? Let’s go with a defensive player’ (laughter). I’m like, ‘Come on, let me see this guy. He’s not any good.’ Then, when he got here, it took about one day and then you saw him throw. It was like, ‘Whoa.’ He was so much better than anything we had that it was so obvious that when (Ravens Owner) Steve (Bisciotti) asked my opinion, it was like, ‘Oh, please. It’s not even close. It’s Joe Flacco.’ I had nothing to do with that process.

On if he is concerned that the team has a heavy emphasis on the pass…

I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we’ve been behind in two of those contests, but again, we said we were going to throw the ball more this year. Would I like the number to be a little (more even)? Of course, I think everybody would like to have a more balanced attack, but we’ve been effective throwing the football. When you look at the numbers, the one that’s scary is that we’re 31st in the league in run defense. I’m like, ‘How many teams are there, 1000?’ Oh there’s 32. (laughing) That’s the number that is alarming to me.

On why the Jets yards per rushing attempt is low…

You have to give credit to the opponents that you’re playing. Sometimes they have things dialed in that are good against runs and all that stuff. I’ll tell you this – we will not give up in the running game. I’ll promise you that.

On Jason Taylor’s comments about Chad Henne being more physically talented than Sanchez…

Well, I would disagree with him, but I will say this – he’s looked like Dan Marino against us a couple of games, so certainly I think he does have a lot of talent. But is he better than Mark Sanchez? I would keep Mark Sanchez. That would be my guy.

On if he is happy that he has a big challenge in Baltimore coming up after not playing well against Oakland…

I wish we didn’t, I wish we were playing Summit (High School) and my kid was the running back. (joking) But Ray Rice is a great back, we had Maurice Jones-Drew, before that we had that Felix Jones. I thought we were going to be ready for (Darren) McFadden, but clearly he hit us on a couple big plays on the perimeter and you have to give them credit. But again, each week is a challenge. Ray Rice is a Pro Bowl back.

On if there are any themes regarding where the defense needs to improve against the run…

Well, I think when you look at it, last game in particular, it was setting the edge. We have to have set edges on our defense, and if you don’t do that, that’s where big runs happen, and obviously a 70-yard run is about as big a run as you’re going to give up. The other one, they had a big 40-yard run on a busted play that was going to be a throwback to the quarterback and then he just made a great run, again, around our edge and nobody was home. Those are things we have to get better at.

On if he has looked at Baltimore and the challenge it will be to improve the running game…

It’s tough too, you talk about good edge setters- you have Suggs and Jarret Johnson. That combination is about as good as it gets. Both guys are physical, tough guys. Alright, let’s run inside, well, you have the best tackle in football in Haloti Ngata there. Oh by the way, Ray Lewis is back there. So it’s certainly not easy. There’s no question about that. Those guys are hard to get movement on, but we’re still going to give it our best shot. I have a lot of faith in the guys we have up front and a lot of faith in Shonn Greene and (LaDainian Tomlinson).

On if he would be comfortable with Mangold playing at less than 100 percent…

No, I’d want a 100 percent, and that’d be a heck of a battle right there, letting those two guys butt heads, because one’s the best tackle in football, one’s the best center in football. So, that would be a great matchup. When you look at Nick at 70 percent, he’s still the best center in football. We’ll see. I hope he gets closer to 90 percent than 70 percent.

On Ed Reed being healthy and how dangerous he is…

Danger is right. Tips and overthrows, you can forget about it. Once you throw it, it’s a boomerang. It’s coming right back at you. The thing about Ed is, he’ll make you pay. You make a mistake, he’ll make you pay almost every single time. The other thing is he has way more range than people give him credit for. He can play centerfield and he can cover both sides. He’s as instinctive a football player as I’ve ever been around. A first ballot Hall-of-Famer, in my opinion – the best safety that’s ever played.

On his evaluation of Sanchez through the first three weeks…

I think it’s been good, about two wins and one loss. That’s all I care about.

On how Sanchez played from the middle of the second quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter against Oakland…

Well, I look at how the team played more than anything. That particular stretch, I’m not sure. I know he threw for 369 yards. I thought he did play well in Oakland. He made the one big mistake throwing the interception. That was the big mistake that I saw, but again you have to give credit (to the opponent). We don’t want to give credit to anybody, it’s always our mistakes, but sometimes it’s the opponent you play (that) has something to do with it. They certainly had a good pass rush on us at times. Again, when I look at it, I can’t look at specific plays, that timing or whatever. Obviously we never scored, but again, I thought the reason we lost that game certainly wasn’t because of our offensive performance, it was our defensive performance.

On whether tight ends being in one-on-one blocking situations caused the sacks…

I think we had one missed assignment. Then the others, we got beat physically a couple times.

On if not setting the edge results from defenders losing one-on-one battles…

Well, I think the big thing would be what your alignment is – you’re an outside guy, you’re a force defender in a certain defense, then you need to force the ball back inside. It’s not a contain deal, it’s a force thing. Sometimes we got a little thick, on the big run we got too thick on the guy. The guy was able to bounce it outside. You have to force the football, not just by your alignment or whatever, you have to force the football back inside. So, if a guy starts outside, I need to get up-field and get wider, whatever it is. On that particular run, the 70-yard run, they ran the exact play five times against the same defense. Four of them for no gain or lost yardage. One of them went for 70 yards, but it’s that consistency that we have to get better at. And the mark of a great defense is that you play with the same kind of consistency. And quite honestly, that was the thing that bothered me more than anything when I watched the tape.

On if the signing of Aaron Maybin is a statement about Jamaal Westerman…

I think this. It wouldn’t be a thing on Westerman by any stretch. For us to get the best player, we’ll take the best football player and then we’ll worry about what spot it is. So if we have six outside linebackers then so be it. We did the same thing in Baltimore. That’s why Jim Leonhard made that Baltimore team. So you just take the best players and generally it works out in the end and that’s what we’ll do. Some of these teams are throwing it for 600 yards a game it looks like. So you need to rush the passer, these no-huddle teams and all that.

On how Westerman has done in his role…

He’s been okay. He hasn’t been great, but he’s done a decent job.

On if the next two games gives them the opportunity to establish themselves as a top team in the AFC…

I never thought about it that way, I just want to win. Right now, we have that loss. It’s supposed to be behind us, but we keep talking about it. Man, would I like to play (Oakland) again. Either way, we’re just focused on this game. We know New England is out there also, no question about it. It’s Baltimore and New England, both on the road. But if we can win these two, then absolutely, why wouldn’t you think you’re the best team? You just whipped two of the best teams in the AFC if that’s the case. But before we do that, we have a lot of work to do.

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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