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Jets Press Conference

Rex Ryan Interview Transcript 10/5/11

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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…

Injury report. Logan Payne and Bryan Thomas are out. Obviously Bryan (is) out for the year. We haven’t decided what to do with that spot on the roster yet. Guys that did not participate: Plaxico (Burress) did not participate, he has an elbow (injury). He woke up this morning, his elbow was huge. So he never practiced. He looks good, they fixed it or something, and it looks good. Garrett McIntyre did not practice, he had a concussion. He seems to be doing better each day, but he was out. Calvin Pace, abdomen, was out. I think he’s going to be just fine, but he did not practice today. Nick Mangold was limited with his ankle, Muhammad Wilkerson was limited with his shoulder. And then guys that were full: (Antonio) Cromartie with his ribs. Mike Devito, shoulder. David Harris, toe. Eric Smith, tricep. But all those guys were full. So that’s pretty much it, I’ll go ahead and open it up for questions.

On what he is wearing…

Oh, you noticed that? I forgot (joking). What it is, is a Hall of Fame blazer. So basically, so you have an idea, the Southwestern Oklahoma State University, I’ll say this, anytime I got a letter from the office of the president, it’s usually not a good thing, from that spot. But it says, ‘Dear coach Ryan, congratulations. You have been selected by the Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee to be inducted into the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame.’ So there you go. I just happened to have that there. If you guys want a copy of that, you can get that.

On the jacket being high-end…

Absolutely. Now, the reason I think it’s important to have the blazer and everything else is there’s a lot of five-star matchups this week, when you have the New England Patriots against the Jets. But this one, so many times, comes down to as we say, it never does, but I always say, it’s (Bill) Belichick versus (me). And I just wanted everybody to understand that you’re talking about two Hall-of-Famers here. Because we know he’s going to have a bust in Canton and all that, that other, minor Hall of Fame (joking). But, what I’m talking about is Belichick, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, he is a Hall-of-Famer from Wesleyan University, now I’m of course a Hall-of-Famer from Southwestern – two great athletes obviously. He was a center, I think, and a linebacker. I think I could have held my own with him on the football field. But I also saw that he was a lacrosse player, and I have no idea what I’m doing in lacrosse. I do like the idea though, of hitting people with a stick, so I think I might have been alright, so he clearly has it. So it boils down to two Hall-of-Famers butting heads. So that’s why I’ll wear the jacket today.

On second half adjustments and the Jets lack of success in the second half against Baltimore…

Or the first half for that matter. But, we’re 2-2. That’s where the team is, that’s where the coaches are. We just want to be based on one thing and that’s wins and losses. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Whether it’s a coach, whether it’s a player and all that, that’s what our team is all about. Right now, we’re at 2-2 with a huge challenge in front of us. I don’t know what the number is, I’m sure some people in here know it, on how many regular season home wins in a row they have in the regular season. I think it is 28 or something, I’m not sure if that’s right, but they have a bunch of them, so we know it’s going to be tough sledding, but we’ll see. I know one thing, the last time we played them at their place, we did beat them.

On if the offense has been too slow to make changes in the second half…

I guess everybody has their opinion and things like that. Clearly, we’ve only won two games. So for whatever reason we have to get better in a lot of areas.

On if they can use some elements of their game plan in the playoffs against the Patriots…

This one is going to be the ultimate chess match, without question. We don’t know exactly what we’re going to get from them, they don’t know exactly what we’re going to give them, so you try to stay in front of the other guy, knowing that there’s going to be changes, but both teams are going to make changes.

On if there is a common thread in the Jets wins and losses against the Patriots…

You have to slow down their offense, that’s for sure. Nobody stopped them completely, but they’re averaging over 500 yards per game, a ton of points. I think that’s the big thing. Now, what’s interesting is everybody talks about us struggling offensively, but they’re struggling offensively. They’re second in the league in scoring, so their numbers are way down from where they normally are. (joking)

On Nick Mangold…

We’ve said it before, he’s the best center in football. He has that size (and) strength. The other thing that he is, those are the only two games he’s never played here. He started every game in his career up to that point. Colin Baxter came in and did an admirable job. He never even had training camp. (Mangold) has been a part of our system for a long time. Today, I was sitting back there with Bill (Callahan) and (Mangold is) coming up and he says, ‘You know what we ought to do, is we ought to run this, this and this.’ And he’s even talking about the formation, the nasty split, bringing a guy in. I mean, he knows the whole picture and I think that gives you confidence as well.

On what it was like celebrating on the Patriots’ field…

You’re so happy that you were able to get a win and you’re moving on. It doesn’t matter who you play, the fact that we were moving on to the AFC Championship Game, that was it. It was a huge game. Obviously, you’re having to beat a great opponent. And I mentioned before, I thought they were the best team in football that year. Their record indicated. They were 14-2 or something like that, and they run roughshod over people. It was our day, we had a great plan, but it took everything we had. And that’s what it’s going to take. For us to win up there, we know what it takes. It takes everything.

On if shutting down Tom Brady made it more satisfying…

Not really, that would be probably more narrow-sighted. We want the big picture. We were just happy, it wouldn’t have mattered who we beat. The fact that it was New England and all that, we were just happy to be going on.

On if anyone believes that…

(I’m) trying my best.

On if he was surprised that the Jets are such a heavy underdog…

I don’t know what the line is or anything else, but we got beat by Oakland by 10 points (and) got beat by Baltimore by 17. Maybe people don’t think we’re very good I guess. I don’t know.

On if he really thinks it all comes down to him and Belichick…

No, but I will say this, part of it is. Part of it is your coaching staff versus their coaching staff. He’s the best coach in football. If it comes down to us, he’s going to win it. And I don’t have a problem saying it. I’m not in that class. But, we talk about it all the time, I’m going to compete. I’m going to give him everything I have and that’s what we’re doing as a staff as well. I mean every single person. We know it’s going to take everything we have, and then we’ll see if it’s good enough.

On getting back to the running game and if they changed anything…

We’re just working extremely hard, trying to fix it, looking at it over and over. Whether it’s repeating plays in practice, whatever it is, we’re trying to get back to being able to run the football.

On if the limited padded practice rules could hurt the run offense…

I guess it could, it seems like this league is throwing it all over the place. So I guess that could be. Your technique is not really working, coming off, firing off and hitting people as much as you’ve done in the past. But again, there is no excuse. We know how to run the ball, we just have to get back to it.

On Burress’ elbow…

He said today, when I was talking to him, and you guys will see him. He just said that in the game he fell on it and that was it. But last night, I guess around 3:00 in the morning, he’s like, ‘Oh, what is going on?’ He couldn’t sleep or anything else. So he came back in. They, somebody fire a word out that it makes sense to do? Drained it? Drained it is good. We’ll go with that. So drain, I think so. But he feels fine now, but obviously you worry about infection and everything else.

On if Bryan Thomas is done for the season and what they will do moving forward roster-wise…

Right. We’ll see. Mike (Tannenbaum), I’m sure is working on that as we speak.

On if Darrelle Revis will cover Wes Welker…

I’m not going to let that one out. I just think it’s safe to say that whoever Revis covers, we feel good about Revis covering anybody in this league. Whether that’s Welker, (Chad) Ochocinco, (Deion) Branch, whoever. And I mentioned to the Boston writers about Randy Vataha. It doesn’t matter who is out there, whoever he’s on, we feel good about that matchup.

On not typically using Revis on slot receivers…

Well, sometimes you can run pick routes or what looks kind of like pick routes, something like that. So that’s something that’s hard to get. He’s so good. I mean, Welker has 40 catches and it’s like, ‘What, is the season three-quarters over?’ It’s ridiculous the numbers he’s putting up, but you asked me before, they’re using him the exact same way. People are running different coverages on him. That’s why you saw him catch so many seven routes, the corner routes last week, because the coverage dictated it. And they’re so good at reading coverage, reading leverage and Welker is so competitive and him and Brady, he knows where to look and the kid’s open. And he’s their number one target, and really that (Rob) Gronkowski is probably their number two right now.

On if the coverage has dictated Welker’s high yards-per-catch average…

I think this past week in particular, they ran a lot of Cover Two and he ended up beating them with some corner routes as the inside slot receiver. So a lot of times you think of Welker as doing all the dirty jobs underneath. Pivots, option routes, drives, all that kind of stuff which he still runs, but he’s also running vertically.

On if he has talked to Mark Sanchez about bouncing back from Sunday night’s performance…

Well, I don’t think it’s just Mark, it’s all of us in general. And we picked a fine time (joking). We’re playing New England at New England. But you know what, we know what’s at stake, we have to beat these guys for us to have a chance at the division. We know we have to find a way to beat these guys, and obviously it’s a huge challenge. But we all have to bounce back, it’s not just about one guy.

On if wins early in the season against New England were signature victories and momentum boosters…

I don’t know, I guess that’s true. We’re playing at home and we had a couple of big wins against them, there’s no question. I think both games were Week 2 of the season. I wish we would have played them Week 2 (this year) I guess (joking). Obviously, if you get a win over New England, that doesn’t happen very often in this league. Two last year. That’s a big win, there’s no doubt.

On the Patriots defense…

Well, they’re really multiple. They brought in Shaun Ellis, they bring in (Albert) Haynesworth, they bring in (Andre) Carter. So they can be real multiple. They can go from an odd defense, a 3-4 defense, to a 4-3 defense. And they do a great job of mixing things up, and that’s obviously a trademark of Belichick. When you think about them, bend-but-don’t-break and all that, that’s a lot of their philosophy, but they’re always really high in takeaways. And this year, I think they’re third in the league in interceptions. So that’s kind of their trademark on defense. They’re playing better in the red zone than they have in the past. But the numbers are what they are. They’re first on offense and 32nd in the league on defense. I think they’re much more talented than that, but they have had some issues.

On if he was surprised at how much they confused Brady in the playoffs…

No, I think when you go into it you have a plan and you have to be multiple. You can’t just give Brady the same coverage over and over, the same front, you just can’t do it. When you look at them this year, stats will tell you that they’re probably going to run the ball more. The way they’re running, I think they’re eighth in the league in rushing the football now. First in passing obviously and then I think they’re eighth in the league in rushing. So, it’s not just that it’s a one-dimensional approach, they’ve been running the ball effectively as well.

On being able to get the best of Brady in the playoffs…

That’s by design. I think Shaun Ellis had a huge game in that as well. Like I said, it’s a chess match. If he knows what coverage you’re in, and knows what front, knows what pressure you’re in, then he’s going to carve you up. The chance you have is if there is some confusion there. You don’t present an obvious picture to him, and I think that’s what you have to do. If you’re just going to line up, I don’t care how good your defense is, and run certain pressures or whatever, he’s just going to light you up.

On if there is anything to the fact that he has seemed more subdued this season until today…

You know what, I’m just going to be me. And sometimes if I feel like putting the Hall of Fame thing on, which very few people in this world can say (joking), then I’ll wear it. But I’m just going to be me, and I said that from day one. Nothing is going to get me from being me, and that’s it. I’m going to be true to myself number one, true to this football team, and that’s how I’ll always approach it.

On who will introduce him at the Hall of Fame ceremony…

Well, unfortunately I found out my brother got the same letter. (joking)

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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