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REX: 4 Tips, 3 Drops in the Passing Game

Posted Oct 9, 2012

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's conference call with Jets reporters Tuesday morning:

Obviously, not a whole lot has changed in six, seven hours, whatever it is. You know, really what we saw, the four PBUs that they had, where they tipped the ball, obviously were huge. The two interceptions on the deflections hurt us, without question. They did a good job stopping our run and I think that was the big thing with their defense.

Then offensively, we helped them, there's no question. The first touchdown, for whatever reason, we totally blow a coverage and just a simple Cover-3 defense. We don't have a middle third safety. That kind of hurt, obviously, just a "gimme" touchdown. Then we had a critical alignment error on that 50-yard run. To their credit, they made the plays. We made a mistake, they made the plays. It's a good football team and obviously, you can't help them. I think that was the disappointing thing to me. We knew we'd play well, but not that that team needs it, but they certainly took advantage of mistakes we made. That's what we have to definitely get better at.

On injury updates…

Really, all of them right now are getting the MRIs and all that kind of stuff, so we really don't have any updates. We'll obviously get them to you tomorrow. But it looks like [Clyde] Gates with a shoulder, [Nick] Mangold with the ankle, and then it's some knee, it's not an ACL for sure, we know that, on Kenrick [Ellis]. That's good news but we'll find out more about that knee injury that he has. [Josh] Mauga looks like a pec[toral]. We should know more on those guys obviously by tomorrow for sure.

On if Mauga suffered a torn pec…

I'm not sure. I just know it was a pec injury is what was told to me. I certainly hope not, I know those things. I've seen guys lose a season when that happens, so I'm hoping that's not the case.

On if the struggling run game has an impact on the team's progress…

Yeah, I think we need to get the run game going. We have to get it going because it makes everything. Once you're able to run the football, it's just like that team that we just played. They run the ball more than anybody. But you have to be effective at it. Certainly, if we can run the ball, that will open up a lot of things in the passing game and that's just it. We have to be more efficient at running the football.

On Mark Sanchez’s performance against Houston…

Well, I think when you look at it, last night I thought he played pretty good. I thought he was accurate with the football. We had three drops, obviously. One of them, I think it was a drop that led to an interception. Then he was just off, the other one that we had. [Antonio] Cromartie beat his guy, beat [Johnathan] Joseph about 3 or 4 yards behind a guy. That's probably one throw we wish, Mark probably wishes he had back.

But other than that, I thought he was accurate with the football. It's just that he had four tipped passes at the line of scrimmage and then obviously, we had three drops. I think his night was going to look a lot better had those things not happened. Now, we have to be smart, we have to really look at it. Are there things that we can do? Obviously, J.J. Watt does it against a lot of teams, but are there things that we can do to maybe help them to where we're not getting as many balls tipped at the line?

On if he feels undermanned with all the injuries…

No, I think next man has to step up. I think you're seeing Jeremy Kerley step up. There's a guy who had about 90 yards receiving, I believe, last night. That's a guy we know is an excellent target, a slot receiver that is hard to cover. He gets open, and I think he's an outstanding weapon for us. Then I think Chaz [Schilens] is a young man, we brought him in, obviously, to be a physical presence in the running game, but also he has that big body and also contributes on special teams. I think he's done that.

Then it will be good to get Dustin Keller back, there's no question that's going to be great to get Dustin back. Talk about one of the better receiving tight ends in football, and then hopefully he'll come back. Hopefully Stephen Hill will be ready to roll as well.

On if he would sign Terrell Owens…

You never say never to anything. We'll look at all options like we always do, but right now, we picked up Jason Hill. I know he had the big drop, obviously, on Tebow's pass, which was tremendous, but you have to catch that ball. He actually did some decent things on tape besides that, even had a couple of good blocks and things. Here's a young guy that has a lot of speed, hopefully he can do some things. It's unfortunate with Gates having that shoulder because he provides some of that speed on the outside. He seems like he was getting better each day on the practice field, so we're encouraged by some of the things that he can do.

On if he said no to signing Plaxico Burress…

I said no before on Plaxico. It was the decision that we went with Jason Hill. But you're going to look at everything. We don't know what the severity of injuries are or anything else right now. I can say definitive no for T.O. and anybody else out there that's not on our team. But again, you look at your situation. Let's see how Gates is. I don't think the injury is going to be a major injury, so I would assume we would go with the same crew. It would just be good to get Stephen Hill back.

On why he didn’t leave Tim Tebow in the game after he made a 13-yard run…

Because if that was the call, if we wanted to run the football at the quarterback position, I'm sure he would have been the guy in there, but we had a guy wide open. It's just that Watt makes a play. We had two guys open, but J.J. Watt ends up making a great play. The next play we come in, we run a bunch, they don't even cover Chaz Schilens, he's standing all by himself in the end zone. Then Jeremy Kerley beats his guy, so we had two guys standing wide open, try to throw the ball. The kid [Watt] just makes an unbelievable play. Again, I think that was the right play to call, and the kid actually comes all the way from the right side, all the way across the field to tip the ball.

On if managing a two-quarterback system and making the substitutions is more difficult than he thought it would be…

No, I don't think so. I just think when you just pick up a guy, he's with you about four days and all of a sudden now he has to go in, he hasn't practiced any of that stuff with Tim as a quarterback. So when you call the package, for whatever reason, we had some issues with our substitutions. So it might look that way, but quite honestly, we put it in practice, we work it. It's just that we had to put somebody in, in an unfamiliar position for him. He hadn't practiced it. Hopefully we get guys that will be here longer than three or four days or whatever, maybe he'll pick it up.

On Tebow’s progress…

I wish we would have a little more success with it. At times, it looks really good and we just have to stay with it. I can tell you this, when I talked to Wade Phillips, I know how much preparation time it took from them. Hopefully, it's not just about preparation but it's that we can make some plays. Clearly, we have the 1-on-1 coverage that we wanted, he delivers a perfect pass down the field. We've just got to catch it.

On when Dustin Keller will return…

I'm encouraged when I talked to Dustin last. He felt he's going to be able to go this week. I think that will give us a huge boost.

On if Sanchez is still the starting quarterback…

Yes, no question.

On when he would consider a quarterback change…

You know, I'm not going to get into the what-ifs and all that. We're not preparing to lose, that's for sure, so we're thinking we're going to win. Starting this week, obviously, it's going to be a tough test for us. This team's top 10 in the NFL in offense, they had 100 snaps yesterday. That's something that we have to do. We're planning on winning, we're planning on having success, and I'm not going to get into the what-ifs.

On how the defense played against Houston…

I thought we stepped up a little bit. We knew it would be a test, but I thought our guys stepped up. It's unfortunate, we gave up that 50-yard run, and it was just an alignment problem that gave them a huge gap. Obviously, the kid took advantage of it and he's an excellent back. That was a 50-yard run, and then we gave up that pass. Those are the two really disappointing things.

Overall, I thought we improved. I thought once we got settled in, I thought our guys played pretty well on defense. Obviously, it wasn't good enough to win, and that's something that we've got to improve. We just have to keep working, have a good week of preparation and hopefully we get this thing turned. I believe we will get it turned this week.

Obviously, Reggie Wayne's a guy, they're averaging 15 targets to Reggie Wayne. Anybody who thought Reggie Wayne was older and all that, I was hoping that was the case. He may be older, but he's getting targeted 15 times a game and right now he's on pace to have his best year. That's something we have to look at. This [Andrew] Luck kid has been impressive, to say the least.

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