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REX: A Lot of Young Guys Are Stepping It Up

Posted Jun 5, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following Wednesday's OTA practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

I think you see the guys are flying around. Good job at competing against each other and that’s how it’s been throughout the OTAs. So that’s good to see. I think the red zone, putting the ball down in the red zone as a team period. Sometimes you kind of hold your breath hoping guys don’t run into each other and all that stuff. I thought that they did a decent job of that. We want to be more multiple this year on defense and I think we were. The last couple years for sure. Try to create a little more confusion where you don’t necessarily know exactly what we’re in. We’re trying to do that a little bit more. That seemed to work.

I understand we lined up offsides a couple times today. One cost us a touchdown, an interception for a touchdown, so we've got to make sure we’re doing the little things. It’s easy to say dismiss it but you've got to correct it. So that’s something we have to get better at.

I saw that Deacon Jones passed, that’s obviously unfortunate. He was, what a tremendous player, you guys have heard me talk about him before. You talk about one of the really true pass rushers in the history of the game. A double head slap, a lot of things outlawed and all that kind of stuff. I think as a football fan, a lot of people are going to miss him. Probably the tackles that he went up against, he went upside their head, probably don’t miss him as much as the rest of us.

On if there has been an OTA where the offense has won…

I think there’s days where it is kind of up and down, back and forth a little bit.

On if there has been an OTA where the media has not attended where the offense has won…

Sure. You know you can say that. Without question we’ve had our moments. We had a two-minute drill and [Mark] Sanchez through a great pass for a touchdown in a two-minute drill last week. I think, for the most part, its good competition. The wins and losses, the Jets always win, so I always feel good about that. There is a lot of competition out there and you know it’s still taking care of each other and I think that’s a big thing we’ve learned to do.

On the status of the wide receivers…

Stephen [Hill] should be back. You know he and Gates, I think, will both be back next week. You know Stephen actually had some swelling in his knee. It’s kind of a precaution, he dove for a ball. Sometimes we talk about taking care of each other, you have to take care of yourself too. No sense doing that. So he kind of had some swelling in the knee. We’ll bring him back and Clyde Gates had a little hamstring. He tried to come back but we’ll bring him along and hopefully get him out there next week.

And then as far as Jeremy [Kerley], he hasn’t missed anything. Today had a little bit of a heel issue. We ended up backing him down. And of course Santonio [Holmes], we’ll see how he’s doing a decent job, we’ll see how he’s doing for training camp. Maybe there’s a possibility he starts out on PUP, but seems to be doing well here.

On the difficulty in accessing the wide receivers due to injuries…

Well, I mean that’s brutal. If we had to play, again, there would be major concerns. If we had to play this week, now some of those guys would probably be able to play. But again, obviously you’re going to look a lot different when your top four guys are out there than you would right now.

On evaluating the wide receivers…

They haven’t been hurt the whole time. We had some guys that were really making strides, I thought. I really liked the way Gates was progressing and Stephen Hill might have been, you know he was really progressing, I thought. That was really encouraging to see. Obviously both those two guys have top-end speed with anybody in the league. You’re looking at two guys really want to take a jump, we want them to take a big jump, and we need them to. That hasn’t changed. We saw some of it coming and then obviously with him having to back down through OTAs it’s been disappointing.

On if Mike Goodson needs to catch up…

He has actually done a good job, mentally on top with some things. We’ve seen when he is out here that the explosiveness that he has, everybody knows about. It’s no surprise, he averages over six yards a carry. We anticipate that, we see the great speed in all that. Obviously today he had something that I was aware of, he wasn’t out there today. But again, we’ll see how it is. The guy does have the physical talent that really impresses you

On if Goodson will be participating in Thursday's OTA...

Again, maybe not out here tomorrow but I expect him to be at the minicamps coming up.

On the discrepancy between the offense and the offense…

The defense made some mistake also. Some of them they stumbled into. But I think that’s where we’re at. Obviously thank goodness we’re not playing this week or next week. The defense, I think, you could see the speed of the defense and I think that’s pretty obvious. The talent, the improvement, some of the young guys, the strides some of the young guys have made. I know "the bust," "the draft bust," I read all of those things about Demario Davis, we’ll see if he’s a bust. We’ll see if [Quinton] Coples is, too. I have a funny feeling they’re not. I have a funny feeling they’re exactly what I said they were.

And I think we’re starting to see it. They were seeing Double-A, Antonio Allen come around. A lot of these young guys are stepping up a little bit. [Darrin] Walls was eighth on the depth chart now, he’s running with the first group of the sub team. So I think there’s some guys who are really making some strides. Obviously you’re going to know a lot more about your team when the pads come on. But to this day there’s some guys who have really done some nice things out there for us.

On the speculation of naming a quarterback in the next few weeks…

I don’t believe that’s the case. I don’t think we’re close to that right now. And obviously the process is, you don’t have to make that move. Until we feel 100 percent comfortable with that decision then we'll just leave it to competition.

On the standings of the quarterback competition…

It’s way too early to say. Some days this guy looks good, some days this guy looks good.

On how the wide receivers' injuries have made it difficult to judge the quarterback competition…

I should have said that. I mean that’s my answer. We’ll just use that. That’s outstanding. That’s way more articulate than I could put it, which is not surprising to anybody. But really that’s fair. Both guys are, and all the guys are learning a new system. And it’s a long process. Like I said, once it is totally 100 percent clear who the guy is, then we can look at making that decision. Then I can make that decision. But right now this is just the early stages of it. I think there is a long way to go. I think I’ll be a lot more comfortable seeing guys in a live situation also.

On how he knows it will be a clear decision who will be the starting quarterback…

I never said it would have to be a 100 percent. For me to make the decision to say the competition is over, it’s going to have to be a 100 percent clear to me. And if it’s not, then we’re going to keep competing until whenever.

On how involved he will be in making the decision on the starting quarterback…

I’m sure it will be, it won’t just be me saying no it’s this and that’s it. It won’t just be my evaluation, but at the end of the day, I guess it will be if there’s a split camp or whatever, then I will make that decision.

On if the tie goes to the incumbent…

[Laughter] I don’t know. We’ll do what we normally do. Flip a coin and say that’s pretty much it [laughter].

On if Matt Simms is ahead of Greg McElroy on the depth chart…

No, we just put it out there. I think sometimes when you guys come out in the days, I remember somebody was asking me, "Well, does Geno ever get to run with the first group? Is he out there?" Well, yes he is. Days flip. That’s definitely not the case. There’s still competition for those spots.

On if he has seen signs that Sanchez is learning to throw the ball away…

Well, I saw it even today in the red zone. That’s why I said ‘hey look. It’s not there. You made a good move by not trying to force the issue.’ And I think he did that a few times. That is encouraging to me. An incompletion is not the worst thing that can happen to you, as we know. We have to eliminate those mistakes down there in the red zone, those turnovers. And that’s clear to not just me but everybody. I was encouraged by some of those things. The defense did a great job on some coverages that they did, so get rid of it. Don’t make it a horrendous down.

On Steve Young’s comments that Sanchez was a broken-down player last season and if he is different so far this season…

Clearly it wasn’t just Mark, but we weren’t playing well. I think when you come back you have to erase the computer. You start all over again and I think Mark’s done that and I think a bunch of us have done that. That’s the way it is. I think the old Satchel Paige line, I’ll just add, obviously you learn from what’s happened in your past, but as Satchel Paige used to say, sometimes when you look behind ... now I’m totally going to butcher it [laughter]. He said it like this [joking], exactly, he said it like this, someone might be gaining on you. I think he said it that way first. Then he said, "If you look back, someone could be gaining on you." If you focus so much attention on what happened in the past you lose sight of what’s in front of you. And I don’t think that’s what we’re doing now. I think everybody’s excited about where we are. The preparation has been outstanding and we’ll move forward.

On his early impressions of Smith…

I think first off is, sometimes you want to see when a young quarterback comes in, is it too big for him? I don’t think it’s too big for him. I think because there is a lot on your plate. You come in, you learn 50 plays or something like that, almost immediately – you learn different protections. I think he’s doing a great job. He’s on top of that. I think the way he throws the ball, obviously you notice his physical skills. He can throw it with anybody and I think that’s been impressive as well.

On Stephen Hill’s injury and the swelling and fluid in his knee…

No, I think he’s fine. I think that’s why we’re backing him off. The swelling, the fluid any other word you want to say, that’s what happened there.

On if Geno has to take it from Sanchez to be the starter…

I think we’ll just let that process play out and at the end of the day, make the right decision for us.

On if Vladimir Ducasse is back playing offensive tackle…

We’ve been moving him around a little bit. We feel really good about where Willie Colon is right now. We picked up [Stephen] Peterman. We drafted [Brian] Winters and things. But there’s a chance as anywhere when you dress you’ve got to be able to play multiple positions. He’s competing at guard and tackle. Primarily you’re seeing him at tackle right now, but he has been there at guard. He’s worked at guard as well.

How big of a year is it for the 2010 draft picks to breakthrough in starting roles…

Kyle [Wilson] started almost every game for us last year.

On if Wilson started only because Darrelle Revis was hurt last year…

Well, but that’s true and I don’t think he would beat Darrelle out even this year. Just throwing it out there. I see him as much improved. I don’t think there is any doubt. And it would be interesting to see if you talked to some of the other guys, how they feel about him. Talk to Cro [Antonio Cromartie]. Talk to a bunch of them because I think you see him really taking to it. And you expect him to. And you do expect those guys, if you’re going to do it, you have to take that step forward.

But I'm very confident in Kyle. Obviously Vlad [Vladimir Ducasse]'s got to move forward. Part of the thing that’s held Joe [McKnight] back is that he’s had some issues injury wise, health wise and things, obviously led this league in kick returns, so that’s been a real positive. But we’re waiting to see it because with his kind of ability you expect to see him do other things. He should catch more than one ball a year. Hopefully this will be the year that he takes a step forward.

On his more positive body language since the NFL Draft in April…

I just feel great. I do feel great about this team. I feel great about getting back and doing what I know to do. I have a lot of faith in the coaches – I always have. But I think for me, it’s better that I do what I do. And that’s coach and teach every day and the same things in meetings. I feel good about it. Maybe the guys aren’t learning as much, but I feel good about it.

On a defensive player saying that he is so involved with the team and that they can see his genius as a defensive mind…

That dude’s starting [laughter]. I don’t care who it is, he’s starting. Aaron Berry? Aaron’s starting.

On if he feels back at home with the defense…

Yes. I definitely feel that way.

On what he has seen out of Sheldon Richardson so far…

We haven’t put the pads on, but he’s explosive and I know you guys recognize it, too. It’s not hard to recognize a guy that plays with that kind of energy, that kind of enthusiasm. We talk about it here, playing like a Jet, nobody likes that term, but it’s a huge term to us. And sometimes when you go out, you send scouts out, you talk about, hey, look, we shouldn’t have to teach desire and effort and all of that type of stuff. Certainly this is a guy you don’t have to worry about.

How athletic is he? You guys saw him in college. He actually played middle linebacker some. It’s not surprising that we’re seeing what we’re seeing. He just jumps in there. You put him all over the place and he’s just hitting it and he’s going 100 miles an hour. When you put him in there with a Quinton Coples, with Big Mo [Muhammad Wilkerson], Kenrick [Ellis], all those type of guys, the energy, and not just them. But from Snacks [Damon Harrison], from, we got [Antonio] Garay on the field today, which is great to see.

But all those guys. I mentioned it before, the job Karl Dunbar’s done. You see just the energy that those guys are playing with. They push each other. And that’s when you know you’ve got a great unit.

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