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REX: Guarantee? Never Again. Belief? Absolutely

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's afternoon news conference following the Jets' Friday morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

I think someone from the media should open up every day. This will be our fifth year here. What’s going to affect us is I have a meeting at 1:30 so I am going to watch the tape with the defensive coaches and things.

Great day. I think the MVP of the offense today was [Clyde] Gates. We saw that great speed and obviously we are always on him. It was one day and we certainly understand that but it is encouraging to see him get out there. We saw him making strides last year, but that speed that he has in impressive to say the least. I thought Stephen [Hill] caught the ball well, which is good to see. Kellen [Winslow] makes a big play at the end of the team period, which was good.

Then on defense, I think the usual suspects, you can pick out a guy but I think Calvin [Pace] and David [Harris] stood out to me, and obviously Mo [Muhammad Wilkerson], but that’s almost an everyday deal. I think we are going to be faster on defense. I think we see that right away. I like the communication that our guys have had. You know we might be able to put Pace out there against three-wide maybe a little more than we have done in the past.

As a first day I thought it was good. I know I’m not saying much here, but when you look at it, it feels weird. Camp is different this year. It’s my fifth year, but it’s different. I think the big thing about it is that there is always competition. But this year there is competition for starters and you’re looking at six or seven different starting competitions on defense. Then there are four or five different starting competitions on offense. Then the competition for 53 spots, the competition for practice squad. I don’t think I have ever been in a situation or camp where so many of those spots are really up for grabs. I think that will make for an interesting camp. That’s probably a little unique against the situations I have been in in the past.

On how Santonio Holmes looks…

He looks great. You know he is doing a lot conditioning and things like that, so his body is good. A lot of times when you come off an injury you have to rehab the injury, but you have to get back into playing shape. Now I am not saying he is in football shape, but he is in great shape. He has probably dropped seven or eight pounds. He has really been working.

It’s funny, you had mentioned the equipment. Well, on the first day I always do bed checks. So I was going to everyone’s room and talking to the guys, and he had everything up here [laughing]. I mean, you name it, he had this and he had that. He was explaining it all to me. I was like, oh, wow. There is so much involved in the treatment that sometimes I think that it is overlooked. It’s not like he is just getting a bag of ice. The technology and everything else is incredible, how they try to get these guys out. So the equipment they have up here for not only him but for the other guys as well.

On if he is concerned Holmes will not play this season…

Well, obviously there is always concern, but I feel confident that we will have him. Now when that is, I’m not sure, but I feel confident that he will be out there.

On if he will guarantee anything this year…

Well, I think that the guarantee stuff, I really never guaranteed anything until that stupid one. I mean, I guaranteed a Super Bowl my first year coming in, my first press conference. I mean, OK, yeah I did say that, too [laughing]. But you know what, I am confident. There is no question I am confident. I found out later that it wasn’t only coming down on me if we didn’t do it but it was coming down on our players and maybe they were feeling more pressure. So I will never do that again, no matter how confident I am. Am I guy who believes in this team and this organization? Absolutely.

On when he expects Mike Goodson to be back…

I said what I said about Mike. I’m just going to leave it at that. I don’t really want to get into the specifics and what I know and all of that kind of stuff.

On Joe McKnight being back on the practice field…

Joe is off of PUP [Physically Unable to Perform]. He’s cleared to practice and he did today.

On why McKnight was on the list…

There’s probably a reason why he was on it, but Joe’s in shape and he’s ready to go.

On Bill Parcells about to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame…

First off, he’s really a gracious guy. Anytime I’ve reached out to him, I don’t know why, he’s really been great. A wealth of knowledge for a young head coach coming into it. I interviewed with Coach Parcells in Miami for the job and everybody said the other guy had it anyway, Tony [Sparano] had it, and he did, I’m sure. I don’t think that was the official statement but that was it. I wanted to meet Parcells. When I went there I wanted to meet him and all that stuff, let’s just put it this way, I gained way more out of it than he did. He got nothing from me and I got a ton from him.

He was amazing. He talked about setting up a team. He talked about the bottom of your roster. He even talked about the developmental team and a whole lot of things that I’ve used. I don’t know how long the interview was but I took so much from it. He’s kind of a mentor and I wish I spent more time with him but what an impressive guy. Obviously, you know what you get with him. The type of team he had, he’s tough but he was consistent. He’s just a great football coach. Obviously, very deserving of going into the Hall of Fame.

As far as the battles my dad and he had, ooh, they had some beauties. And quite honestly when my dad was coaching Philly, Philly had a good record against the Giants but they couldn’t beat [Joe] Gibbs in Washington. The Giants would always beat Washington at those times. So those three just traded blows with each other. I think that five-year span, man, you talk about some knock-down-drag-outs.

On the Jets roster compared to years past…

It’s just different right now. It’s just a different feel right now because you’ve added pieces and things. It’s the NFL. You add guys each year, you have a lot of guys leave. But you have a big draft class coming in as well, so it just feels a little different. The thing I’m excited about, you teach. When I said in the opening press conference that it is a new beginning for me, that’s how it feels. It’s a brand new start. That’s how I’m approaching it. What’s happened in the past with me, whether positive or negative, you learn and you move on. This is where it is. It’s a new beginning for me.

On if this year’s team is as good as past teams…

Proof will be in the pudding.

On Goodson…

I know where he is and all that stuff, I guess that’s all I’m going to leave it at.

On practicing in Cortland…

Cortland is fantastic. Number one, you start with the people around Cortland have opened their arms to us. They’re absolutely terrific. This whole community is terrific to the New York Jets and this organization. And then you look at the facilities. The practice field, this here is as nice as any golf course. Somebody was coming out and said, ‘Is this that turf stuff?’ And I was like, no it's grass. The facilities are phenomenal. We are very fortunate to be here and be practicing in these types of facilities and this environment.
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