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REX: Minus Revis, We'll Give It Our Best Shot

Posted Sep 24, 2012

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's Monday midday news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

First off, news on Darrelle [Revis]. He does have an ACL tear that’s going to require surgery, so that’s an update on him. Obviously, that’s a significant injury, and that’s something that we’re going to have to overcome as a football team. We understand that. For him, I feel bad about it, because he’s such a great player, but also a great teammate, so we’re going to lose that presence.

With that, I don’t know what else to say about it. I guess that’s the horrible thing that came out of the game. The good thing that came out was, obviously we found a way to win. We know what this game, the Jets-Miami game, what it means to Miami. We knew they were going to be a tough opponent, and they were. That hasn’t changed. My feelings after the game are the exact same right now as they were then. Obviously, that’s a pretty stout front seven, especially against the run. We knew it was going to be tough sledding, but our guys kept competing. I was really proud of the way we finished that game.

On if there is hope that Darrelle Revis could return by the end of the year…

Well, again, I just found out five minutes ago about the ACL. I want to sit down certainly and talk to Darrelle, and we’ll do that first, before we decide if he’s on IR, if he’s not on IR. I want to talk to Darrelle. We’ve had seven players on our football team that have had this surgery before and are playing now. One of them is [Antonio] Cromartie. Cromartie had an ACL surgery. Certainly, it’s a big disappointment, but again, I know the way Darrelle is. This is a guy that is as competitive as it gets, and I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s going to come back strong from it. Again, like I said, before we ever do anything, I want to talk to Darrelle.

On his message to the team…

Everybody has to step up, and that’s it. I remember one game my first year here, I believe we lost Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins in the same game. Those are two outstanding football players, one of them regarded as our best, maybe, offensive weapon and one of them is certainly one of the best defensive players in the league in Kris Jenkins. The very next year, we lose Kris after three plays. We have a history of stepping up.

I’ve also had some experiences where you lose some corners. In Baltimore I think we lost three or four corners in one year. Obviously, that was tough. We just have to pick it up and maybe we play some opponents differently. There’s different ways to skin a cat. You can’t just obviously take away their best receiver with one guy, but again, we’ll find a way.

On if he knew the extent of Revis’ injury Sunday night…

When I saw him walking, and I talked to Darrelle on the plane, I could tell. He felt it was a significant injury, obviously, a major injury, but I didn’t want to speculate on it until you get the MRI back. We knew it was a possibility.

On if the doctor told him Revis’ injury Sunday night…

Again, Dr. [Ken] Montgomery wanted to make sure he saw the MRI. He had a feeling it was a significant knee injury, but he did not say specifically that it was the ACL.

On if Revis’ injury was a complete tear…

That’s my understanding, that it’s a tear.

On if his first priority is getting Revis fully recovered before he returns…

One hundred percent. No question.

On the recovery time for Revis…

I don’t know the specifics of the injury and things. I think the doctors will know a lot more after they perform the surgery. There are some things and maybe there’s other things in there, maybe there’s not. I saw Cromartie and he talked about his surgery. Every one of them, every injury, is different. Certainly we’ll know a lot more after the surgery is performed.

On when Revis’ surgery will take place…

It might be two to three weeks. They do it differently now. They don’t just go in now. They try to get your knee healthier, then they perform the surgery.

On if he has seen Revis since Sunday night…

No, I have not.

On where Revis’ MRI took place…

I’m not sure. It was here [in New Jersey]. They never had a chance for one there or we would have performed it there. I’m not sure exactly where.

On how the defense will change without Revis…

Well, we’re fortunate because most teams only have one No. 1 corner, or some don’t even have any. We’re fortunate, we have the best in the league in Darrelle, and we also have a No. 1 corner in Cromartie, so we’re fortunate there. We drafted Kyle Wilson, to basically be a No. 2 corner, and that’s the way he’s going to play that role. I’m confident in Kyle. Then we have two young, tough players in Isaiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster that are going to have to step it up.

On if they have to be aggressive…

I think sometimes you have to be. The most aggressive defense in the history of the National Football League was the Bears, back when my dad was there. He played with three college safeties and a college receiver from Yale. That was how his back end was made up. But sometimes, you put enough pressure on them, you don’t have those throws down the field, so that’s something. We may be more aggressive.

On how he plans to keep the team morale up after losing Revis for the season…

I look at it this way, this is a team game, and as a team, we have to step it up. Our guys, I think, will respond. We certainly have to accept the challenge, and we’re going to come out and compete. We might do it a little differently, but we’re certainly going to give it our best shot, without question.

Is it a major blow when you lose a great player like Darrelle Revis? Of course, it absolutely is, but this is a football team. I think we showed that yesterday, too. There were plenty of times to get down in that game, but we kept fighting and kept believing in each other and that’s why we found a way to win. That’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take everybody we have, pulling together like we are, and just keep competing, and we’ll see what happens at the end of the day.

On if Revis’ injury was non-contact…

It was non-contact. You can tell he went, and it was non-contact, and then the offensive lineman cut him as the play went on, but that wasn’t the injury. He had already, you could tell, he had lifted his leg up where you could tell the injury took place. Then the center from Miami cut him, but that wasn’t a factor in the injury.

On how the injury occurred…

That’s how a lot of these happen. A lot of them happen that way, it’s hard to explain. You can’t blame it on the Astroturf. We were playing on grass. It’s just one of those things, unfortunately. Things like this happen, but it’s certainly unfortunate.

On if Revis being out will change other teams’ perceptions of the defense…

Certainly, when they look at it, you don’t have that matchup with Darrelle Revis. It’s like, let’s face it, in some games, a great quarterback like Peyton Manning, refused to throw to a great receiver like Reggie Wayne. He’s like, “Forget it, we’re going to work away from him.” So you don’t have that necessarily. But again, we have a lot of good football players. Guys are going to have to step up and pick our game up.

On if they will be able to be more aggressive without Revis…

You have to. The big thing we have to do is stop the run better. If you’re focused on trying to stop the run so much, you’re not going to be as aggressive coming after a quarterback when you’re not stopping the run. I think that’s our biggest thing right now. When you look at it defensively, even though we’re in first place in our division, when you look at it, we have to step up and stop the run better. These two opponents, you'd better step up. You have the 49ers and then you have Houston coming up. Both of these teams can really run the football, so that has to be it. If you want to get pressure on the quarterback, you have to stop the run on early downs.

On why they haven’t been able to stop the run…

It’s simple, you have to be gap-sound. Sometimes we get out of a gap and they make you pay for it. And we have to tackle. It comes down to as simple as that, that’s how you play run defense. I know it’s a frustrating thing because two things are happening right now to our defense that I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a stage like this, where we’re struggling to stop the run and struggling to get off the field on third down. Those are two areas that are generally a strength, and right now we haven’t done a good enough job of that.

On if it’s a personal challenge to fix the defensive issues…

Sure, absolutely. It’s a personal challenge to me, personal challenge to Mike Pettine, Bob Sutton. Every coach, any coach worth his salt always takes things personally. You find ways of trying to help your guys. It takes a total commitment from the players and the coaches.

On Revis’ mood when he talked to him on the flight…

It’s just disappointing. This guy wants to win. When you think of Darrelle, as great a player as he is individually, this guy is a great teammate and wants to win. He wants his football team to win. I think that’s why he’s so excited about this year. We know we’re a better football team than we were last year and we’re committed, every man, every person in this building is committed to that. We see it going in that direction, yet now we have that injury and he might not be able to help us on the field like he really wants to. Clearly, any time a guy goes through an injury, it’s tough. There’s no doubt. You could certainly see that on his face.

On if he said anything to try to boost Revis’ spirits.…

He knows what we think of him.

On if the offense can help make up for the loss of Revis…

Sure, as a team, we’re all about that. That’s it. We gave a gameball to Tony [OC Tony Sparano] yesterday and he talked about it, it’s a team gameball without question. He understands it. We all understand it. I don’t think people know how much of a team this is. Whatever it takes, that’s what we’re looking to do. Certainly, the offense will step it up. I think our defensive will step it up, and so will the coaching. I don’t think there’s any doubt. We’re committed to that.

On if he had a moment of panic due to Revis’ injury…

Never happens. Nope, never happens. We have enough to get it done here. I remember coaching [in Baltimore], we had a once-in-a-lifetime player in Ray Lewis go down for 10 weeks once and Ed Reed followed it up by, I think, going down for five weeks one season. We had a lot of injuries, but you find a way to get it done. We’re built, this football team, we have a bunch of competitors. We will find a way to get this done.

On Stephen Hill’s injury…

Hamstring. Again, we’ll see how he progress through the week, but that’s a hamstring on a skilled athlete, so we’ll see about this week. It might be kind of iffy for this week.

On if Bryan Thomas will be back with the team…

I’m not going to say anything, but we’ll see how things go as the week goes on.

On if the team waived Marcus Dixon

Yes. That’s to open up some other things that we feel like we need to do to help our football team.

On if they’re looking for help at cornerback…

We’re going to look for anything we think can help our team. We’ll certainly look at those possibilities.

On struggling to run the ball against Miami…

You have to give Miami credit. We talked about that. It was tough sledding. That’s for sure. Did I think we left some yards on the field? Yeah, absolutely. There was a chance to get the ball outside, just different things, but again, I would give credit to the opponent because they do an outstanding job stopping the run. That big [Paul] Soliai in the middle, they have some good football players. It’s not just against us. They’ve done an outstanding job all year stopping the run.

On Shonn Greene’s low average per carry…

We’d like to get him going more, without question. We’d like to see him get that average up around over four yards a carry. Again, we’ll see. We’ll keep working at it and hope we can get some things going here.

On getting Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell more touches early in games…

That’s certainly a possibility that we’ll look into.

On if it’s possible McKnight and Powell could get more early touches…

It’s possible. We’ll look at anything we think can help our team. Has that been discussed? No. Every week we look at things, how we approach different opponents, and things like that. I haven’t seen one tape on San Francisco yet. Anything we think can help, if it’s that Wildcat, we will look at all possibilities going into a game. Is that going to happen? I don’t know, but we will look at everything.

On the possibility of multiple personnel moves being made this week…

There could be. We’ll look at everything. I don’t know what’s out there. Certainly, we do a tremendous job with our Pro Personnel Department, so we will look at all possibilities.

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