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REX: Our Thing Is Getting Back, Getting Better

Posted Nov 26, 2012

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

Obviously, it’s on to Arizona. There’s five weeks left and that’s where our focus will be. I don’t know what else to tell you. I think with the injuries, the significant one with [Clyde] Gates, we’ll talk more about those specific things on Wednesday, but Gates with that concussion. We’ll see about his status and Tim [Tebow]'s ribs. We’ll see how he progresses throughout the week.

On if Chaz Schilens was injured at the end of the game…

Yeah, he’ll be evaluated also. I’m not sure how significant his concussion was, but I think we’ll know about that obviously by Wednesday. We’ll see if he can practice or not.

On the evaluations of Tebow’s ribs…

I’m not expecting anything to change as far as his availability, but we’ll see how the week goes, to see if there’s any significant change or anything else. I know he was active for the game, but we’ll see. I know he’s getting treatment and things like that. I anticipate him being ready to go but we’ll see.

On keeping Tebow active for the Patriots game…

Two cracked ribs. Again, Bruce [Speight, senior director of media relations] already gave you the timeline and when everything was found out. I thought he had already taken all of the snaps during the week. He could play. That was it. People have played with cracked ribs before. I wasn’t going to use him unless we absolutely thought we had to use him. That’s happened before with other players as well. I wasn’t going to put him in specifically to run some Wildcat plays, when I knew he had some discomfort obviously with the cracked ribs.

On when he heard Tebow’s breathing wasn’t normal…

It was on Wednesday when I could see him [not breathing normally].

On if it was after he had the MRI…

I found out Tuesday evening about the cracked ribs. Again, players play with cracked ribs. On Wednesday, he was standing by me, and that was really the first time that I noticed he wasn’t bouncing around like he always does. On Monday, he was better than he was on Wednesday. It doesn’t really make sense. I could tell there was something. It was the first time I had noticed, even though he had practiced on Monday. That was when it became a concern for me.

On if Tebow’s physicality was a reason to hold him out of the Patriots game…

The thing is, we took him off of being a personal punt protector on the punt team. We had him there in just an emergency role. What that role would have been exactly, if something were to happen, would we have just handed the ball off a little bit, that’s probably what would have happened.

Again, I wouldn’t have put a guy out there if somebody with a lot more knowledge that me were to tell me that he’s not ready to go. Obviously, it wouldn’t have been a decision at all. Like I told you before, I considered putting Greg [McElroy] up and having him down, but he’s like, "Coach, I’m fine, I can go." He wanted to. He came to the stadium early and he was ready to play, in his eyes and in the doctors' and trainers', that he could play. That was why I made the decision to have him there as a backup quarterback only.

On if his message over the next five weeks is to “run the table”…

Heck, yeah, that’s your goal. Absolutely that’s what you’re trying to do. Our goal was to beat New England also but that never worked out. That’s why you play. You try and win every game that you’re in. I’m saying right now I’m not going to make a guarantee that we’re going to make the playoffs or that deal. We have to get better. It has to start right now. You can’t look down the road. Of course you’d like to run the table, I guess that’s human nature to say hey I see what’s on our schedule, we have to win all five games, we have to do this, we have to do that. We have to win this game. I think that’s where the entire focus is.

On conveying the message to the team that they can finish above .500…

Yeah, our thing is just getting back and getting better. That’s what we have to do. If we don’t get better, then obviously we’re going to struggle. I think that’s the main thing. It’s getting better each day and if you do that, then you’ll have opportunities. If we don’t get better, then we’re going to struggle. Whether it’s looking down the road or whatever, understanding that we have five games left. Right now, the most important thing is to focus on Arizona and to win this game. You put everything you have into winning this football game. I think that’s the best approach you can have.

On if things change once a team’s chance of making the playoffs is eliminated…

I’m not looking into that. I’m just focused on the right now, the present. Whatever’s in the future is in the future. Right now, in the present, I just want to win. That’s the only way I think about things. I’m not looking at anything else.

On if Mark Sanchez could have done something different on the interception…

Sure, you could have recognized that [Steve Gregory] was playing a low safety. I’m sure you guys have seen it. His body was turned like he was doubling the X receiver, the 3-by-1. He came back and then stole the backside. It was a good play. It was well designed by [Bill] Belichick and the kid just made a great play.

Again, you’d like to hope that you’d notice him and being able to rob him from the backside, but his first read, when you look at it, it’s clear that he’s on this side. We run the exact same coverage but it’s clear that he’s designed to be on this side. That’s probably the perception of it. As the ball is declared it was a play action. He came here and had his back turned to him. The guy did a great job of wheeling back and intercepting the ball.

On if Mark Sanchez did something wrong on the interception…

Yeah, he threw a pick. Again, it was a well-disguised thing. There’s no excuse. You hope you can pick it up. I think when you look at it and break it down, you’ll see the same thing I was talking about. It’s just sometimes you give credit to the defense. They had a great design. The kid made a great play. Do I wish he would have not thrown the ball? Of course.

On the defensive breakdowns…

We had some major breakdowns. Obviously, we had two huge breakdowns and it starts with your communication. You give up two big ones like that, I don’t know, one was 83 yards, I don’t know how far the other one was, but that kills you. Against that football team, you can’t afford those. You have to be dead on with all your communication. We said that before we went into that game that your communication has to be perfect. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and we made two critical errors and that killed us.

And the fact they did a good job, made some plays on us, they consistently were able to convert on third down and that’s a problem. And that’s the way that team’s set up. It starts with [Tom] Brady back there. He’s excellent at finding the open guy and he’s hard to fool. Quite honestly, they did a better job than we did. There’s no doubt, they did a better job executing, they had a great plan and they executed.

On not having Darrelle Revis

Again, would I love to have Darrelle Revis out there? Of course. Voted by his peers as the best defensive player in the league, of course you’d like to have him out there. But the fact is he’s not out there and this guy might not be out there, this guy might not be out there. Still, you have to get it done, it’s our job. And we have to do a better job of communicating and teaching. As we move forward, we have to do that.

On why he takes responsibility for the players’ miscommunications…

That’s my job. It has to get done. A job of your coach is to try to eliminate those problems. That’s what we’re on the practice field to do is to get better. Clearly, it’s not it. Now the players have a job to do, there’s no doubt. They have to carry out their assignments and everything else and physically get the job done. But as a coach, you always take it personal if there are communication problems.

So again, I’ll wear the hat for those mistakes and that’s why I think we’ll get better, because it’s not going to happen, I feel that it won’t happen again for the simple fact that OK, no, we’re not going to allow it to happen. You’re right, it's on the practice field, but the guys have to know their job so well that it’s a matter of getting it done and that’s what we have to do as teachers and as coaches.

On if he’s seen a team that has practiced this well during the week and not produced on gameday…

No, I know the effort’s there. But sometimes I think what gets lost is that your opponent has a lot to do with it as well. You’re playing against a good team. I’m not a guy, "Well, it’s just about us." If that’s the case, everybody would be undefeated. That’s not the case. Sometimes the opponent makes a good play or whatever. Obviously, New England’s the number one offense in football. They execute extremely well. Did we help them with the miscommunication? Absolutely, and that’s a team that doesn’t need a whole lot of help.

On if he’s addressed the team today…

Yes I have.

On his message today…

I think the big thing is, no matter how much people want to dwell on what happened in the past, you have to move forward. Just like what we’ll do, every question has been about what happened and that’s fine that’s your job, but our focus as soon as I leave here, my focus is getting this team ready to go against Arizona.

On why there was miscommunication against New England…

The communication actually has been decent. This was two plays in particular that you get burned. Like I say, you miscommunicate against this team, they can burn you, they can expose you, and that’s exactly what happened to us.

On “Fireman Ed” stepping down…

Yeah, I was disappointed because I love that guy’s passion and energy that he would bring and really, he’s a great fan. I really admire him. He was great. But I think we do our job on the field, that Jet chant will continue. But I certainly appreciate Fireman Ed.

On if he’s shaken up about the "resignation" or "retirement" of Fireman Ed…

[Laughter] Well, I like Fireman Ed. If he could play linebacker, I’d use him. I like him. I don’t know what to say. I do, I appreciate him.

On how he spent the three extra days off…

Really looking at us, revisiting the nightmare that was the New England Patriots game. But really focusing on our opponent and getting ready to play Arizona and some of the challenges that they present.

On his coaching career stop at Arizona…

It was good. It was my first experience in the NFL and that’s something I was grateful for. I think that’s the best thing that really ever happened to me from a career standpoint. I got to coach under my father for two years and see how he would approach offenses and game planning and specific things to opponents and he really was 20 years ahead of his time at least.

I think to this day there are people that take things from what he brought and you still see some of that from his 46 to whatever in the league. The zone blitz and all that kind of stuff, he was a pioneer in that. But the other thing is too, is really, even now, the way teams are looking at things specifically, audibles on defense all those types of things is what I really learned from. It was a great experience for me. Obviously, I only spent two years there but those are two years that I really cherish.

On if he heard from other coaches or family members after the loss…

No. I think when you get beat that bad, every coach has been there before and that’s just the truth. What are you going to say? Not really. So that’s the truth.

On his brother having a tough game…

Yeah, that’s great [joking]. Thanksgiving — thankful that that thing is over with. Again, we’ll fight again. The beauty of this business is we have five weeks left, I have five weeks left in the regular season, and we’ll see what happens. I truly believe this team will get better and that’s what I’m banking on.

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