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REX: Pats Do a Great Job of Attacking the Ball

Posted Nov 19, 2012

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

Obviously, a short night, if you will. We get back, watch the tape at night and then move on immediately to New England. So that’s basically where we’re at and I don’t have the injury report or anything else for you, so fire away.

On if TE Rob Gronkowski being out this week will change things…

I don’t know. They have five tight ends on their roster, so I don’t know if they will put another guy in that role. I’m not sure how they’ll do it. New England is so multiple, they give you, sometimes it could be four wides, five wides, could be a bunch of tight ends and all that, so we’ll see as the game goes how it affects them. Obviously with Gronkowski, a huge target, especially in the red zone. I never like to see anybody get hurt. I’m not sad that he’s missing our game but I hope he gets back soon.

On if he saw something different on the Rams video than he originally thought…

Just real happy, I thought our offensive line was real physical in the game. I thought that was, it’s not surprising, but it was good. They give you a challenge. They do a lot of things, multiple fronts, blitzes and all that and I thought our guys were very physical and that was impressive. I liked the way our receivers blocked down the field as well. So there are a lot of good things there. Obviously, Mark [Sanchez] had an outstanding game. If you look at it, it really could’ve been 17-of-20 if we didn’t have a couple drops there. so he threw the ball really well.

He had the one strip sack, which we have to really emphasize this week. New England has forced six strip sacks this season. Number 50, I think, [Rob] Ninkovich, he’s a good player. I know him by number, he’s forced I think, I don’t know, five, six fumbles or something like that this year so they do a great job of attacking the football. I think they lead the league in forced fumbles. It’s something they’ve always done a great job of, so we have to make sure we’re protecting the football at all costs.

On New England’s outside rusher getting a strip sack…

They do a great job rushing the passer. Technique-wise, they do a great job of that. It’s something they’re always thinking. You don’t just think sacks, you think turnovers. I think we’ve improved that. Muhammad [Wilkerson] had a great one this past week, but that’s something that you always stress to your players and clearly they’ve been very effective at that.

On preparing for strip sacks…

That’s something that you have to be mindful of. It’s put two hands on the football, protecting the football at all times, keeping the ball on your up-field shoulder. Some of that is a presence of when to step up. I think [Tom] Brady probably does it better than anybody. He puts that ball down on that front shoulder and he’ll protect it at all costs. Sometimes he’ll take a sack, I mean, very rarely. I think they lead the league in least sacks, but if it comes down to it, he’s going to protect the football instead of trying to do something.

We have to be mindful of that. We know that, obviously, we’re vulnerable from what the stats indicate, but this is what they do well, so it’s something we have to do a great job of and guard against.

On if Sanchez’s checks were better at St. Louis…

No, I think he’s been good this season. I think he’s been really better at identify fronts and everything else. He and [Nick] Mangold do a great job communicating with each other. I thought he did a really nice job of that this past week. In particular, with all the looks that you were getting from that defense.

On if Sanchez has to have the same type of game this week to beat New England…

I think we all have to play at the top of our game. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We all have to perform there. I think sometimes when you look at a quarterback rating you just target in specifically on the quarterback, but a lot goes into that. Obviously, the protections go into that, the receivers running the right route, catching the football. A lot of things go into it, the backs and protections, offensive line blocking, so I think that’s more of a team thing than anything else. Clearly, he did an excellent job. I think the rating was 118 or something like that, so I’d love to sign up for that type of day for sure.

On if the short week will help against New England…

We know each other well, but clearly, when you look at how their offense is, they can run a zillion different things. I don’t know how much of a help it well be or not, but I guess we’ll see on Thursday.

On if he will talk to his players about trash talk with New England during the week…

Not really. We’re just trying to punch our way out, so I don’t know how much of that there will be, but it’s not something I’ll bring up to the team.

On if he feels good that the current Wild Card leaders lost…

No. Right now, we have so much work to do, all we can do is focus on ourselves. We’re not getting into that now. We know we have to get better. We know the challenge that’s in front of us, but we’re just trying to punch our way out. That’s where our focus is.

On if they can take anything away from the 2009 season when they started 4-6…

What we did in 2009, I think you go back to it as try to get better each day, whether it’s on the practice field or somewhere else. I think that’s in all phases, and that’s what we did. We got better as the season went on and I think that’s clearly what we have to do now. If the players can draw from it, than that’s great. Again, we have a ton of work in front of us and a short amount of time to prepare for clearly the best offensive team in the NFL.

On if the win at St. Louis dramatically changed the team’s outlook…

No, not at all. We know we have to make up a ton of ground and that there’s only one way to do it. That’s to focus each day and try to get better. That’s where we’re at.

On if Julian Edelman's style is similar to Wes Welker…

He’s a tremendous player. He has that kind of skill set. They're very similar, excellent route runners, good hands. He had a [47]-yard run this past week as well, a punt return for a touchdown, a tackle for the punt team. They are similar. A lot of the screens and that type of stuff, the way they use Welker, they can use Edelman as well. I think they are two very dangerous guys.

On if the St. Louis game is a blue print of how they want to play going forward…

We’ll see. We just have to get better and I think of we can improve off of that performance. That will bode well for us.

On if there is a sense of desperation…

It’s there. We put ourselves in this spot. Without question, it’s there. Again, it’s not a panic thing, it’s just the fact that we just have to be focused and tight, and whatever the next challenge is to face it head on. That’s what we’ll do.

On if Sanchez needed the win at St. Louis…

I think he needed it just like the rest of us needed it. I don’t think he’s any different. We all needed it. The biggest thing was that we had had great practices, but we weren’t getting the results on Sunday, and that’s the most important thing, obviously. It was just good to see that you put in that work over and over, and it paid off for us on Sunday.

On if Stephen Hill has lost confidence…

I was impressed with the way the young man blocked. I know that’s a little thing, but for us, it’s a big thing. That was it. Has he lost some confidence? He dropped a ball. I’m not sure. One thing I know for sure is we’re going to keep throwing to him and I think this young man is going to realize, by the way, you can play this game. He can get separation from people. The fun part and the easy part of the job is to catch the football, but right now we just have to keep working every day and I think he’ll do that.

On if he has lost confidence in Hill…

No.

On if Sanchez has lost confident in Hill…

Well, some of those things are he’s going to throw it to who he thinks is open and all that. I guess you’d have to ask Mark that question. I don’t believe he’s lost confidence. We see him on the field, on the practice field getting better. I’ll tell you, this past week, there was no surprise that this game would happen because sometimes when you have rookie players, young players, and they miss a week of practice, and that’s basically what he did, sometimes you have this kind of lapse. I think this week, get him out here, back on the practice field, and it will only help his confidence.

On the completion to Konrad Reuland

It was a throwback. That’s the play. We’re trying to show them the slant and then run the throwback and that’s exactly what Mark did. That was the design of that play. It was a great play. The guys really executed it.

On Bilal Powell, Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight in the running game…

It was great to get all three of those guys out there. I think obviously that depth becomes a positive. It’s not that much different than New England with their depth that they can throw at you with [Danny] Woodhead, [Stevan] Ridley, firing those guys in there. Each guy has a little different physical set, but it was great to get them all involved. I thought every single one of them played well.

Bilal normally is absolutely tremendous in protection. He’s the one that gave up the strip sack, which is strange, because normally he’ll hit a defensive back right in the mouth and he won’t go anywhere, but the kid made a nice rush on him, he made a nice play. That’s uncharacteristic of Bilal Powell, but then the next time he gets the Mike linebacker right in the face, that’s what we’ve been used to. That’s his game, protection.

Obviously, you see that he has some run ability as well. We know he can catch the football out of the backfield. We’re excited to get him back. I think coming off of a shoulder, sometimes there’s that “What can I do?” I think he’s more confident going into this game than he probably was even last week.

On if he has a message for the Patriots…

Right now, we’re just swinging. We’re going to focus on our opponents specifically, but anything we do, we’re behind where we have to be. We can only focus on ourselves and just find a way to punch it. We earned where we are, and we just have to find a way to punch our way out. That’s it. I’m not even worried about tweaking New England or anybody else. It’s to the point where we have to focus on us.

On if they have to cover Wes Welker differently with the absence of Isaiah Trufant

Even if we know the answer to that, which I’m not sure we really do, we wouldn’t say that.

On Ellis Lankster

He did pretty well. He had the one penalty on third down, which has really been an area of focus for us to improve on our penalties. I can honestly say I don’t think there’s a team in the league working harder than us. It’s been paying off. It never hurt us because we were off the field the next play, but every single penalty we have to be accountable for and he was offsides on a third-and-14, and we can’t have that.

There were other times where he did a tremendous job for us. This is going to be a huge challenge for him playing against New England and for all of us in the back end. Communication has to be sharp and obviously the physical talents of their receivers We have to do a great job of tackling. They do a lot of screen passes and you have to get some of these guys on the ground.

On the holding penalty on the Rams' second-quarter kickoff return...

I thought it was a great call. Again, you do your job and you’re trying to get off blocks and that was the call that was made.

On the win in St. Louis…

It shows that the hard work and all that isn’t just wasted on the practice field. It carries over and the commitment we have to each other and the commitment we have on the practice field and all that obviously helped us win that game. That’s what we have to hang our hat on and believe that we can get better and we have to.

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