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REX: Plain and Simple, Rumor Wasn't Accurate

Posted Feb 21, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference Thursday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at the start of this year's NFL Combine workouts:

It’s neat seeing John come up here and he basically talked about the mentality and direction of our team and things. It’s funny, I realize there’s a lot of similarities between us. Obviously, our fathers were coaches in the National Football League and the fact that both our dads coached for the New York Jets at one time. We’re similar in the fact that we grew up with a great passion and being around football all our lives. We’re both about the same height. He’s super smart, and I’m super average, probably.

But really, there are a lot of similarities between us. The main thing that I think we have in common is the direction for this football team. We want to win and we want to have a team that basically earns the loyalty and support of our fans. We’re going to have that team. I believe that. I’m excited about the direction of our team. When I look at it — the mentality of the type of offense that we’re going to have, an attacking style, the same thing with our defense, our special teams, all of it — I’m excited about it and I think our fans should be excited about it as well.

With that. I know you’ve got a million questions, I’m sure Darrelle Revis and somebody else, maybe [Antonio] Cromartie at this time. But please go ahead.

On Quinton Coples, last year's No. 1 draft pick, and how he developed from this time a year ago to today...

Really, I thought he was a young man that really came on as the year went on. I thought his play started to take off a little bit. He’s certainly a guy that we’re excited about. He’s just scratching the surface. We kind of approached him the same way we did Terrell Suggs. I remember Ozzie Newsome coming to me and he says, "Rex, we’re going to put Terrell in your room." And so you take a guy, a rush-linebacker-type guy, and you put him in that defensive line room. So we did the same thing with Quinton.

I see him as a guy that can be maybe more of an edge presence than he was his first year. But having him going through that, putting him over guards, putting him over tackles, even over centers, I think is good. Because when you get over tight ends and things like that, it’s a lot easier to knock those guys back and have that kind of confidence when you face double teams. So that was kind of what we did with him. But I’m expecting big things from him. And like I said, I think he’s just now scratching the surface.

On talking with Revis after the recent trade rumors erupted...

It's funny. This thing all pops up and I thought it was interesting, as John talked about, the very first day he gets the job. And this is what I was telling Darrelle. When I called Darrelle, I’m like, "Darrelle, I mean, let’s face it, if the man hadn’t been on the job for 24 hours and now you’re going to get traded." I thought that was kind of interesting and I said it’s not accurate. Plain and simple, it’s not accurate. I told him that.

If he was going to be involved in a trade, I think he and his agent would know about it, as would the general manager and myself, I would think. So there is no validity to that trade and I don’t know where things like that get drummed up from. Maybe somebody is a big fan of a certain team and is playing fantasy football and would like to have him on their team, I’m not sure.

On what coaching the Jets would be like without Revis...

Again, you know what, I’m going to coach whoever is here. But John and everybody will be involved in that. But certainly, you know, absolutely not, we’re not going to do it. I mean I’m not going to say this player or that player. But if you’ve got Jim Brown in that trade then you’d probably look into it, you know?

On what he told Revis about the trade rumors...

Well, I provided him with the answer that I know to be true, which is that was not accurate.

On if there are any conditions under which the Jets would entertain trade talk for Revis...

I don’t know how to answer that question. I think John did a great job answering that. One thing I’ve learned in five years as head coach now, a lot of things that you think, this is what your team is going to look like and all that type of stuff. The perfect example is when I predicted that we would win the Super Bowl. We come back around and have 19 unsigned free agents, which was probably not ideal. It was probably not what I was thinking it was going to be. But again, nobody has that answer. But obviously Darrelle is a tremendous football player and we can’t say that enough. I’m glad he’s under contract for the team that I coach. I mean, obviously, he’s a tremendous player.

On how much he noticed Revis' absence after his injury in Game 3 last year...

Well it’s no shock to me. I mean you guys see it every day. You guys know how good Darrelle Revis is. I think we all see it. I think the young corner from Seattle [Richard Sherman] sees it. I mean, he’s comparing himself to the best. So he even sees it. Everybody sees it. So clearly he’s a tremendous player. You’d like to sit back and right after and injury like that occurs, you want to cry and all that stuff on the podium. But you’ve got to be like, "Hey, we’re going forward and it’s business like usual." Well, it’s not business as usual. I mean, it’s hard to replace a guy like Darrelle Revis and then Santonio Holmes on top of that. But it’s funny because everybody wants to say, well, you’re making excuses and all that. Trust me, you notice a big difference.

On decisions being made under Idzik...

Well, again you know what? I’m confident in our organization. Every decision will be in the best interest of this football team, every single decision we make. And you know what? We might not bat 1.000 on all those decisions, but I know one thing, it won’t be for lack of effort and us trying to do what’s in the best interest of this team. I know that. I see it from John. There’s no question about it.

On the Twitter "war" between Revis and Sherman for the last few days...

I will say this: Obviously, the guy is a heck of a football player. I don’t know him well enough to compare him to Darrelle Revis. But if you’re putting yourself in that company, that’s the company you want to be with that’s for sure.

On how he thinks the Jets will play in 2013...

Each year is different. I can honestly say that we’re going to get our shots, we’re going to get our swings. I did figure this out. You know the prediction world and all that stuff. I’m usually not real good on my predictions. But a prediction that I will make is like how many wins are you going to have and all that? I figured it out. I’m going to make the prediction after the season. I’ll tell you exactly how many wins we're going to have and I think that prediction will be accurate.

One thing I will say, and we all feel this, I know I feel this and I’m sure that many, many people in our organization feel the same way: We’re stepping up the plate and we’ve got a bat in our hand. We’re not going to let any strikes go by without swinging, OK? We are going to take our cuts. We may take a cut at a ball in the ground as well, but we’re definitely going to take our cuts. When we talk about being aggressive, I don’t know if we really know what that looks like. Like to me, I have that vision, "Well, you’re aggressive on defense." I don’t think we’re close to being as aggressive as we’re going to be this year in all three phases of the game. I’m looking forward to it. And how many wins? Nobody can tell you that. But I know one thing: We’re going to take our shot.

On competition at quarterback...

I think No. 1, you heard about what John talked about: the competition, bringing in competition at every position, not just the quarterback position. That is what we want to do here. So to say it’s Mark Sanchez or this quarterback or that quarterback, I think there’s going to clearly be competition at that position.

On if Sanchez has reached a plateau in his career...

I always think a young player can improve, I don’t think there’s any doubt. I think you look at Mark. What is he 25, 26 years old? In the life of a quarterback, I don’t believe that’s over the hill by any stretch.

On if he spoke with Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Eric Smith, Jason Smith and Josh Baker before they were released this week...

I did. John and I both had conversations with all the young men we released. A lot of those guys — you  mention Bart Scott — there was a lot of guys that did a lot of tremendous things for us. The efforts of Eric Smith and Calvin Pace. Bart Scott, you’re right, I brought him to New York when I came here. He’s one of the guys that I thought that I really needed for that defense and basically get that kind of mentality and that kind passion through to the players as well.

When I came in here to New York I brought a guy in the front end, Marcus Douglas. Bart Scott at linebacker and Jim Leonard in the secondary, all three levels. Combined with the talent that we already had in place, I knew it wouldn’t be long before we would be considered an outstanding defense. I think we’ve been pretty consistent with that, might not have been as good the last year or so, but I think anybody that plays understands that this is who we are. Now we’re just going to make sure that we have the same kind of commitment to the entire football team.

On if any of the players released could return to the Jets...

It’ll be interesting to see how free agency goes. Sometimes opportunities come back around to you, so certainly we wouldn’t close the door on any of those things.

On the Bills' rebuilding with Mike Pettine as their new D-coordinator...

I think, No. 1, they have a heck of a start. They have a lot of outstanding players in the building already. I think that’s the main thing. Then, obviously, with Mike going over there to put in this style of defense I think will be interesting. I think it’s going to help them.

I'm not really worried about them as much as I’m worried about us. My focus is on this football team. As much as I care about Mike Pettine, I don’t really care about him now wearing another colored jersey, not as much. But no, I do care a great deal about Mike and things. But our focus is clearly on making our team better and we’re assuming every team is going to get better. But the team that clearly has to get better is the New York Jets.  

On Tim Tebow's status with the Jets...

Well, if you look at everything, Tim is under contract to be a New York Jet, so we’ll see how things go in the offseason. But Tim is under contract.

On what he expects from WR Stephen Hill in his second pro season...

Yeah, it needs to be a lot better than year one because Stephen is a guy that has a lot of ability, his ceiling is really high. Like many guys as rookies, many receivers coming into this league as rookies, there were a lot of inconsistencies. Some weeks he was outstanding and other weeks not so much. But I expect him to improve by leaps and bounds going into year two.

When you look at it, you saw what he has, that height, that speed, those intangibles like that . But it is a process. There’s no question about it. I’m always reminded that Jerry Rice never started as a rookie. I don’t know who was coaching him, but it does show you that the greatest receiver of all time never even started as a rookie. So it is challenging. Guys really do make improvements going into year two, and I expect Stephen to do that.
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