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REX: That’s What This Game’s About

Posted Aug 2, 2013

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

Always entertaining the first day of short yardage/goal line because that’s really the first day of full tackling and everything else. Certainly we had some good hits, we had a lot of collisions. That’s always fun to watch and it’s important because that’s what this game’s about. I thought the offense got the upper hand in the short-yardage period. I thought the defense had it in the goal line. We had one guy go down with, I’m not sure what it is, Dalton Freeman at the end there, the young man from Clemson, our center, we’ll see what the trainers say about that.

But again, there’s only one way to practice it and that’s to go full speed. You can’t get the reps. You may say, well, you'll get it in the preseason. There’s no guarantee. One year, when I was in Baltimore, we had six plays of goal line defense the entire season because people sometimes don’t run that. Sometimes they’re running three wides, four wides, whatever down there. But the only time you get to practice it, you may get to practice it, is right now in training camp,. so you have to go full speed. You have to be live cutting, live tackling, and we did that today.

I thought Ricky Sapp jumped out at me, had a tremendous day. Probably had four or five sacks, what would’ve been sacks. And then Mo [Muhammad Wilkerson], Big Mo on the defensive line. It’s good to see Dee Milliner out there getting more work, getting some work and doing that. On the offense, I was proud of Stephen Hill. He’s had some illness. If it was anything like what I had the other day, I’m real proud that he came back from that. That was impressive. Oh you know what? I wasn’t going to praise him, so take it all back. Not praising [him]. That’s all off the record there. Appreciate that. But really, I thought he jumped out.

I love the presence of Willie Colon. He brings a mentality and there’s a certain presence that he has out there, that you’re glad he’s on your side. He’s out there marking a spot out across that line in goal line and here we go. He’s certainly a confident guy. He’s that guy you want in that foxhole with you. Now obviously it needs to be a big foxhole, but he’s certainly a guy you want in there with you.

On how the quarterbacks will share time during the Green & White Scrimmage…

I haven’t talked to Marty [Mornhinweg] yet, but knowing him he’s probably already thought about exactly what he’d like to get done there.

On if both quarterbacks will play with the ones during Green & White….

I’m sure that’ll definitely be a part of it, for sure. They’ll both get time with ones and twos.

On the poise Geno Smith showed in the long pass he completed to Bilal Powell in practice today…

It did show poise. Sometimes if those guys continue to the ground because they’re the only ones that aren’t live. But no, he certainly does. There’s no question about that. It was a great play. Marty’s been setting us up the whole time, setting that defense up with this pass, this pass, now he turned it up. Got a flag on the play also, we grabbed the receiver. It was a great play. Great design by Marty and well executed by the offense.

On the defensive line during goal line drills…

Well, yeah, Big Mo, he was impressive to say the least down there. But really all the guys, that’s the thing, that D-line, you got to create a new jump line, that’s what we used to call it. You got to create a new line of scrimmage or you’re not going to be able to stop people. Last year, we struggled. Teams were able to the run the ball down there on us some, so hopefully we have to get better at that. Hopefully today was an indication that we will be stronger against the run down there.

On the status of Joe McKnight

I’m not real sure. I haven’t really talked to the trainers yet. I really don’t want to speculate, but I think if it was something serious I’m sure I would have been told.

On the depth at running back…

I haven’t really noticed per se. We picked up the young man [Chad] Spann. We’re actually using Lex [Hilliard] and Tommy [Bohanon] sometimes in those one-back sets. When Chris [Ivory] comes back obviously you’ll feel a little bit better about our depth.

On if he thinks the quarterbacks could separate themselves during the Green & White Scrimmage…

I don’t think you’re going to necessarily separate yourself to say, ‘Oh, here’s the starter.’ I think you have to get it in the games. We’ll see. Certainly its going to be another opportunity to get out there. I think it is when the fans are there, the spirit of the fans and everything else are right there, it does pick up. You can say what you want, the tempo does naturally pick up. So that’ll be fun to watch. It will be the first time we have scrimmage situations other than goal line and short yardage that are live. We had a little live with the third group. I’m looking forward to that.

On Geno Smith not practicing other aspects other than dropping as often…

Again, so often compared to what? This league, we might be doing preparation, defensive preparation work because certainly were going to have to face that with some of the teams that we play. How much we do of it, with Geno back there or Mark, or whoever it is back there, remains to be seen. But certainly we’ll be prepared for it on defense.
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