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REX: This Is the Team I Want to Coach, Period

Posted Dec 28, 2012

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

All right, fast Friday, but this one’s going to be a little different. Before I go over the injuries, I don’t agree sometimes, with everything that’s written or whatever, but there was a report this morning that was untrue. And quite honestly, in the article it talked about if things weren’t a certain way that I would not want to be the head coach of the New York Jets, and that is totally untrue. The fact is, and it’s simple, this is the only team that I want to coach, period. I think anybody that knows me, knows that I’m telling you the truth. Has it been perfect? No. Would I like this player, that player? Of course, anybody would. But I’m telling you, this is my team, these are my players. I don’t want to coach somebody else’s players. This is the team I want to coach, period, no way.

When I had the conversation with this reporter, I told him that, I flat told him that. Now it wasn’t reported that way in the article and maybe the headlines say a certain thing, but I want everybody to understand that that is not the case. This is my team, that’s how I approach it. This is the only place I want to coach, period. Let’s face it, I wear Jets stuff every single day, every day. I’m proud to be a Jet. Sometimes I’m proud to be a Jet more than others, but I’m proud to be a Jet. This season’s been a rough one, no question, but again, this is my team, that’s how I approach it. And I believe we will get back, and this is really a topic for next week, but I believe that we can accomplish what I set out to do when I took the job and that’s the truth.

I was disappointed and quite honestly mad as a hornet, but I understand the job that you guys have, that reporters have. I understand that. Like I said, I’m OK with criticism, I’m OK with anything else, but that, to me, saying I never wanted to coach this team, is absolutely not the truth. And I’d rather coach somebody else’s team? No chance. Absolutely no chance. I just wanted to make that clear.

Here are the injuries, Aaron Berry, as you guys know, was placed on IR today with a hamstring. All these players are doubtful and we all know what that means. They did not practice. Dustin Keller, ankle, Greg McElroy, abdomen and concussion, Chaz Schilens, knee — he was working like crazy to get out there, but it did not happen — Bryan Thomas, chest. These two players will be questionable: Ellis Lankster and Braylon Edwards, both were limited in practice today, Lankster with a concussion, Braylon with a knee and a hamstring.

All these players were probable and they all practiced full today: Kenrick Ellis, knee, Mark Sanchez, low back, Matt Slauson, knee, Jeff Cumberland wrist, Calvin Pace, shoulder, Nick Mangold, shoulder, Bart Scott, toe, Bilal Powell, shoulder, Garrett McIntyre, elbow, Nick Folk, mid-back, Brandon Moore, hip/foot, Tim Tebow, ribs, Sione Po‘uha, low back, Robert Malone, illness, Ricky Sapp, ankle, LaRon Landry, heel/hamstring, Joe McKnight, illness/ankle, and Muhammad Wilkerson, concussion/knee. Whew, finally got that over with.

On if he’s tried to find out the source of the article and if it bothers him that someone would say those things about him…

Well, it bothers me that it’s untrue, I think that’s it. Whatever somebody’s agenda is or whatever, whether it’s a source or somebody else, I don’t know who. But I can tell you for a fact that that’s untrue. I don’t care who the source is or whatever, I know for a fact it’s untrue.

On if he addressed his staff about the story…

I have not addressed my staff, in particular, about this story or whatever. No, I have not, I have not talked to them.

On if he addressed the team about the story…

Yeah, I think their reaction that they saw from me was probably a little more, passionate, emotional, whatever you want to call it, because I had just read the story. I think I hadn’t had time to really do it. I just wanted them, and they know me, they know that there’s no bigger Jet than me and that’s how I look at it. Obviously, when Mr. [Woody] Johnson, whatever it is, I want to be the Jets head coach for the next 15 years. And there are probably a lot of fans out there that hope that isn’t the case, but you know what? I’m just telling you from my heart, this is the job I’ve always wanted and that’s it.

On how he feels being attacked by sources…

Well, I even told that to the players today. I’m just like, "Oh, that’s all this type of stuff." But it is very personal today, there’s no question. To say that I give up or quit, I mean, that’s totally the opposite. And I even mentioned it, "Shoot, I’m stepping up, I’m not stepping down, no chance." And that’s it, that’s the truth. The fact is that it bothers me, that I feel I have to comment on it, because it was so strong out there, that it was like, anybody that knows me, knows that that’s ridiculous.

On the premise of the story stating that if certain things aren’t fixed, he would rather be fired…

That’s total garbage. That’s garbage. That’s not the case at all. And the premise that I’d rather go somewhere else to coach somebody else’s football team? No way. That’s not it. This is my team. I’d rather coach my players and coach my team. I don’t care about who else it is, the New England Patriots, anybody else, I don’t care. I want this team. This is my team.

On if he spoke to the reporter before the story was published and issued a denial that was not included…

No, I spoke to the reporter and for whatever reason he elected not to put my response in.

On when he talked to the reporter…

That was yesterday. It was last night, but I had no idea. Quite honestly, I never knew what stories come in. I’ve talked to reporters before. I don’t know what’s going to be written and what’s not going to be written. Out of all of you guys in here, have I ever told anybody what to write? No way. I respect the job you have, I understand you have a job. But I also want everybody to know that this was the conversation that I had with the reporter. I told him the exact thing, the fact that it was not reported that way is fine.

I understand reporters have the right to write anything they want and I can understand that. I just thought to me, I wanted to make sure that everybody understood how I feel about this team, the fact that I don’t want to go anywhere. I wouldn’t want to coach anywhere but the New York Jets, period. I want everybody to know it. It’s not that I’m just telling the reporter that, I’m telling every single person that.

On if he needs to get back to his old ways…

I don’t know we’ll see. I think when the season is over you kind of look back at different things. It’s easy being myself, I’ll put it to you that way. It’s probably easier that way than another way.

On if he talked to Woody Johnson about the story…

I called Mr. Johnson as soon as I read the article and let him know that that is absolutely 100 percent not my intention. No way in heck. I’m not putting an ultimatum to the man that hired me, no chance. This is his football team. I take it as my team, the guys that I coach and the football part of it, that’s how I approach it. At the end of the day, it’s Mr. Johnson’s team. I feel honored that he hired me to do a job. I’ve told you from day one that this opportunity, what an opportunity I had.

The fact that I always wanted to be a head coach, but to be the New York Jets head coach, it’s unbelievable. When I look at it, the Jets were the first professional team that my dad coached for eight years. This was my team growing up. With the fans, I identify with that because I was one of them also. Now I’m the head coach of their football team too. I want them to know and anybody who knows me knows that I am 100 percent committed to coaching this football team. I don’t want to coach anywhere else. That’s as simple as that, no other team. No other team out there.

On if he would like Tony Sparano back next year…

To be honest, it’s an organizational policy, we don’t talk about anybody’s situation. We don’t talk about mine, am I going to be here or not going to be here. Nobody talks about anybody’s situation.

On if he talked to Sparano about the story…

No, I never did. I never talked to him because quite honestly when I looked at it, I thought the brunt of the story was the fact that unless I got my way, that I wanted out. There’s no chance I want out. There’s no chance. I have not talked to Tony specifically about it. I talked to our entire football team about the fact of what’s out there. Whoever’s agenda it is, I’m just telling you that I thought that, to me, that was the important thing. Obviously, I can go back and read the article again and I probably need to.

On internal leaks seeming not to bother him...

No, that’s not true. I think you misunderstood me. I did address it with our team. When the thing came out about Tebow, I addressed it with the team. The fact about this specifically, I have not addressed this specifically with anybody. Let’s face it, I haven’t had a whole lot of time, either. We’ve had meetings and practice and now this press conference. I think that’s maybe where there’s a misunderstanding. I have addressed this before. The fact that it still exists or with this kind of source, does it bother me? Of course it bothers me.

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