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REX: Today’s Practice Was Sloppy

Posted Aug 5, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following Monday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

Let’s start with the scrimmage. Two other guys that jumped out at me, we talked about Bilal Powell and [Greg] McElroy obviously from that scrimmage, but two other guys. I think Quinton Coples jumped out. As far as the scrimmage is concerned, one of the first guys off the ball and really, I thought he did a tremendous job for us. And then D’Brickashaw [Ferguson] is no surprise. He’s been playing at that level for years, but I actually think this might be his best training camp. I’m really pleased with Brick and it’s not necessarily that he stood out in the scrimmage, but he’s been standing out the whole time at training camp. I wanted to mention those two specifically.

As far as today’s practice, today’s practice was sloppy and that’s the best way to describe it. Both sides of the ball, it was not our best day. Offensively coming out, we had three false starts on offense, and had a safety. It’s not acceptable. Those are things, you want to use the cadence to your advantage, not your detriment. Clearly that’s something that you’ll hear every defense coach say. Earmuffs, you can’t hear the cadence, you have to focus on the ball, key the football, whatever. Yet we had three of them on the offense today, I believe it was three. Obviously, you can’t have that.

We were down in the red zone for skelly [skeleton]. We threw a couple of interceptions and we also had guys open and didn’t throw the ball. That was poor. And then to top it off, the defense was horrible in the last team period. Not a whole lot going for us. I hope we’re playing great on teams. That was disappointing. I thought the focus wasn’t there. I never liked the attention to detail.

One guy that I’ll say came out to practice was Mark Sanchez. I thought he was sharp. There were too many mistakes on both sides of the ball. I made sure they understood where I was coming from. Especially when you come back from a day off, it can’t be like that. You have to be focused and you have to keep moving forward. So I was not happy with the practice today.

On whether they have decided who is starting quarterback for the first preseason game…

We’re still discussing all that stuff. Right now, we’ll kind of let that play out.

On what will determine who will start at quarterback in the preseason game…

I think first off, we’re still in the process of going through the competition and things like that. We do rotate them every two days. We may change that up. Tomorrow, [we] may go with Geno [Smith] or whatever. We’ll see how it goes, but we’ve been rotating those guys pretty well and making it an even competition. With that, the guy that doesn’t start the game will still get opportunities with the ones.

On how he assess the running game right now…

You’re kind of frustrated a little bit because you want to see big Chris [Ivory] get it going. But hey, he’s had a hamstring. When the trainers clear him, he’ll be ready to roll. I know he’s chomping at the bit to get out, there. He’s working extremely hard. Sometimes, hamstrings, you always look at [like], “Well, he’s not in shape. Well, this guy’s got three percent body fat. We can’t work him hard enough in the weight room. It’s just an unfortunate thing that he’s had. I think once the trainers clear him, he’ll be ready to roll. Bilal Powell I think has really stepped up and done a tremendous job for us. And the other guys are doing ok. I thought Joe [McKnight] was playing well until the head injury, or whatever it is. I like the way Tommy Bahama [Bohanon] [laughter] is doing. He’s doing a good job. He’s a load. Tru [Isaiah Trufant] needs to hit him lower I think if he’s going to tackle him. You don’t need to take him head on. Now Tru thinks he’s the biggest guy on the field, but Tommy showed that he really wasn’t today. It was quite a collision. He’s doing a good job, so I’ve been happy with him.

On why Kellen Winslow has sat out the last few practices…

We will lean on our schedule with our trainers and doctors. We’re just following their plan. Just like we had with LaRon Landry before, we’ll lean on the experts. Because it’s about getting these guys healthy and ready to go for 16 games and that’s kind of what your aim is for sure.

On if Winslow suffered another injury…

It’s not an injury.

On Josh Mauga

He’s got a little back thing that happened that’s kept him out a couple of days. We’ll get that checked and we’ll see how he’s doing.

On Ricky Sapp

That’s an interesting point. I think Ricky’s confident. I think Ricky’s healthy and we’re really seeing what he can do because certainly he jumped off in the scrimmage and he’s been doing a good job, he really has. But I think it starts with confidence. Like most players, when you’re confident, you’re confident in the fact that you’re healthy, you have a good grasp of the system and that allows your true athletic ability to stand out and certainly we know he’s got that.

On if there are any updates on Mike Goodson

No.

On if he knows when Goodson may be back…

Not really. I’ll just leave it as, I’ve said what I’ve said about him and that’s really all I’m going to say about it.

On Chad Spann taking advantage of his opportunity…

Yeah, we’ll see. Again, they’re all going to get opportunities and certainly he took advantage of it. In the scrimmage he had a couple big runs in there so that was encouraging. He had a nice block in pass protection the other day. So again, sometimes opportunity comes to people and some guys take advantage of it, some guys don’t. He’s a little bit different than Danny [Woodhead], though. He’s short like Danny but they’re different players. It is unusual to see a guy that’s really not very tall and all that out there but he did a lot of good things. He really does.

On Santonio Holmes’ timetable…

No, again, that’s something we’ll just leave it up to the trainers. The trainers feel good about where he’s at. They haven’t given me a timetable or anything on Santonio.

On it seeming like a remote possibility that Holmes will be ready for Week One…

Again, I wouldn’t say that right now. I think we’ll just let it play out. Again, when the trainers are like, “Hey look, he’s ready to go,” I’m confident that Santonio will be ready to go. He’s in great shape. He’s doing everything but [being] out there playing. He’s running. He’s training. He does everything that’s asked of him. I think he’ll be ready. The main thing is is he going to be ready mentally? I think he’s going to be ready and conditioning-wise he’ll be ready. But I get what you’re saying, there’s nothing like being in football shape and the timing of routes and things like that, but I think the big thing is sometimes when you have an injury you’re not conditioned to be back on the field, but I think he is.

On what he means when he says Holmes will be ready…

I just think that from a mental standpoint and a conditioning standpoint, he’s going to be ready. Whenever the trainers say he’s ready to play, that’s a different story, but that is not predetermined right now.

On if Holmes is running full speed…

Well, I don’t know exactly but we’ve had him running. So the trainers have had him running.

On if he looks for different things when evaluating Matt Simms and Greg McElroy than from when he is evaluating Smith and Sanchez…

I think the big thing when you’re looking for a third quarterback, one of those is he’s going to get limited reps, there’s absolutely no question about that. Especially during the season, it’s like you get no reps. So he has to be mentally sharp, there’s no doubt. He’s got to have a good grasp of the system, yet not get any work. It’s a strange thing to be a third quarterback. So we’ll see about how that competition goes. Again, it is competition. Simms has got a big arm. McElroy is kind of like a veteran. He’s been there and done it. Here’s a guy that’s taken a team to National Championships, State Championships in high school, a smart guy, he clearly has the mentality that you want. That won’t come in question as far as his ability to grasp a system, yet I think Simms is providing good competition for that spot also.

On if today was Sanchez’s best practice…

I’m not sure. I liked the way he was in the huddle. He was ready to go today, there was no question about that.

On if Smith’s interceptions were disheartening…

No. It’s not like he’s going to be like Nolan Ryan and pitch a shutout out there. As long as we learn from it then it can almost be a positive, but if you don’t learn from it obviously it’s a huge negative. Realistically, especially in the red zone, and we’ve talked about it forever, but you know how I look at divisional games are worth two, it’s almost like a turnover in the red zone is worth two. Part of that is based on the momentum that the defense gets from it. When a defense turns a ball over, when you get a turnover on defense in the red zone, it is unbelievable what that does to the mentality of your unit and your football team. Here a team is knocking on the door, they’re going to put points on the board and you turn it over. It’s huge. Likewise on offense, you’re right there knocking at the door and you don’t come away with any points based on a turnover. I’ve seen too many of them. It does kill you. I think it’s even bigger than, ‘Hey, it’s an interception, it’s a fumble in the red zone.’ No, no, it’s bigger than that. That’s what we have to understand.

On the possibility of using Kyle Wilson at safety…

Well, I think Kyle has got such a great grasp of our system that certainly that would be a possibility. The way the game is today, you’re right. We have Dee Milliner and Kyle and obviously Cro [Antonio Cromartie]. You feel great about those guys. The way the game is played, I look it at that you got three starters at corner. That’s really the way the game is played. We’ll play Detroit and I think their base offense is three wides. There are some teams that will go with two tight ends but one of them is more of a receiver type. There’s something you might play three corners in. Certainly Kyle has such a good grasp of our system so that’s certainly a consideration.

On the fans booing…

Well, you know what, the fans have the right to do anything they want. I think with us, the entire team, these are our teammates, no matter who it is in the green and white. We want our fans behind us at all times. Obviously, guys make mistakes, but that’s probably the reaction that we have. We don’t want our guys getting booed, especially from our fans because we all are in green and white, including our fans. This game’s tough enough, but we need to support each other and I think that’s probably where Cro’s [Antonio Cromartie] coming from.

On if the booing was disappointing…

Well, again, I look at it this way. Our fans have the right to do anything and I’m not going to say I’m disappointed in our fans, but I think we need to move forward. The things from the past are in the past, so let’s just focus on what we have in front of us. We’re all going to make mistakes, we’re all going to turn the ball over. We don’t like to, but those are things that are going to happen. Obviously, we’re going to try to minimize that, we’re going to try to get more of them, create more of them on defense, but that’s part of it. Sure, would I like for everybody to be, and myself included, I’m hoping to come out and they’re behind me also. I had a bad year also last year, so hopefully, our guys, our fans and everybody else are united 100 percent. If we turn it over, I understand the disappointment.

On if he would have had a different answer two or three years ago…

I don’t think I ever would have told our fans, ‘You better get behind him.’ There’s no way I would have said that. I’d encourage them to get behind our guys and I am. There’s no way I would have said, ‘You better do something,’ to our fan base, no way, because they’re the paying customer. That’s why we’re all here and they have a right to boo anytime they want. Are we disappointed when it happens? Of course, we’re disappointed when it happens to any of us. I’ve been booed coming off the field, we all have, and it’s like, ‘Oh man,’ and part of it is, you’re upset too because I might have done something to contribute to that, but it’s like, we’re going to compete like crazy, we’re going to do our very best, there’s no doubt about that and that’s something that the fans can definitely count on. But sometimes it doesn’t go our way and there’s no question about that, but I would never say that.

On the fans booing at the scrimmage…

I think I’m defending all of our players. Look I want to move passed [last season]. We have to move forward we can’t worry about what happened about the past. I did mention that turnovers were going to happen with all of our players. Of course that’s it, it’s a brand new year and there should be some excitement based on that. You know that fact and not that we’re looking for the negatives. I like focusing on what’s in front of us and the positives that this football team is going to bring. Of course we’d like to have a backing with 100% of our fans. But with that being said, our fans can do what they want for the simple fact because they earned that right. They purchase the ticket and they can do whatever they choose.

On it being a free practice and the fans still booing…

Well, you know, that’s a good point [laughing]. You know you aren’t paying for this, we should hold a sign up that says cheer [joking]. Maybe they were booing Cro [Antonio Cromartie] because he never scored with [the interception].

On if he takes the fans into account when selecting a starting quarterback…

No, I don’t think you factor that in, like a fans perspective of things, you don’t factor that in. You do what you think, dare I say it, what’s in the best interest of your football team, but that’s the truth. Remember when I came in here the first year and I talked about the three things that every decision is based on, the team, the team and the team. That’s it, and it’s never changed. Those are decisions that this organization makes based on those three things.

On Calvin Pace’s versatility…

Oh, he’s awesome. He actually made a mental mistake today. Which is the first one in I can’t tell you how long. You know, and it was alignment. I purposely, and this is why I tell you I was disappointed with the defense, they couldn’t get lined up. Well I purposely throw in different personal groupings at them where they have to change positions and I personally have done that to challenge them. And sure enough, Calvin is getting over late and he was like, “That’s on me.” It was so rare. But this guy, man oh man, can you get better? I thought in 2009 he was spectacular, I really did, and I think he might be better now. He is having an unbelievable camp. What that means statistically I don’t know, but I’m telling you he is having a monster camp. And of all the guys, someone says, “Who are you surprised with?” And I say ‘I’m surprised with Calvin Pace.’ And I’ve said it. A guy, you guys help me out, I don’t know what this is year wise. But he has always been in great condition - a great conditioned athlete. But that is something you need to ask him, how he did it. How he came into this camp and actually is better. Obviously hard work is the number-one thing. But it’d be interesting to see what his answer would be.

On Dawan Landry

He looks good, I think, he does so many things well that goes under the radar. And he is one of those guys that maybe you don’t appreciate, because he is not a flash player at all. He is just consistent, smart, lines it all up and he is just a good football player. He kind of does the things that don’t get seen, but are very affective.

On comparing Dawan Landry and LaRon Landry…

Oh, they’re different people. There is no doubt about it. They are both passionate about the game, they both love to play. I would say that LaRon is probably a little more reckless. Obviously, Dawan is just the opposite of that. He is going to do it right, he doesn’t do all of this stuff. Where his brother, you know LaRon is like, here he goes. Now he is a missile and a great player. There is no question about it, and we miss him. You know I love the fact that he was here for a year and did a great job for us. They’re just different, but they are both very effective.

On what it is like to go against Marty Mornhinweg in practice every day…

The good thing is we’re always the guys that put ankle weights on our players, like on the practice field. In other words, you try to put them in a situation and this is like when we card things, even against our own, we’re holding up a card for our offense. We always will challenge the defense to put them in the toughest situation. You don’t have to put it on cards, this guy does things and he does check you’re rules. All that type of stuff. It’s really fun and it’s been good. I think it’s been good for both sides of the ball. You’re putting in a new system that you’re trying to destroy their blocking rules and timing and all that kind of stuff. It’s been punch/counterpunch on both sides, so it’s been a lot of fun.
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