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REX: You're an NFL Player, Catch the Ball

Posted Jun 12, 2013

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

What wasn’t outstanding was I think the way we caught the football yesterday and it’s always funny because you have these press conferences after the fact, a day late, you guys saw what I saw. They dropped a ton of balls. It wasn’t just one player, it was several. Obviously we will be looking for improvement in that area today.

I was encouraged by the first-team defense. When you put that much stuff in, new things in, a lot of moving parts, I was encouraged by how we came out and mentally handled it. Had one major bust, but it’s OK. We missed the opportunity to make the throw down the field for some reason. But I was encouraged by some of it.

The one thing I think was great about practice was yesterday, we started to put a lot of no-huddle stuff in. What you see, especially from young players, they think they’re prepared and then you change the tempo, something that hasn’t been exactly what they’ve seen, and they blow fuses all over the place. That pretty much is what happened to our third group. But I think it is a good learning thing. If you realize that "I think I know it — no, I don’t," I’ve got to spend much more time in it and have it dialed in because when a no-huddle situation happens, that’s when you’ve got to be calm and just play out the call. I think sometimes it’s sped up and you speed up your thinking. You’re not getting the personnel communicated to you, whatever it is. There’s a lot of things that happen.

But I think that both sides of the ball are challenging each other. I know from a defensive standpoint all the things that we’re seeing from Marty [Mornhinweg] and that offense, from four receivers into the boundary, four tailbacks on the field, we’re seeing everything. So I think that’s a good thing and certainly, our offense is seeing a lot of things from our defense. I think it’s a good mix. Nobody is backing off on each other. Just throwing it all at each other and I think sometimes that’s a good thing.

On Coach Mornhinweg’s past offenses influencing this team’s offense…

I think the mentality, and I mentioned it the first day when we had that press conference about us having an attacking offense, the same mentality that we take on defense, that they’re not in there until they’re in there, whether that ball is on the 1-yard line or whatever. You’ve got to have the mindset that you’re going to stop them.

The same thing on offense. We have to have the mindset that wherever you put the ball down, we’re going to take you down the field and score points. And whether that means running the football, throwing it, running option, speed option, whatever it is. I think that has to be the mindset that we’re taking. Obviously protecting the football is also part of that as well. But how it changes things, right now I think it’s too early to tell. Maybe we’ll feel really good about our quarterback situation as the year progress.

On Geno Smith’s ability to be a mobile quarterback and bring that dimension to the offense…

I think he’s got the athleticism to do that. You’re exactly right that they really didn’t run a whole lot of zone reads and different things, but he has the skill set to where there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to do that. Now with that being said, I think you have to be smart in what you ask your quarterbacks to do or are you going to need to have a whole bunch of them. I think that’s the way that people are going to start attacking these quarterbacks. But again, running for first downs and touchdowns, I think that’s how the league is probably going to progress to these things.

On if the Jets will use Smith to spell Mark Sanchez and run specialized plays…

I know what everybody’s thinking: Didn’t we try that last year? I think certainly that’s a possibility. To make assumptions now probably isn’t the thing to do. We’ll let this thing work out and pan out and we’ll see. I know exactly what you’re saying. In San Francisco, we never knew a whole lot about [Colin] Kaepernick and then when he came in there they started springing that stuff on you and that’s like "Oh, OK." He made some huge runs in that game against us. So we’ll see. I know we’re looking at it; you have to be ready for it. It’s something that’s here and I’m not sure it’s going away.

On bringing in college coaches to prepare for the read offense…

Not a whole lot. I’m not being arrogant about it, but I did coach in the Big 12 and we had Nebraska — ran the I-option, you had read-option. Went against TCU — ran a one back option, different types of options and things like that, so I’ve seen a lot of those things. I’ve been asked a ton about it. For us to bring in a defensive guy, I think we’ll be OK. I think we have enough experience in the college game, with myself, with Dennis [Thurman], with Brian VanGorder, who was a coordinator last year at Auburn, he’s been a coordinator at Georgia for years and different places. I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on it.

On if Tim Tebow being on the team last year had a negative impact on Sanchez…

I'd rather not look back. I don’t believe so. I think obviously the season we had, it wasn’t what we anticipated or anything else, the lack of success that we had, even from a personal standpoint with Tim or the team’s vision or whatever. It never worked out here for whatever reason. So we’ve moved on and all that’s in the past now.

On the status of the quarterback competition…

Well, again, like today Geno will take a majority of the first-team reps. I know it's timing because you guys haven’t been here for all the practices and all that stuff, but we have been, you know, alternating those guys. So you’ll see today that he’ll be with the first team, the majority of the first-team reps.

On if Goodson will practice today…

Again, I’m not sure. I know obviously he had the court appearance today. I can’t tell you definitely right now if he’s here or not, I’ve been in meetings.

On if he has spoken to Goodson about his court appearance…

No. And again, with this I know he had the court appearance today. But as far as anything else, it’s a legal matter.

On what he has seen from Goodson on the field…

Well, on the field, I think we have even seen it yesterday, I’m sure people noticed the thing that most jumps out at you is his kind of speed and acceleration. It’s unusual at that position. I’m not comparing him to Reggie Bush, but that kind of explosive speed, you know, you think you’re in position and then he outruns you.

On if Stephen Hill will practice…

Yes. There won’t be any change as far as the guys in practice today from yesterday, there won’t be any change.

On Kellen Winslow’s performance Tuesday…

The one thing that jumps out at you is his skill and athleticism. That’s something that jumps out at you, he still has that. And from the very first play that he’s in there, you can still see that. Certainly he still has that.

On Mike Sims-Walker’s performance yesterday…

You know what? He never jumped out at me the way Kellen did. We’ll see what he does today.

On when he expects to see a jump in the offense…

I think when we get into training camp and we start putting the pads on and we’re able to run the football a little bit, because some of these guys are teeing off on the passer but you also have to be able to play the run. So I think sometimes it can be a little misleading, but I think a guy like [Chris] Ivory is going to jump out when the pads come on because he’s just a physical, dominant type runner. I think it will be interesting. The Green & White [scrimmage at Cortland in training camp] will be a fun thing to watch, I think.

On the impact Winslow can have…

I think having that kind of weapon, as far as he is such an athlete. Now look, Kellen has never been a hired killer as a blocker but he tries. But as an athlete and a receiver, of the two or three gray hairs I have on my head, of the two billion of them or whatever, he’s contributed to some of those, I can tell you.

On what he has accomplished with the team so far…

I think we challenge our guys, I challenge our guys. We’re going to have to outprepare guys and outwork everybody else in this league. That’s a huge statement because every single team is trying to accomplish the same thing. Whether we did or we didn’t, I’m not sure. I can say this. I love the fact that it’s not just our attendance but the way our guys have worked and the way they’re preparing. It’s exciting as a coach to see that. You know you see guys really make strides physically but you also see them mentally, that they are really grasping what we’re doing. I think that’s really exciting for me.

On how he deals with the dropped passes…

I think the biggest thing if you are a receiver, the No. 1 thing you do is catch the football. So I think we'd better learn. We got to get that figured out. You catch the football. Whether it’s focus, whether it’s just having your hands in the right spot. The old thing we used to learn around the clock and all that stuff, catch the football. You’re an NFL player, catch the football. You’re paid to catch the football. We expect it caught. When the ball is there, catch the ball. You know for us, you should be surprised if anybody ever drops a ball, when yesterday, I was surprised when we caught it. It was like, "Wow, how many of these things are we going to drop today?" Hopefully we’ll come out today and we’ll catch everything. That’s the way it should be.

On if dropping is a result of the team still learning…

I think you’re dead on but we don’t want to give them that excuse. OK, I want to say absolutely, I think that’s part of it. Like we’re running, we've got a lot of different routes that we're running right now. I can see, if you put that little number 10 in there, I can see him running that route from Philadelphia. Now it’s like we have our guys doing it, some different route combinations and things. But the No. 1 thing, you get there, now catch the ball.

On the effect the new offense will have compared to last year…

I think when you look, the numbers will suggest that. So when you can look throughout Marty’s career as a playcaller and things, I think you can see it seems like "Tight end, here’s the number tight ends have." You can almost go right down the line. Whether we’ll have the same kind of success, I certainly hope so.

On if the team will continue to throw the ball downfield throughout the season…

Without question. I think that’s kind of a trademark also of Marty.

On what he has seen from QBs coach David Lee…

It was told to me, by a lot smarter coach than me, Bill Parcells for one, that this was the best fundamental quarterback coach that he’s ever seen. In fact, when I got interviewed by Parcells in Miami for the head coaching job that I never really had a shot at, when I went down there he actually had hired David Lee before he had hired any other coach, before he hired a head coach or anything else. That will tell you what Coach Parcells thought of him. Certainly I haven’t seen anything different of him out here. He has a great reputation. Anthony Lynn had coached with David before. If you’re looking for an endorsement, I guess the fact that the Mannings, two decent quarterbacks, I’m not talking about the other brothers, but Peyton and Eli would go work out with David Lee. That’s something. We’ll take have their accomplishments and that would be good with us

On possibly seeing Ivory and Goodson on the field together…

I do, I think so. If yesterday was an indication, we might have four of those guys out there at one time. But that was kind of an interesting thing. You know, "How are you going to play it? What, are you going to run the wishbone back there?" I’m not sure. When you have a guy like Goodson, when you have a guy like Joe McKnight, that kind of athlete and explosive type guys, I can see them being out there with as well with your big, strong back. And we have two of them. I think [Bilal] Powell is a good back as well. I can definitely see us doing that.

On Mornhinweg’s experience with mobile quarterbacks and how it can translate to Smith…

I think even the West Coast offense, you know the West Coast whatever they call it, you have mobile quarterbacks. I remember going back to Bill Walsh, he thought that was probably the No. 1 trait. There’s two traits, accuracy and mobility, that were his biggest traits that he looked for in a quarterback. Obviously I think we’re fortunate. I think Mark [Sanchez] is a better athlete than people give him credit for. And obviously with Geno, I don’t know what he timed in the 40 but the guy can run and clearly has good mobility.

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