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Rex's Monday News Conference

Posted Dec 20, 2010

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference Monday afternoon at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

We just watched the tape and really outstanding performances. It was just a great football game. I can say that now because we won it, but it really was. Two good teams going at it toe-to-toe and we came out on top. That was the important thing. It really was a good game. I have a ton of respect for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers, always have. It's usually the most physical game of the year when you go up against those guys.

We're a little beat up. We got some guys that are sore. Mark [Sanchez] even was sore. His shoulder's kind of sore. For precaution we had him go get an MRI. That was positive for us. He's going to play, but he's sore. He'll play obviously Sunday. It's just that kind of game. [It was] just a tough, hard-fought game. I thought James Ihedigbo is a lot sorer today than he was on Sunday, but he's tougher than a boot so I expect him to play as well. It was a great win in December. You had to earn it and we certainly did that.

On who made Sanchez get an MRI…

It's precautionary. Anytime it's your quarterback, you're going to make sure he's OK. He actually did the play I think in the second drive of the game so he played the whole game with it. Like I say, the MRI was a positive thing for us. We know he'll be ready to play on Sunday. Will it limit him? I don't know.

On if Sanchez’s sore shoulder is the result of a big hit…

It was like the first time he ran with the football. His arm was in an awkward position. But it never affected him. He played the whole game. Anytime your quarterback has something you immediately make sure he's OK. For a defensive player, you're like, "You're OK." I can usually say, "Yeah, that's no problem."

On if he knew when Sanchez hurt his shoulder…

No. I probably shouldn't have said anything. Maybe not. Now that's going to be our story. Oh, no [laughter]. It's just one of those things, where he played the whole game. As somebody said, "Maybe this should happen to you in all these games because he played great." He really did. He played fantastic.

On if that “somebody” was him…

No, it was not me. Mark and I are not talking. I'm just kidding [smiling].

On what type of shoulder injury Sanchez has…

I don't know what to call it. Sore shoulder. That's the official term, sore shoulder.

On what message Marquice Cole’s performance sends to the team…

I can't say it any better than that because that's exactly right. I had that message to our team much earlier in the season. The reason I feel good about where this team can go, is not just based on the 22 starters. It's based on the 53-man roster. I think we have a deep roster. I think every single player will have an impact on our games. I think especially as you get down into games in December and January, that's when you're going to notice your depth.

We have a deep roster when you can put in a Wayne Hunter. They have two of the best outside linebackers in football, Pro Bowlers, along with [Terrell] Suggs and [Cameron Wake], some excellent outside pass rushers, yet I don't know if they got a sack. I think we officially gave up one sack, but I don't remember it. They did a great job. Wayne stepped in, did a great job

On Coach Brian Schottenheimer’s game plan..

Tremendous. I think we ran the ball effectively against Pittsburgh. For our standards, probably not very good, but against Pittsburgh, it's probably the most they gave up all year. I think that speaks volumes about the game plan we had and also talks about how our offensive line. They really played well against an outstanding front. That fourth-and-1 call, "You feel good about the call?" "Yeah, I feel good. We're going for it." He made that call. It was like, "Please take the bait, please take the bait ... That's what I'm talking about." Everybody took it.

On if the team played with a sense of fearlessness…

I just think we played like Jets. That's how we played. We played like the team I think we are. That was a team that is physical, a team that is prideful, a team that obviously has a lot of talent, and a team that expects to go out and win. That's exactly how we played.

On his speech to the team on Saturday night…

That's overblown I'm sure. I'm just an average person that speaks from the heart. It's really more about our players and how they played. They challenged each other. They are committed to each other. I think that's what you saw from the team. It wasn't anything I said.

On what they need to do next week against Chicago…

I think we know how to play. We know what we have to do. To be honest, we're just now starting our preparation for Chicago. They're skating around today. I mean, they're playing today [laughter]. We'll see. We know they're a good football team. Obviously, their record proves that. Playing them at their place, it's not an easy place to play by any stretch of the imagination. They'll be fired up, but we know how to play. We've just got to go out and play to the best of our ability and we'll see what happens.

On controlling their own playoff fate this year…

Did we need some help last year? I wasn't sure [smiling]. I remember standing here. The great thing is all we have to do is win. That’s all I know. That's all I'm concerned with right now. That's going to be our focus, just try to get a win any way, anyhow.

On calling out the offensive line in the team meeting on Saturday night…

I think it's more our guys committing to each other, playing the way we're capable of playing against an outstanding opponent. I think that was what took place in the game. That's all I have to say.

On how many more pre-game speeches he has in him…

You just speak from the heart each week. Whatever happens, happens.

On not wanting to credit his speech for the performance on the field…

It's funny because it's not like I ever script a speech. I'm just who I am every day. That's it. We just want to win. It's not just me that wants to win, it's everybody in this organization that wants to win. You guys want us to win. We all know that. The team wants to win. I mean, every single person. Are there people that believe that we're going to accomplish what we say we're going to accomplish maybe more so than other people? I'm sure there is, but I know the collection we have in our locker room believes it.

On if the win against Pittsburgh validates the Jets to critics that say they haven’t beaten any team with a winning record…

Pittsburgh isn't an easy place to play. I know their record. They lost three games this year. They never had Roethlisberger [for the first four games of the season], so it was probably easier to beat them that way when they lost to Baltimore. New England beat them. You're only playing whoever is on your schedule. Some of those teams with bad records aren't bad football teams. They just haven't found ways to win. Every team in this league is tough and competitive. If you treat it any differently, you'll get beat.

On if Dwight Lowery grabbed Emmanuel Sanders’ jersey…

I never saw that [smiling]. I'll say this, that was a December game between two physical football teams, and they let us play. They let us decide it on the field. I thought that was great. That's what you want.

On if Sanchez will be limited in practice this week…

I don't know. He probably will be a little bit. I actually took some reps from him last week, but we'll see how it goes. I just know he's beat up pretty good. That's what you expect when you play a physical football team, a bunch of guys are beat up. [Antonio] Cromartie, I don't know what he had, but he felt like he was in a track meet and he kept running. That [Mike] Wallace kid — I don't know how many verticals he had to cover. About 60 of them, I think. I know he was sore, he was getting treatment, Revis is getting treatment, a lot of guys.

On why he took some reps from Sanchez last week…

It was just one of those things where I gave Brunell one or two snap. Really, just to tick him off more than anything else [laughter]

On if he intentionally took reps away from Sanchez to motivate him…

I don't know if I would do that [smiling], but you do. You also send a message that, you know what, you're my guy. Everybody knows you're my guy. If it'll make him accountable, I'll make everybody accountable. There were even times when I pulled Bart [Scott]. Well, not Revis [laughter], but I'll pull everybody else at some time. We've benched everybody at some time. Not necessarily bench, but pull a guy here and there. That's the thing. If for whatever reason, you're not getting it done, nobody's above it. What we want to do is win. That's my job as a coach. I came here to win. That's what we do. It doesn't mean that I don't care for a guy [or] respect him. I respect the whole team. It's not just about one individual.

On if he will use the Giants’ loss as a teaching reference…

Well, if we have to, we will punt it out of bounds [laughter]. What else you going to say? The kid [DeSean Jackson] made an unbelievable play. He's scary. We face a similar situation this week with [Devin] Hester back there. They'll probably face it, too with Brad Smith back there. We'll see where that ball goes, but those things happen. That's why you have to find a way to get him down.

I know my dad, I think they've changed the rules since then, but he used to have a punt team, in that exact situation, where I think he purposely put like 14 guys on the field. His thought was you punt the ball, they're not going to block it. You have 14 guys out there, they're not going to return it. Then when they penalize you, you just kneel on it, but you can't do that anymore. That was great. He actually, pulled it off in a game. They never caught it. I forget how many guys he had out there. He couldn't stand it. He had worked it for five years. He finally got to use it and then he had to tell everybody how smart he was and was fined like $10,000 [laughter].

Those things, it's unbelievable how sometimes those plays, you'll come down to that. It's just that you feel for that football team and all that kind of stuff, but what are you going to say? What a great play that kid made, an unbelievable play. That's football. That’s the beauty of this game.

On if he feels compassion for Tom Coughlin…

Well, to be honest with you, I thought about it for like two seconds. I've really just been focused on us, but yeah, of course.

On what happened at the end of the first half when they still had two timeouts…

It was funny because Schotty and I were talking about it. I'm like, "Let's see what happens on this first play," because, normally, we call two plays in that situation. We were kind of caught in a gray area because you don't want to make a mistake, number one. That's the biggest thing. We'll go in at halftime and we'll be just fine, but if you pop one, then you want to make a call. I guess in that situation we were kind of like this, hindsight being what it is, I probably should have just called a timeout and had another shot at it. We had talked about it. We only made the one call. Obviously, I should have probably gone for a timeout there.

On the kind of run and pass balance that he desires…

I'd rather run it twice as much as that. Any coach would say that. No, we ran it great against an excellent football team, a great team at stopping the run. We made some big runs. They made some big runs. The one that Roethlisberger made at the end of the game, I thought we kind of had him locked in there a little bit, then he busts out for about a 22-yard run. It was huge in that situation. He showed why he's won two Super Bowl rings. He made a couple huge throws for them, as well.


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