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Rex's Monday News Conference

Posted Dec 13, 2010

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

First off, I’d like to say publicly that I want to apologize to Nolan Carroll about what took place. I’d like to apologize to the Dolphins. That’s a thing that has no business in this league or anywhere else. Sal [Alosi] made a huge mistake. He knows that. He’s apologized for it. I can’t ever remember anything like this ever happening. The only thing I can see anywhere close to it was I saw an old football clip of, I believe it was Alabama playing [Rice], and a guy [Tommy Lewis] went on the field and tackled somebody [Dicky Moegle] that was running for a touchdown [in the 1954 Cotton Bowl]. He went to the bench with his head down, realized that he made a huge mistake. That’s the only thing that I can come close to comparing it to. It’s got no place in this game. I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s just an unfortunate situation.

As far as the play on the field is concerned, you’ve got to give Miami credit. That’s the second time in two years that they found ways to win when they never had their best effort on offense. Last year, they returned two kicks for a touchdown and a fumble for a touchdown. This year, they had more offense, but it wasn’t that much more. They played defense and they punted the ball. I’ve never seen a guy punt a ball 70 yards and us get 4 yards on the return. It was really a huge difference in the game the way he punted.

As far as our offensive execution, it was poor. I looked at Mark [Sanchez]'s play. I sat in there and I watched the game with our offensive staff. So much of it comes down to fundamentals and technique. That’s just the way it is at every position. When all else fails, you go back on your fundamentals and technique. In Mark’s case, you can’t be accurate with the football if you don’t have proper footwork. It’s hard to throw the ball when you’re not set and ready to go. Some of that has to do with the pressure you’re getting. Some of it has to do with if you’re sloppy with your footwork mechanics. The young man has got plenty of ability, but you have to play with more fundamentals. The fact that when we did throw the ball and he did make some nice throws, we dropped it.

I don’t want to take away from what Miami did defensively because that was an outstanding game plan that they had. Mike Nolan and his group did an outstanding job. They played their tails off. They deserve the credit. We’ve got to get better at that. We’ve got to execute better. We’ve got to play better at quarterback. We’ve got to play better at receiver and we have to protect him better. And we have to get the running game going. Other than that, we’re just fine. We’ve got a lot of work to do and a short time to get it fixed.

On if he has decided what punishment Alosi will receive…

The organization and the NFL are working on this collectively. I’d rather not get into any specifics of it. I don’t want to give something that’s not accurate information. I’d rather give 100 percent accurate information to you. I don’t want to really say one way or another.

On if there is a timetable for when a decision will be made on Alosi’s punishment…

I hope it’s sooner than later. I’d rather get this thing done as soon as we can.

On if the decision will be made with the NFL league office…

I think this is something that is bigger than just us. I think we can be in front, but the organization wants to make sure that league is aware of what the plan is.

On if termination is an option…

I really don’t want to get into the specifics. As soon as we know officially what it’s going to be, we’ll get the message out to you through Bruce [Speight, senior director of media relations].

On his conversation with Alosi…

Sal called me last night, apologized to me. My first [reaction] was I was stunned that something like this actually took place. He called me almost immediately. He had called Mike Tannenbaum, Woody Johnson. He had called the young man [Nolan Carroll]. I believe he talked to Tony [Sparano] as well. He never said that, but I believe that he did. I admire the fact that he never denied it and that he stood up and he took responsibility. He owned up to it and it’s something, obviously, that he regrets a great deal. I know I’ll get killed for it, there’s no place for it in football without question, but he made a mistake and he admitted it.

On if he felt the Miami gunners were going out of bounds on their sidelines more than they should have since they were penalized for it…

I saw the first one that you mentioned. It was an appropriate call. He ran down the sidelines 30 yards before he tried to get back in. They threw the flag. When the young man got hurt, he was down right where I was standing. When I looked, I had no idea what had taken place. I just saw the young man down. I was looking and I’m like, "He’s hurt," and I was trying to signal their medical people to come over, like, "Man down." I never realized what had taken place.

What I always do on the sidelines, when I see a double press, first thing I do is get back. I always tell them, "Hey, we’ve got a double press." I’ve seen coaches get knocked down on the sideline doing that. Guys get hit and run over because they get knocked out of bounds. I’ve seen that happen before, obviously not a guy get tripped, but I’ve seen guys get hit several times on those double press situations.

On if the players were instructed to stand on the out-of-bounds line…

I know one thing, I’ve never made that instruction. I always do the opposite. I always alert that there is a double press, get away from it.

On his reaction when he saw the replay…

When you see the coaches tape, you don’t really notice anything because you see [Nolan Carroll] run and fall down, you don’t see [Alosi]. My understanding is if you see the TV copy, it’s a different look than what I saw.

On if he had seen the TV copy…

No, I have not.

On if he talked to Alosi at the stadium…

No. I didn’t know anything was happening until Bruce told me.

On if he saw Alosi in the locker room…

I never saw Sal, so I don’t know if he was gone. I never saw him.

On if this affects the perception of the team…

This is a terrible thing that happened. There’s no doubt. We had a DUI. I know we had all that stuff. I’d rather not rehash all that. It would be an unfortunate thing if that were the case.

On the team’s confidence after two consecutive losses…

I think we are confident, but we are also not blind. We see the tape and we can’t beat a good football team if we play like that. The defense had a terrific game, but offensively you’re not going to beat anybody if you make the kind of mistakes we made. I’m not taking anything away from Miami because they played great. Part of the reason we looked so poor was that Miami played so well. We have the talent to play better than this. I know we do. We have the talent on our coaching staff to have it taught better and I know we can play better. That’s what coaching is all about. We have to find a way.

I think we’ll respond. I thought the defense responded well after last week’s embarrassment to New England, who ran up and down the field on us. I think our offense will respond. This is a huge challenge. We have to find a way to play better in all three phases. It’s the same thing, but we have to do it. The frustrating thing is, I watched us run the football. I don’t care if you have Jim Brown back there, Jim Brown isn’t going to run through if you have a free hitter to the football. a linebacker standing there at the line of scrimmage. He’s not going to run through.

Those are things we have to correct. We have to give our guys some chances to run the football. I know we can get better and I believe we can get better. This is the toughest task that we’re going to have, maybe all season with this defense. We’re getting ready to play. It has to get better or we’re going to get smoked again and I don’t think that will happen. I think we’ll get better.

On who will give the players chances…

It’s all of us. It’s us as coaches. When I was looking at the running game, I was like, "Why is this guy free to the ball?" We have to look at what we are asking them to do and find different ways of doing things. It’s a challenge to us as coaches. As a coach, you are very competitive. You look at these opportunities like we have to get better. We have to fix it. Our players are expecting us to put them in a situation to be successful. I also look at it this way, as coaches we are looking for our players, "Hey, look, we can execute this better. You have to rely on your techniques and what you are being taught.’ It’s a mixture of things. We have to attack things collectively. We can’t just say it’s coaching or it’s playing. It’s all of us together.

On the spike on first down…

You don’t want to do it in that situation. You never want to spike the football with over a minute left in the game. Under a minute, you have to. You have no choice. That was a mistake. I don’t know how we got into it or who’s at fault. I’m at fault obviously. I’m in charge of it, so it’s my mistake.

On when he thought he should have called timeout…

We only had the two timeouts. We could have used them up on first and second down. It was just a different feel. I wanted them where we could call second and third down. It really never mattered in that situation. He had to stop them. I just had a feeling it would be better to call them on second and third down than it would be on the first down. I definitely wanted to have that timeout on third down to where they have to decide if they stay inbounds with the ball or do risk throwing it for a first down. I wanted them to run it in that situation where I could use the time out.

On if it would have been better to use his timeouts differently at the end of the first half…

I never thought so. I thought I used the timeouts well. We only had the two of them, so it was kind of pick your poison when you want to use it. That was why I stopped it then. Then I wanted to use a free kick. I wanted our guy to fair catch the ball. That was the only bad punt the young man [Brandon Fields] had all day, but I thought it could give us an opportunity because I asked Nick [Folk] where he was good from and he was ready to try it from the 50 in. I wanted us to fair catch it and we didn’t get to it in time.

On when he expects Damien Woody to be back…

Damien won’t play this week. He’s probably going to get a scope this week on his knee, so he’ll definitely be out this week. I’m not sure about if he’ll be ready for Chicago or not, but he won’t be ready to play this week.

On Eric Smith’s health…

We’re not 100 percent sure, but when you have a head injury, whether it’s a concussion or officially I don’t know what it is yet, but anytime you get a head injury, especially with Eric, a guy that’s had concussions in the past, you want to make sure that he’s 100 percent ready to go. Is he out officially? I don’t know, it’s probably doubtful that he’ll play.

On what Mark Sanchez’s biggest challenge will be going forward…

I want it to be, play with your fundamentals, because this football team you’re getting ready to play is ridiculously good on defense. They can pressure you. [Troy] Polamalu, he disguises better than any player in the league, him and Ed Reed. You’re going to have your work cut out for you mentally, but I want him to play with his technique and what he’s coached to do. That’s what I want to see him do.

Mark is our quarterback and he’s my quarterback. He’ll always be our starting quarterback. Even if I did yank him for whatever reason, he’s our quarterback. We’re going to go as far as he takes us. It was just a thing at that time, I did consider it. I was honest when somebody asked me the question. I was honest in my answer that yeah, it dawned on me because we were struggling so badly on offense that sometimes when you do put a quarterback in, sometimes you can get a shot in the arm.

When I thought about it, I was like, "You know what? This young man has helped us. He’s led us to victories in three games in the fourth quarter. Three or four games. He was our best shot."

On why he thinks Sanchez gave the team the best shot to win…

When you’re going on past performances, when you look at him, he has brought us back in four games this season. He can make the throws. That’s really what I went on, the fact that he has brought us back in four games this year.

On if he talked to Sanchez today to clarify his comments about possibly benching him…

No, I told him like I always do — blunt force trauma. I told him that he has to get better. His footwork, it accounted for quite a few. He wasn’t accurate with the football on several of his throws. You can’t throw the ball if you’re not set and ready to throw in a football position, in a throwing position.

On the struggles lately with the running game…

Sometimes, they’re putting nine guys down there or whatever, and that’s going to happen and there will be a free guy. Just coming off together and getting some movement, just some things like that. Guy back-doors a play, you have linebackers running through some things, you have a lot of those things that we have to address. There’s no sense in going playside, if this guy is going to run through backside on you and hit you in the backfield for no gain. We have to make sure that we’re preventing those run-throughs. This team that we’re getting ready to play runs blitzes through the middle all the time on you, so we have to be ready.

On if James Ihedigbo will be ready this week…

I hope so.

On if he has thought about bringing someone in from the practice squad…

That’s not the plan right now. I know, Dig [James Ihedigbo] is doing everything we’re asking him to do. He did some running. He did some change-of-direction stuff Sunday, so I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready to go.

On the offense not having scored a touchdown in nine-straight first quarters and his feeling on Brian Schottenheimer’s performance…

I know part of it is, and like I said, I’ll take full responsibility, I think part of it is that we play defense first. Obviously, we’re out there on the field first, so that’s going to take some time off of that. Maybe, it’s a little misleading that way, but we have to be able to put a drive together where we go down and score. We did that early in the season when teams had us going offense first, we made them pay, New England, Miami. It just boils down to executing.

Brian [Schottenheimer] does a heck of a job. He’s been around football all his life. He’s a smart guy. He works his tail off, as do all these coaches. We’re not satisfied by any stretch of the imagination with how we’ve performed lately, but we just have to get better.

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