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Rex's Wednesday News Conference

Posted Dec 7, 2011

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

Injury report. Guys that did not practice today: Mike DeVito with a knee, Ellis Lankster with a low back —  special teams, I guess he messed his back up. Brandon Moore with a hip. Guys that were limited: Marcus Dixon, hip, David Harris, ankle, Joe McKnight, elbow, Eric Smith, knee. And then all of these other guys were full today: Vlad Ducasse, knee, Shonn Greene, rib, Jeremy Kerley, knee, Nick Mangold, ankle, Calvin Pace, groin, Tanner Purdum, low back, Matt Slauson, knee, LaDainian Tomlinson, knee, and Mo Wilkerson, shoulder.

Now the guys who I should probably clarify on the injury report. Brandon Moore did not practice, he’s got that hip. I still think Brandon’s going to play. We all assume Brandon’s going to play. He’s played in how many straight games? He’s going to play, I have a feeling. Joe McKnight with that elbow. We’ll see. You know he had that big [brace] on there [in practice], but we’ll see about that one. Everybody else seems good. Tanner Purdum was on the injury list. That is our long snapper. Kidding. Nobody knows Tanner Purdum. When I called him up to break the huddle, he’s looking around like, “Me?” So that’s that list today.

On if Moore’s hip is the same one he had surgery on…

Yes. I think it’s safe to say it, because didn’t he surgery on both hips, though? So I said yes. I answered the question yes. Right, left—the one he had surgery on.

On DeVito’s chances of playing this week…

I don’t know about that one. I don’t feel near as confident with that one. I know he’s trying to do everything he can. He’s out there in full pads. He’s doing all that stuff. I don’t want to say no, but quietly, we’ll probably say very, very doubtful, I would think.

On if the team working out free agent G Chester Pitts was insurance in case Brandon Moore cannot play…

No, Mike [Tannenbaum] brings in guys all the time. The young man looked good. I saw him, he looked good, but no, I think that wasn’t the reason at all. We think Brandon will be out there. We feel good about it.

One thing I should mention, Tom Moore — check that box. He will be with us for the rest of the season. I felt good about it the whole time. I mentioned that last week. I felt good that he would be around the rest of the season, but his wife does have that veto right but she did not exercise it. So he will be here the rest of the season.

On if he will still hold the title of consultant…

Mega-consultant, I think, is the title we gave him [joking]. No, he’s just going to be the consultant. I don’t like to say, “just consultant.” He’s a consultant.

On how much of an asset Moore has been…

Good, man. He’s been great. I know Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] talks to him all the time, even when he was in South Carolina, but he’s great. Just a guy that’s been there and done that with all of the experience that he’s had. And I think that it’s great that our players get around him, as well. Here’s a guy that’s coached Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, the receivers in Indy have been pretty decent. So I think that’s good. I know Dustin [Keller] talks to him quite a bit about routes and everything. I think it’s just good to have. I feel better when I see him out there with us and he’s actually with us and not against us, so I feel good about that.

On if Moore will be involved in game-planning…

Whatever Schotty has him do. He’s there because he’s another set of eyes and everything else. By the way, I don’t know if it’s been reported, but I guess we lead the league in red zone efficiency this year on offense. I don’t know if that was a point of emphasis or not, but it seems like that’s working good and so is winning the games at home. We’ve got one loss. We’ve got to make sure we close out the season at home. Now, we need to make a point of emphasis of getting there more and I think that’s what we’ll do.

On what accounts for the improvement in red zone scoring…

Well, Plax [Plaxico Burress] definitely helps that without question. He’s a big reason in more ways than one, why we’re better. I really think that the fact that we really put such an emphasis on it in the offseason. Brian and everybody did a great job of it, Tom Moore, a lot of guys, a lot of thought went into it, a lot of time went into it and I think it’s paid off for us this year.

On if Moore is a believer in the Wildcat…

Well, he was going to do that with Peyton [Manning] [joking]. The thing that I like about it is it takes some preparation time. On defense, you have to prepare for it, whether we’re going to run it one snap, no snaps or 25 snaps. You don’t know. Even going against Miami back when they ran it, it took a lot of preparation time. So that was one of the reasons I wanted to do it. I also thought we could have success running it and that’s why we did.

On using different players in the Wildcat this season as opposed to just Brad Smith last season…

I think Brad’s the best at it, I really do, in the league. Well, now [Tim] Tebow’s the best at it, but Brad’s pretty good back there at it. But I think having the skillset that we have. We’ve got guys that can throw the ball. We’ve all seen LT [Tomlinson], I guess, has thrown touchdowns in this league, obviously, Joe McKnight can throw it. Shonn Greene throws it as about good as any non-quarterback. I’m just floating that out there, seeing if somebody bites. “That Shonn Greene can really throw it. Back them up.” [joking]

On if he is concerned at all about the perception that Moore being there is a shot at Brian Schottenheimer…

With us, I went to Brian early and said, "Hey, how about this, trying to get Tom Moore in here as a consultant?" Brian was all for it. The perception is completely false if that’s it. I have great confidence in Brian and this is just a thing that helps. You get a guy with this kind of experience, how can it not help your football team? And he’s helped me. So I know he’s helped Schotty and he’s probably helped [TEs coach Mike] Devlin and he’s probably helped [WRs coach] Henry [Ellard] and a lot of guys. So we’re really happy to have him.

On why it took until last week to start running the wildcat..

I think really part of it was we had Brad for all those years, and the funny thing is that Schotty ran it before I ever got here. He had Leon Washington, he had Brad, so we’ve always had it in there. We were going to look at it a little bit, and then Jeremy got hurt. And then as we went on I’m like, how about if we did this? It was just something that adds to what we already have. So whether we’ll do it going forward, the great thing is, they don’t know. So opponents have to prepare for it.

On Dustin Keller having huge roles in the offense some weeks and small roles other weeks…

It’s hard to say, he is a big part of the offense each week even though, the same can be said for Plaxico and Tone and all that. Sometimes the defense does dictate it, that if you want to take away a guy, put a lot of your resources into covering that guy, then somebody else should be open. But again, Dustin, I think, he gives you a lot of matchup problems. There’s no question about it, and the way this league is going now, a lot of teams are finding excellent receivers at that tight end position. We’re fortunate to have one.

On using a lot of new formations on offense…

We’ve had Brian, for years he runs multiple formations, multiple personnel groupings and a lot of shifts, a lot of motions, things like that. That’s what Brian has always done. It’s just kind of adding to it. I know Devlin does a lot of things, he’s responsible for a lot of the unbalanced plays and stuff like that. So some weeks it’s more prevalent than others.

On if the offense is headed in the right direction…

I definitely think we’re headed in the right direction. I don’t think there’s any question about it, this is going to be a big test this week. This team is playing awful well the last three weeks, in particular, they played against three playoff-type teams – the Bears, New England and Pittsburgh. They’re playing really well, I think they’re averaging 17 points a game over that span. So it’s going to be a big test. This might be the best group of corners that we’ll face all season. We’ll see how Philly is, but this group right here is pretty darn good at corner. They have three of them that can really play. The Tamba Hali kid is an outstanding pass rusher. Kelly Gregg, he can still get it done as a nose tackle. So they have some good players.

On if he is happy with how the offense has looked the past few weeks…

Absolutely. I’m always happy when we win and the fact that we have been putting up some points, that’s really encouraging.

On the offensive line needing to play well against the Chiefs’ pass rush…

They got to Brady a few times which is hard to do, but the seven sack performance this past week is an indication of how this team really is rushing the passer now. Like I say, the guy that you have to have your antenna up for is Tamba Hali, and they’ll put him all over the place. It’s not like he’s always going to be on the right or always on the left. They move him all over the place, so we certainly have to know where he’s at.

On if he knew about two Redskins players being suspended before the game on Sunday…

No, I did not hear about it before the game. That’s true, I did not hear about it before the game. But no, the league, what, are they playing New England next or something [joking]? Then they should play this week also. But no, that’s just the way things work out.

On if a part of him that wants to see Thomas Jones out on the field…

The thing is, this organization and myself included, I thought the world of Thomas. We all did, and we all do. But not this week. [joking] I’d rather see him on the sideline. But I know he’s going to be raring to go, he’s a great competitor. I always appreciated that in him. It’s funny, we took out an ad in one of the papers, basically letting Kansas City know what they got in Thomas Jones. I think that might have been the first time that that’s ever been done in this league. It just showed, it was a token of appreciation that this organization had for Thomas.

Sometimes you can’t always keep everybody, and that was one of those cases. Clearly, Thomas was a great back for us. He had over 1,300 yards, his career high, that season. Let’s face it, he got the tough yards when we needed it as well and I’ll always have a great deal of admiration for Thomas. But like I said, this week, not so much [laughing]. This week we have to put it on him. He’s going to try to put it on us, we’re going to try to put it on him.

On Jamaal Westerman and if he will be used more in the outside linebacker role…

I think we’ll just use that rotation that we’ve been doing. I think it’s been pretty effective for us. Obviously Bryan Thomas is a tough guy to replace, but those guys are playing well. Garrett McIntyre and Westerman obviously, in the base. And then of course you have [Aaron] Maybin. I think I like that rotation that we have.

On major league baseball enacting a dress code and if the NFL should do the same…

I hope there’s no dress code for the media deal, I certainly hope that’s not the case. You guys look better than I do. So I don’t know, you guys won’t have any problem anyway. Everybody always looks good.

On how nice is it for an organization to hit a home run on a guy that was cast off like Aaron Maybin

I think first off, you have to give Mike Tannenbaum credit and everybody up there. From Scott Cohen, all the guys up there, because they’re always working and they’re always trying to help our team. As soon as he was released, we felt really good about Aaron and we jumped all over it. You know how Tannenbaum is.

The thing that I really appreciate about our organization is that we’ll use the draft, we’ll go through free agency, we’ll pick up guys that are released and all that. The job is never done. We’re always trying to make our football team better, and that’s a sign of a great organization. And it just so happens that Aaron was available.

We brought him in here. It was tough because he couldn’t really catch up to speed. He never really had a whole lot of time. We released him, but we brought him back and the guy has done extremely well. We think we have a great coaching staff, we think we can develop players and guys come in here. You have to give the young man the credit, because he’s the one that deserves it. He opened himself up to the coaching and everything else, and now you’re seeing it pay off for him.

On Antonio Cromartie coming off the field on a few plays…

We try to use our entire roster. Obviously, Cro played, that was one of his best games. Cro is playing really well. Anything to make people thing, well, maybe it’s a certain matchup, maybe it’s a zone, maybe for whatever reason we do that from time to time. We’ll play our entire roster. Darrelle [Revis] doesn’t come off, but we have. We even Bart Scott off, we’ve had David Harris out. We’ve had a lot of guys, great players. It’s not a reflection of Cro whatsoever, it was just trying to get guys more involved or maybe a certain call or a personnel grouping we were looking at doing.

On if Maybin would have succeeded the way he has if Bryan Thomas hadn’t gotten hurt…

I think so, anyway, I think he was going to be playing as a pass rusher anyway, as a designated pass rusher for us, and now his role has expanded even more than that. But I think he would have.

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