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Rex's Wednesday News Conference

Posted Sep 7, 2011

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

Two things that I guess we’ll start with. First off will be the hat, we’ll be wearing these hats the first responders, one of the three first responders. The port authority, the police department —- the NYPD — and New York’s fire department obviously. They’re going to go on sale. We’ll be wearing these hats on Sunday. They’ll be on sale at the stadium and the proceeds will go to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, so that ought to be a great thing.

Now we’ll talk about the injuries. We have Logan Payne and Rob Turner, out. I’ll mention them every day until they play if you’d rather me do that, that’s fine. Those kids will be out. Guys that were limited in practice were [Mark] Brunell with the calf, John Conner, ankle. Guys that were full but we’ll talk about: Plaxico [Burress] with the ankle, [Jeff] Cumberland, hamstring, [Marcus] Dixon, knee, Kenrick Ellis, hamstring, Derrick Mason, knee, Joe McKnight and Brandon Moore, illness, Ropati [Pitoitua], ankle, Sione [Pouha] with a knee, and [Darrelle] Revis with a hip. With that list, it’s going to be amazing that we can play, but they’re all going to play almost, except for those first two. But either way, that’s the injury list.

On how he’ll feel during the ceremony at Sunday’s game on the 10th anniversary of 9/11…

I think it’ll definitely be emotional, to me and everybody that is there and probably people that are watching around the country. I would assume it’s going to be emotional for everybody. But in particular with this region, this area, when you talk about 2,753 people perishing in New York alone, I think it’s going to be very emotional for a lot of people. But obviously, I’ll be like everybody else, I’m sure.

On how different the defensive style of his twin brother, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, is from his own…

I think we’re fraternal that way, just like we’re fraternal anyway. There are some differences, a lot. He’ll bring a lot of corner pressures, he’ll do a lot of stuff from under Belichick’s tutelage. So we’re definitely different. He has probably his own trademark of defense, and so do we here. The Rex Ryan, Mike Pettine and Dennis Thurman defense.

On if there’s an advantage for the offense seeing a Ryan family defense in practice every day…

Well, I’m sure there are similarities, I’m sure there are some similarities, but a lot of it is different. But I think anytime you go with a pressure-type defense, it’s good to work against that. Just like going against no-huddle offenses. We’re prepared defensively because we see that a bunch and things. I think without question it prepares you a little bit better.

On drawing anything from facing the Cleveland Browns last season…

I’m sure you do. You look at everything, just like somebody asked me if they’ll go back and look at when I was in Baltimore and playing Dallas. Yes, of course. You’ll go back, you’ll do all that stuff. You’ll look at the preseason, you’ll go back to all last year’s tapes and times when you’ve played them before. But absolutely we will.

On QB Mark Sanchez

Well, we were excited about how he went in last year. I think this year though, it’s more of the leadership and the ownership of this offense. Schotty [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] and he are tied together. He has a great understanding of it. He’s better at recognizing defenses and things, with just the natural maturity that you take going into your third year. But I think it’s even bigger than that.

On if Sanchez will have more freedom to call plays at the line…

If it sounds good, go for it, I guess. A lot of our system is built anyway that way. So he has to make checks and calls and things. So that really won’t be that big of a difference.

On Sanchez wanting to improve his completion percentage…

Well, you’d love to see your quarterback over 60. But again, our system is probably a little different than others. We’ll take probably more shots downfield than some teams will. These west coast offenses, those are kind of like long handoffs, but they are completions. The big thing is just wins. Protect the football, and let’s find ways to get wins. If he’s at 55 and we’re winning games ...  I don’t have him on my fantasy football team. I just want my quarterback to win.

On if the third year serves as a milestone for an NFL quarterback…

It seems like it really does, because you’re flying by the seat of your pants as a rookie. The second year you’ve now kind of grasped your system a little bit and maybe start to recognize some defenses. Now you put it all together. I think that is, I’ve never studied it, but I would assume that you hit that third year, you pretty much know what you have after that.

On how he feels about this team compared to the one he brought to the 2010 AFC Championship Game…

I think both teams, I was confident with both teams. There’s no doubt. I think we were a little beat up heading into Pittsburgh, where we were relatively healthy. We’ve lost a couple good football players, Rob Turner and obviously Logan Payne are out with injuries, but we feel pretty healthy and we’re fresh. We’re ready to roll. We should be popping out of our skin come Sunday night.

On what he thinks about the 2011 roster…

I love this roster. You look at it, there’s no excuses. We feel great about it. We have some depth in some areas that maybe we were a little thin at last year. The fact that when you look at the defense, we bring back 10 starters from a pretty good defense, and some key guys, it’s hard to get better than that. And then on offense, yes, we knew we were going to lose some guys, but we added some veteran players that I think are smart. They’ll catch on and I think we should be rolling.

On if he went into the offseason knowing that it was unlikely to get everyone from 2010 back…

Yes, we would have said all along that we would have loved to have that team back. There’s no doubt we would have loved to have that team back, and we knew that there’d be changes. But when the rules played out the way they were, when free agency started, we had 19 unsigned free agents and the job that Mike Tannenbaum and Ari [Nissim] and Jackie [Davidson] and all those people upstairs did to get this football team, like we say, we have no excuses. We get to play, we get to prove it and I feel great about the talent that we have on our roster, and the chemistry we have as well.

On the Cowboys having a young offensive line…

When I think when you have three new offensive line starters, obviously the chemistry… One of the things that we feel great about is Wayne Hunter played a lot of football for us last year, so that five is intact. But when you’re starting a new offensive line, no matter who you play, there are going to be some adjustments. But when you play a defense like ours that has been together, that does multiple things, there’s probably easier to defenses to face than ours.

On if it hurts his brother, Rob Ryan, to not have a spring with minicamps and OTAs…

I don’t feel bad about that at all. Whether that’s true or not, I guess we’ll find out. It’s probably a little easier for us. It’s tough to do, and I would say that we’ve done it before, but we really haven’t. He’s a great teacher, Rob is a great teacher. [Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus] is a coach that he’s had on his staff, and Dave Campo. So he has some really good coaches with him.

On if he expects to see a rocky start from teams with new coaches because of the lockout…

I hope so. We don’t have that problem, so I hope it’s to our advantage.

On how similar he and Rob Ryan’s defensive schemes are to the 46 defense of his father, Buddy Ryan…

We’re quite a bit different than that. We thing we have some courage, and we are crazy, but we’re not that crazy. When you look back at my dad’s it’s like “Whoa”. They’d run zero pressure more than any defense. Like the way we would run with at least somebody in the middle of the field, Cover-1, he’d run Cover-Zero, so there was nobody back there. The records they set will probably never be broken. I think they had 72 sacks one year in 1984. That was impressive, but everything they did was like, “Hey, we’re not going to let your quarterback stand back there.”

On if he and his brother’s defensive philosophy is different from his father’s…

Yes, I think you want to stop them. Both of our teams are kind of set, at least our team is I know for sure, is that we’re not really a bend but don’t break-type defense. We want to get off the field as fast as we can, through turnover, through three and outs, whatever it is. And I think that’s where we build our defense.

On if he expects to have John Conner back at full practice at all this week.,.

He may be limited a little bit, but I expect him back. He looked good today. I know [RBs coach Anthony] Lynn was working with our tailbacks today, so then we had him getting extra work with our strength and conditioning coach, and then we put him through team drills as well, so I expect John to play.

On if Conner was in team drills today…

Oh yes.

On his father’s dislike of the Cowboys and if he shared it…

Of course, when that’s one of your huge rivals, well of course you dislike them. This week, I can’t stand Dallas, but I’m a huge fan of theirs for the next 15 games in the regular season, but I don’t like them right now.

On Cowboys fans traveling well and if he expects there to be a lot in town this weekend…

I don’t know why they’d be here. They’re coming into our stadium, it’s probably not recommended that you wear Cowboys stuff, I would think.

On if he senses that the Jets are going to win this game…

You look at it, I’m always confident no matter who we play. But this team isn’t exactly the 6-10 record they showed last year. I don’t think that’s who they are. I mean, this is an excellent football team, with a ton of talent. They were the Super Bowl prediction, a lot of people expected them to be in the Super Bowl last year, and they won six games. So there’s a ton of talent on that team. You start with their quarterback, he’s an excellent quarterback, he can make all the throws and do all that. If he’s hot, he’s hard to stop. You have the running back, Felix Jones, he’s a tremendous athlete. Dez Bryant, [Jason] Witten, this team is loaded offensively. And then defensively you start with the best pass rusher in the league, and you have a pro-bowl nose tackle. So they have a lot of talent on that team. Their punter is even a Pro Bowler, so this is no pushover by any stretch of the imagination. This is the Dallas Cowboys and they’ll probably be one of the favorites to represent the NFC this year.

On if scouting the 2010 Cowboys doesn’t help because Romo was injured and the defense is new…

No, I mean let’s face it, when [John] Kitna came in, they won a lot of games at the end of the season. They were playing well. But you want to watch everything. What kind of offense is it? All that kind of stuff. Obviously the defense has changed, but the personnel, a lot of that personnel stays. So you want to watch the tape based on personnel, see what you’re up against and then obviously it’s the same guy calling the shots on offense, with Jason Garrett. So there are a lot of things that you could pick up from last year’s tape.

On if Peyton Manning’s injury changes the landscape of the AFC…

I don’t look at it that way in the AFC. Maybe in the South. I’m not sure, we’ll see how long he’s out for. He’s certainly one of the guys in this league that is a huge difference, whether he plays or he doesn’t play. He’s about as good as it gets. Obviously that team, we don’t play them this year, so I wish him a speedy recovery. But he certainly is one of those guys who can carry his football team.

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