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REX: An Opportunity to Get a Good Player

Posted Sep 2, 2013

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

First off, with the quarterback situation, obviously nothing new there. What I can tell you is that Mark [Sanchez] did not practice today. As far as injuries are concerned, I just prefer to discuss the injury updates on Wednesday when we’ll announce them then. Mark did not practice today. Santonio [Holmes] did get some work in today, which is good to see. With that, it was a bonus really in preparation for Tampa Bay, and we did not put in a whole lot of the game plan on either side of the ball or special teams but did get a few things in, some unusual things that they do offensively, defensively, just got some early looks at them, and that’s really what we focused on. For that, it was good.

They flew around pretty good. We started outside and then I had to move it inside when I guess lightning was in the area. One other thing, we did add a few new players. You guys have that list because there’s no way I’m going to try to pronounce big Ben [Ijalana]'s last name, so you guys figure that one out. But this is something I’ve talked about with John on improving the roster. If we feel there are some guys out there who can help us and improve our football team, then we’re certainly going to look at that. This is probably an example of that, adding four players to our football team.

On if signing Brady Quinn indicates Sanchez will not be ready for the opener…

You can look at a lot of different things to try to build the best team you can have. We might be heavy in some positions, we’re obviously light in other positions. Just looking at them from a numbers standpoint, I can understand where you’re coming from, but when you look at them, you just try to get the best 53 that you can find that’s out there to help your team. That’s what we’re trying to do.

When you look at our situation, I think we only had three outside linebackers. There are some spots we’re extremely heavy at and there are others where I think we’re a little light by traditional NFL numbers. Again, we’re focused on trying to put the best group that we can out there and fielding the best team we can. Could that change? Absolutely, it can change. But that’s really how we’re approaching this football team.

On if it is realistic Sanchez can practice enough on Wednesday to be considered to play on Sunday…

The one thing we know about Mark is that he does have a really good grasp of our system. He’s been involved in meetings and walkthroughs. It’s just he hasn’t physically been able to practice since the injury occurred.

On if Sanchez can practice on Wednesday…

We’ll see how he progresses in these next days. As we know, I said he never practiced today. But we’ll see. In a couple of days, we’ll see if he’s able to practice.

On if the public can read into Sanchez’s status due to the acquisition of Quinn…

We’ll look at all those factors as we move forward, but again, [people are] looking into more than what it is, it was just an opportunity for us, as we feel, to get a good football player, and that’s kind of where we are with it.

On why he is not sharing injury information until Wednesday…

I just think it will be more accurate and a complete injury update instead of just speculating on this player [or] that player. I think it would be better to get the correct information I would assume than to throw something out there that comes back and maybe necessarily isn’t the case. I think if I have more accurate information, it would probably be the best thing to do.

On if Smith will be named the starter if Sanchez cannot practice on Wednesday…

Let’s just let this thing play out and we’ll see number one, if Mark can practice. I don’t want to assume anything. We’ll lean on the trainers and the doctors, and if Mark can practice or if Kenrick Ellis can practice, or if this player can practice then maybe our answers will be different on Wednesday than [they] will be today.

On if there was a directive from above telling him to be less forthcoming in press conferences…

No, there’s no directive from above saying this, that or the other. There’s not. I think sometimes through experiences, before, I know I’ve said, ‘Oh, this guy will play,’ and all of a sudden he doesn’t play, ‘Oops.’ Something else, being my fifth year, maybe there are some things that maybe I’ve learned, timing of things might be better, not making assumptions and things like that. I’ve probably learned a little bit from that through the years maybe.

On how he used to question coaches who would not make guarantees or decline to talk about injuries…

I know, certainly, people have made fun of me for making a guarantee [joking]. So, now I’m going to make fun of everybody for not guaranteeing, or guaranteeing, or whatever [joking]. I can tell you one thing. I plan on winning. I plan on winning this game, the next game, whatever. That’s never going to change. My approach changed a little bit on making guarantees when I found out, it’s been well-documented, that I said it put added pressure on our players. I think that’s why I changed. Do I expect to win? I always expect to win. No matter what it is, I always expect to win.

On his gut feeling on Holmes’ availability for Sunday…

I’ve said from day one, I hope he plays. I think Holmes is a difference-maker as a player. I don’t think there’s any doubt he is. I’ve said all along that I hope he plays. That’s it. My opinion really doesn’t matter. Until the doctors and trainers give you a thumbs up, yes he’s ready to go or he’s not. I can tell you that I hope he plays. I guarantee I hope he plays. How’s that for a guarantee [joking]?

On his gut feeling on Holmes’ availability…

I do [hope Holmes plays], I want him out there. Like I said, today he was able to do a few things. That was encouraging to me.

On if he was at Clemson on Saturday…

Yes, I was.

On people asking why he wasn’t at the Jets facility on cut day…

Almost all of our moves were made Friday evening, when I was here. I talked to several of the players that we were going to release. I don’t think it was official until, we actually never made our moves until later that evening and that’s why the report came out when it did the next day. It came out Saturday. But certainly I spoke with most of our guys that were released just like I’ve done every year. I was very aware of our situation.

This was an opportunity to go see my son play his first college game. I think "played" is probably not very accurate [joking]. I saw him stand there [laughter]. But it was a great deal. Obviously, it’s not like I’m going to be able to go to another game. It just so happened I could make that one. It was a night game. That’s really what I did. I took advantage of it. It was great. I just played dad there for a day. That was a lot of fun.

On if Sanchez could end up on injured reserve…

That’s not what we’re looking at right now. That’s not it.

On if he has to make adjustments if Smith starts…

I think when you speculate if this, if that, whatever, I’m not really going to touch it. I will say that all the quarterbacks, with the exception of Brady Quinn obviously, have been in the system the entire spring and everything else. Will there be specific things you do against certain opponents? Absolutely. Are there things that you won’t do against certain opponents? Sure, there’s no doubt. Do you implement the “Revis Rule”? I don’t know because he’s Tampa’s corner now.

Those are the things that every week you do specific things against a specific opponent. Maybe it’s based on what they play defensively or even their personnel. Whether Geno’s the quarterback or Sanchez is the quarterback or somebody else is the quarterback, it’s more sometimes specific about your opponent.

On if Quinton Coples has been ruled out for the game…

He hasn’t been ruled out this week but we’ll address it on Wednesday.

On if Sanchez is week-to-week or day-to-day…

I don’t know. You said you heard from Mark specifically that he’s day-to-day. I don’t know about that.

On information getting lost in translation from an earlier question about Sanchez’s health…

Maybe I did.

On if it is a consideration for Sanchez to be placed on injured reserve…

No. Right now, clearly, if that was the case, if we felt as an organization that he should be placed on IR then Mark would have been placed on IR. Can things change? Absolutely, things can change. I remember seeing Kyle Boller go through pat-and-go and next thing I know he’s on IR because something happened to his shoulder. You don’t want to get into those types of things but, and I’m just using that as an example, things do change. What we said that he’s day-to-day, that’s a long way from saying he’s going on IR.

On if Sanchez has started throwing at all yet…

Well, the only thing I’ll say, specifically, he has not practiced. Has he thrown a football? I think you should probably ask him. If he wouldn’t say, then I’m certainly not going to say. But he hasn’t practiced with our offense. He has not practiced with our offense.

On if he can say with certainty that when healthy Sanchez will be an active member of the team…

Again, there’s a lot of factors that go into all those types of things. If Mark’s healthy, then yes I would say he would be, to finish your question, a part of this football team.

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