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REX: Demario Davis Is Everything We Thought

Posted Aug 12, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following the Jets' Monday morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

I thought todays practice went well, especially on offense. I liked that team period. My offense was great today in that team period, and DT [Dennis Thurman]'s defense was horrible [joking]. It was good to see, you know, we had a big run on third down that popped for a big gainer. That was good to see. It kind of keeps you off balance sometimes on defense to run the ball on third down, so some of those things were good.

We had, I guess, Joe [McKnight] went down. We’ll see where that is. Clyde Gates never practiced. That’s a head, so again we’ll see where that is, we're leaning on the trainers for that. We had a couple other guys come back, which is encouraging. I’ll be excited to get our whole team back out there healthy, but it is encouraging to start getting some of these guys back. The big guy that we got back today was [Chris] Ivory. Obviously, that’s excellent to get him out there.

On what happened to Antonio Cromartie

Yeah, I only think he missed a play. It was one of those things where I’m not sure what the extent of it is or whatever, but he’s a tough guy and I don’t know if he actually even came out a play, I think he stayed in there. We’ll see. The fact that he stayed out there and finished the practice was a good sign.

On if he got an update on McKnight…

I saw Joe go down, I know it’s hard to believe but I saw him go down. But it wasn’t like he, there was no contact, he just fell down and stayed down but I have no update on his situation. I saw him outside actually after practice with Marty [Mornhinweg].

On if there is a concern for McKnight’s well-being…

Well, he would never be out there if the trainers felt that he was at risk, he would never be out there, never. So just like the day before, he ran around in the same type of situation, in the red jersey and things like that. So to think that something happened to him and he was allowed to practice when he wasn’t well, there’s no way that happened. I mean, there’s no chance. For whatever reason he stopped, that’s fine, but no chance would any player be on the field if the trainer or doctors felt that it wasn’t safe for that person to be there. There’s no chance that that would happen.

On if they can keep a player who is not reliable on the roster…

Again, we’ll see how everything plays out, and there is still a long way to go before we make the final decisions, but we know Joe. Joe’s led the league in kick returns, he has plenty of talent. But durability, there is a concern about durability.

On if he altered the quarterback rotation…

Right, well, we still had that planned. Marty had talked about that before, moving Mark in more with the ones today, and then you know we had Geno with the ones yesterday. So we may have altered the plan a little bit, but both guys are still going to work with the ones.

On if the quarterback rotation was based on Geno Smith’s ankle…

I don’t know what the original, like, "Hey, this was how we did it." Marty came to me yesterday and told me how he was going to rotate the guys and so it’s not a surprise that we didn’t miss it before any practice, even yesterday.

On if Smith will start on Saturday …

I think we’re just going to let this thing play out and see how we are at the end of the week and then we’ll make that decision.

On what he saw from Chris Ivory and if he thinks he can play against Jacksonville…

I hope so, I hope he does play Saturday, and it’s not even funny, they say I never saw him. No, he looked excellent. I mean, that’s a big, powerful man, that’s the guy we’ve been waiting for. I think every Jets fan has been looking forward to seeing this guy run and today we got to see it some. I was encouraged by it, to say the least.

On if Greg McElroy injured his ankle…

He had a little bit of an ankle thing. That’s why you saw the sleeve on him and things like that. He had it happen in the game and so he’s been treating his ankle and things like that. He didn’t turn it again today, so we’ll see how that is. The trainers will give us an update on that, but that’s what happened. That’s why you saw him even during the practice with that sleeve on, yeah.

On potentially preparing for the season without Santonio Holmes

We’re trying to prepare whoever’s available to us at practice. They’re getting the reps right now, so we’re trying to make everybody that way. Will Tone be out there, will he not be out there opening day? I think it’s too early to tell. I certainly hope he’s available because he’s a difference maker when he’s on the field.

On if he's gotten indications that Holmes is not trying to get back…

No, just the opposite. It’s just the opposite. Look, every one of them, even, it’s a Lisfranc injury or whatever, but they’re all different. I know a lot has been made of other guys who had the injury later than him are on the practice field now. Every player’s different. The injury, there could be different severities and all that stuff. But I can tell you this about Holmes, he is doing everything that we’re asking him to do and he is pushing it like crazy. He’s in phenomenal shape — that’s probably as good of shape condition-wise as you can be in. Now, is he on the Ultra-D’s and all that kind of stuff that takes pressure off your legs? He is, but he is doing a tremendous job in his rehabilitation.

On how often he checks on Holmes’ progress…

I talk to Holmes every day, so I see him when we have our walkthrough, our practices. He looks pretty good at corner. That’s the guy and I’m like, “I’d like to see you at wideout.” But he is really good about it and the trainers obviously keep me updated, but we’re encouraged. Like I said, he is doing a phenomenal job with his rehab and he’s in there more than anybody. I mean, it’s not even close.

On if anyone let him know why McKnight left practice…

No, not at that time. Obviously, he is going to go back in and they’re going to observe him, a little better handle on it later and things. But I did see Joe come back out wearing sunglasses or whatever it is, even just walking through some stuff with Marty.

On if Jaiquawn Jarrett is going to start at safety…

He’ll start this week, but I’m not talking about for the season. I mean, there’s some great competition there, there’s no doubt. Both those guys played well, but Jaiquawn, I’m like, “You know what? Let’s put him out there, let him work with the ones as well, where he gets communication with [Dawan] Landry, and then Antonio [Allen] will get communication with [Josh] Bush and we’ll just see what happens." But I was pleased with both those guys. I thought both of them played well.

On Braylon Edwards playing in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game…

We have a good schedule set for him. He’s been doing a great job with it. Like I said, I have great confidence in our trainers. When they set the schedule, then that’s what we’ll go with. But clearly, the fact that he was out there in that situation, we wanted to get him some more game reps.

On the contributions he thinks Edwards is capable of this season…

We’ll see. Certainly he’s out there competing. We know about Braylon. Braylon is a good team player. He’s an unselfish guy, great blocker, and obviously he has made plenty of big catches, plenty of big catches for this organization as well.

On LB Demario Davis

He’s been given that opportunity. We had a pretty good player in front of him in Bart Scott. We drafted him knowing that Bart was the guy and then we thought we’d develop him. I love seeing the draft things. Now let’s make sure everybody knows that draft when they say he’s a bust. Really? OK, we’ll see if he’s a bust. Now he gets to prove it. The guy can cover, he can run, he can blitz, he can do all of these things. He’s going to need these preseason games, they are important to him. That’s why we’re stretching him out more, we’re not just taking him out after the first quarter. He’s going to need more reps but he’s doing a tremendous job. He is everything we thought he was. But that will be proved out as this year goes on. That will definitely be proved out.

On if he was excited when he entered camp to see how Davis progressed…

All of these young guys, you’re seeing guys, Quinton Coples, the guys we drafted, Sheldon Richardson, Geno, Brian Winters. I’m excited about the young guys but I’m also excited about, as you mentioned, Demario Davis, some of these younger veteran players. I’ll be honest, I’m excited about Calvin Pace. I don’t know how many years in the league, but he’s a different guy. He’s come in and he’s got that hunger again. For whatever reason, I see it out there. So really, I like the makeup of our football team.

Are we facing certain challenges? Absolutely, there’ll be a bunch of new starters on offense, up to seven new starters on defense and things. But we have good football players. They might not have the experience collectively or even played with each other or whatever, but that is what this time is about right now, getting that communication, getting that familiarity with each other. That’s what we’re doing and the fact that we don’t just have 11 good players, we have more than that and we’re having them all compete.

On if he thought in the offseason that Holmes would start on opening day...

Well, again, we certainly wanted Holmes to be available and things like that. To say we have him typed in as a starter, we knew he was overcoming a major injury, certainly we know that. But we were always encouraged by the fact that when he came back here to our building, he was working like crazy. Like I said, he’s in phenomenal shape. I’m encouraged by the progress he’s making.

On if he is worried that McKnight has not seized his opportunity…

If a young man is injured, he’s not going to be able to take advantage of whatever opportunity he has. We're certainly not going to put someone out on the field if he is injured. When the trainers say a guy can’t practice, then he can’t practice.

On the fact that something different has occurred with McKnight every year…

Well, no, I think situations happen, these are young men and things like that, and some things come up, there’s nobody that’s perfect. But where he’s at from a reliability standpoint and things like that, as I mentioned before, durability is a big thing in this league, so there’s no question about it. Has Joe had his moments here, absolutely he has. When you look at it from a statistical standpoint, Joe averaged over six yards a carry last year, has led this league in kick returns. So we know that when he’s healthy, Joe can be a good contributor for our football team. But right now we’ve just got to get him healthy.

On Vladimir Ducasse getting work at left guard and where he is in relation to the OL…

Vlad’s situation is very tough because Vlad is having to learn everything. He’s competing with the guards and he’s competing at tackle so it’s really tough on him. But the fact is, that’s good, that tells you that he can be in the mix at both those spots. And whether it’s left side, right side, that’s where he is.

Is it frustrating? I would imagine to him that "Hey, I just want to nail down one spot," but that’s not the deal. We’re working all the guards at every spot so we’ve got Willie [Colon] learning left guard, right guard, same thing with Peterman, we’ve got Vlad’s working at tackle as well, because there’s a lot of competition at these spots. Is he a starter? We’ll see. Is he a swing tackle, is he the whatever? You don’t have him doing those situations if there’s not a comfort level there, that you think this guy can contribute to you. If not, you’d put him in one spot and you’d say all right, let’s see what happens.

But I think he’s doing a good job. I like the way he played in the game, I was encouraged by the way he played in the game. I thought he was physical, he looked athletic. When his pads are down, he is a pretty darn good football player. When he raises up, just like anybody else, that’s when he’ll struggle.

On if he saw anything from Vaughn his first day here…

I saw the workout he had and he was impressive. I mean, he can run, there’s no question. He caught the ball well at his workout and things. But as far as taking reps and all that, he’s way behind. Mentally he’s going to have to catch up to the system and things and hopefully these next couple of weeks we’ll see more of him.

On Sanchez’s last few days of practice…

He’s had some good days, and he’s strung some good days back to back to back, so that’s been encouraging. The one day when everyone had a bad practice, he had a great one, so that was good.

On comments out of West Virginia and if they affect his thoughts on Geno Smith…

No, but it tells me I’m glad my kid never went there, I’ll tell you that much. I don’t get that. Geno was a tremendous player for West Virginia. I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them, but I certainly don’t get that. When somebody leaves your deal, I guess that’s up to them. You’ll have to ask them.

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