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REX: Front 7 May Ascend for a Long Time to Come

Posted Nov 15, 2013

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

Guys that won’t play this game: Jeremy Kerley and Garrett McIntyre will not play Sunday against Buffalo. They did not practice, they will not play. Everybody else will be listed as probable. So that pretty much covers the injury front.

I thought today’s practice was excellent. We understand it looks like some wind and rain possibly moving into Buffalo, which is no great surprise. But again, we’ll see how windy it is or whatever. That’s why I always like to get outside, even if the conditions are bad, early part of the week, you know it’s going to get better and things. I still like to go out because you never know. It’s an opportunity to practice into some bad weather and that’s why we did it.

On how he measures a team coming off of a bye…

I’m certainly not the expert on it as well pointed out by my record. I will say this, I see it. And you’re right, some teams do come off it a little sluggish. I thought we were a little sluggish on Wednesday, that practice. I kind of felt a little that we weren’t right there. Since that time, it’s been just the opposite. I think we will be popping out of our skin on Sunday. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

On if the eight sack performance against Buffalo showed how good the defensive front is…

No, I think even that first game against Tampa, a team that can run the football, I think we showed early that that was the kind of front we had. But again, I think the eight sacks jump out, but that’s what happens when you can get ahead. We were able to get the lead and we were able to play from out front. I think that’s when those numbers happened.

On what he envisions for the defensive front in the second half…

I just think our guys are going to get better. It’s a young group and the way they work, the way they prepare, that’s why I think we’ll keep ascending. The scary thing for the league is that this is a young group that’s going to be together for a long time and they may ascend now for a long, long time to come. So that’s an ideal situation for us.

On limiting Buffalo’s pass rush the last time they played…

I think we were able to run the football effectively and it opened up some big play action opportunities for us down the field. Obviously, we had an excellent game plan and I think we kept them off balance a little bit.

On Ed Reed picking up the defense…

He’ll be ready to roll.

On if Reed will play on Sunday…

[We] are definitely going to play him.

On if they have thought of the “big picture” beyond this game…

We haven’t really thought about it. We know there’s one game left and that’s the one we’re focused on, this one. Down the road, I understand where you’re coming from, the big picture of things, but it’s this game. Is it important? Absolutely, it’s important. That’s why we put every bit of our energy and all of our focus on it.

On if they lost the bye week…

We did lose, so it’s one of those off weeks again [joking].

On if they try to look back on what went wrong after not being able to win consecutive games…

You can do that, but I think your opponents have something to do with it as well. I don’t think it’s "Hey, we started feeling good about ourselves and then we got slapped down again." I don’t really buy into that. Now, I will say that there are times when you come off a huge emotional game that sometimes you’re not maybe at that level and for people not to understand it, they’ve really never played, or because sometimes there is some of that “Well, it can’t be, well, every game’s the same.”

That’s coachspeak, but sometimes the reality of it is that sometimes there might be a little letdown, but it’s not the fact you’re feeling great about yourself, it’s that you invested everything you had emotionally, too, and physically into a game. So sometimes those big games, like a New England game, can drain you a little. But no excuses, absolutely no excuses, we just haven’t been consistent enough and I also think you have to give the opponent credit.

On not playing last week…

I’m with you.

On Austin Howard matching up against Mario Williams…

Well he’s done a phenomenal job against arguably one of the best players in the league at his position in Williams. He did it last year too. Everybody thought Mario was getting doubled, no, he was getting doubled by Austin's left arm and right arm. He’s outstanding, he’s just a big, athletic guy. He matches up well against almost anybody. He’s another young player that’s ascending.

On the excitement the younger players have about Reed…

I definitely get it. He chose us, you can almost look at it that way, too, unlike we were the only suitor for Ed Reed. He chose us, he chose to be a New York Jet. Again, some of our guys have played with him and everybody knows him. They see the way he is, all eyes are on him. They see how he practices, they’ll see how he prepares soon. I think they are really going to enjoy him as a teammate.

On if Santonio Holmes’s return compares to a midseason pickup…

I think it’s better than that because he already knows the offense. If you just pick up a guy and he’s not familiar with it, you might get a shot in the arm from somebody’s athletic ability and talent. But Holmes knows it, he’s been involved, he’s been involved in the meetings and everything else.  I think it’s better than that.

On the difference between playing at home and on the road…

I think we’re better at home, which is not surprising because we feed off the energy from our fans. There’s no question we do that. We’ve lost one game at home. So that’s real. We have to be able to win on the road though. If we’re going to do anything, we have to do that. This is something we’ve talked about and we’re focused on. You face the opponent and you don’t get the boost that you get, the energy boost from your fans, but we have to be focused enough and dialed in enough that we handle ourselves and handle our business on the road.

On how physically ready Holmes is to play a full game…

Will he be on a pitch count? I don’t know. I think we’ll be smart about that. We’re not going to put him out there for 80 snaps. But does he look good to me? Absolutely he looks good.

On how he decides to move the team indoors for practice…

When we can’t get on the field, there’s a foot of snow out there, that’s one way that we’ll go in. Our guys do such a great job, the grounds crew, but if the field’s frozen or something like that, than obviously we’ll move inside. If it’s too wet, we’ll move inside, but if it’s just based on how cold it is or how windy it is, I just prefer to be outside.

On if Howard got under Williams’ skin in Week 3…

I think there’s some frustration. Mario Williams is a great player and then to be shut out on the score sheet or whatever it was, that’s one way you talk about it. Quite honestly I think the league knows this is a young man that’s a pretty good football player.

On if the team has a specific plan for using Reed or will the team adjust during the game…

Yeah, I think so. We have definitely a plan for Ed. But can we alter it? Absolutely. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens. During the course of the game, if there’s things where we think that he’d give us our best opportunity, then we’ll definitely look at that.

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