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REX: Good to Get Some Heat and Humidity

Posted Aug 20, 2013

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

Today, there were a couple things it was good to see. First off, we had about 20 of our alums, former Jets players, even a couple of former Titans players, who were out there today. It’s kind of an alumni practice. So it’s always great to see them. I invited a lot of them to go out to their individual groups. That was kind of neat to see all those guys come back. I think we could use a couple of them. [Joe] Klecko still looks like he could play, and Marty Lyons. It was good. I think the guys were energized by it as well. We have a saying, "Once a Jet, always a Jet." I said, "Hey, 10, 15 years from now, maybe you’ll be coming to a practice similar to this." It really is good to see those guys and I know most of them.

Today, we had some weather and we got some heat. I think that was good. Cortland was fantastic, but man oh man, as you guys know, was it 50 degrees out there? It’s good to get some heat and humidity, have our guys work through it. Obviously, hydration’s a big thing. Make sure we get plenty of fluids. That’s a little reminder to our players, as well. But it did get hot out there. Had a lot of our fans also today, we’re out there, so it was good to see. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.

On Dee Milliner’s injury…

No, it’s still an existing, he had a sore, what’d we say, leg, ankle, calf? Thank you. I knew I’d hit it one of these days. I think that’s still it. It hasn’t been getting a whole lot better, so when the trainers came to me and said, "Let’s just give him some time here," obviously, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll listen to them. They’re the experts. Hopefully it won’t’ be long and hopefully he‘ll be back out there.

On Danny Lansanah’s preseason…

I tell you what, he’s been getting better. It seems like he’ll make some plays, but he’s making a lot less mistakes than he made at the beginning of training camp. So I’ve been encouraged by him. Sometimes by a setback to somebody, obviously Josh Mauga, we’ve lost time with Josh and we know Josh is a player. But sometimes opportunity comes to somebody else to get more reps and he seems to be making the most of it.

On if he sees his defense as being a top five defense…

We will be. Right now we’re not there. Obviously, we have to make some improvements, especially from this past week. I’m certainly confident that we’ll be where we always are or better.

On the competition in practice between Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett

I think it was good. I think it’s still great competition and we’ll start Jaiquawn against Philly. So we’re going to let that one go out. We’ll be playing both those guys. We’ll let them compete all the way through. We don’t need to name a starter. With that competition specifically, we’re going to put Jaiquawn against Philly. Not the fact that he was cut by Philly, but that’s one of the reasons.

On if Allen will start against the Giants…

Yes.

On who would start in place of Milliner if he doesn't play against the Giants…

It’d be Kyle [Wilson].

On why he is confident that the defense can be a top five defense…

My history, I think, in knowing what it looks like. We have a lot of good players. There’s going to be a lot of new faces in there, but you put that decal on the side of your helmet, it says "New York Jets," you have to be special, you have to understand that there’s expectations that come along with it. I expect our guys to play extremely well.

On if he’s been harder on the defense in practice after last week’s performance…

I’ve been trying to coach them. I think that’s the big thing. I try to teach and coach from the tape. That’s what you do and that’s how you get better. Was it strong language or whatever? I don’t know. I just try to teach. But again, I’m confident that we’ll be right where we expect to be.

On if it is still possible to add another player into the quarterback competition…

Regardless of whatever position, you never say, "Hey, look, we’re just set here, set in stone" or whatever. Some opportunity where you think you can better your football team, we’ve always looked to better our team, regardless of what position it is. With that being said, I’m excited about our guys and I think our guys are getting better. I think all four guys are getting better.

On how Geno Smith and his ankle looked during practice today…

He looked good. I still don’t think he’s 100 percent, but I certainly think he’s getting closer to that. I thought he had his moments where he really threw the ball well.

On if Smith is 100 percent healthy, will he be the starter against the Giants…

Well, again, I think we’ll address that at the appropriate time. I don’t want to get into the ifs, ands or whatevers, because we’re not there yet.

On what he would like to see from Smith if he played Saturday…

I certainly understand you and anybody else assuming that he’s going to play. We expect him to play, I hope so. But I want to see, at that position, I want to see a guy that gets the job done and is efficient, is accurate and plays with poise.

On why Antonio Cromartie did not take many reps at practice…

I think you would have to ask him and the trainers. Obviously, he’s a guy that very rarely misses anything. So obviously, something must have been bothering him but what that is I’m not real sure.

On if he is worried about Kenrick Ellis

I don’t think worried is the right word. I think we’re anxious to get him back because he certainly was improving. I mean, he had a great game against Detroit. We just wanted him to take off from there. But the fact that he hasn’t been out there, I’m not worried about it, but I’d feel better when I see the big guy out there, there’s no question.

On if Ellis is receiving treatment…

He’s getting treatment. He’s here all the time.

On if he has an update on Lex Hilliard and Braylon Edwards

Well, I do not have an update on Lex. I’m no doctor but I’ve had a shoulder dislocation before. I don’t know if that was it but it kind of reminded me of myself. He is one tough guy, I mean, he is a tough guy. So we’ll see what it is, but we really don’t have an update on him. As far as Braylon, he's on pitch counts, so to speak, with our trainers. I am very comfortable with when they set those parameters for us.

On how Quinton Coples’ injury affects Sheldon Richardson

It really doesn’t. Richardson is going to play anyway.

On if he would move Richardson around…

We may move him around a little bit.

On if he would move Richardson around more now that Coples is injured…

I don’t know. I think we’re going to move him around a little bit anyway. He’s fairly athletic. The thing is we have three real athletic big men. You can do different things with those guys.

On if he thinks making dynamic plays or avoiding mistakes in the red zone is more important when evaluating a rookie quarterback…

I would like to be able to combine the two. I would like to have any quarterback be dynamic in the passing game and make those big plays and then eliminate the mistakes, in particular, like you mentioned, in the red zone.

On if one trait is more important than the other…

I think you need to have both. Obviously in this league you can lose games faster than you can win them at that position. The same thing at corner, those are the two big ones. You've got to be able to protect the football first and foremost and also make plays yourself.

On if Joe McKnight will play Saturday…

Again, we’ll see. We’ll see how he progresses but it was good to see Joe in other than a red jersey. So that was good to see.

On McKnight saying he would play Saturday…

Well, I’ll tell you what. I get where he is coming from, he wants to play, I don’t doubt that. But I think I’ll lean on the trainers and the doctors before I’m comfortable making that call.

On Smith taking the majority of the reps at practice today…

It was similar to what we’ve had. It was his day to get the majority of the reps with the ones. We stayed on that schedule.

On if he feels the offense falls behind by not naming a starting quarterback…

No, I don’t believe that it sets us back. We will let other teams choose to name their starters whenever, but for us we are not comfortable making that decision right now. We want to have a thorough evaluation of our quarterbacks before we make that decision. Right now we are not comfortable naming a starter.

On if he will name a starting quarterback before the fourth preseason game…

Again, I don’t want to be tied in. I don’t want to be sitting back and you saying, "Well, you said absolutely," and all of a sudden we're not comfortable. For whatever reason we're not comfortable collectively to make that decision. I don’t want to tie us down. I certainly understand that generally those decisions happen before the fourth preseason game. I understand that’s normal protocol. Will our situation be that way? I don’t know, we’ll see.

On Stephen Peterman

Actually, what we did with Peterman, we almost used him exclusively as a center today. We’re trying to get him some work at center as well today instead of just playing guard. We’re trying to look at Stephen as a center as well. That’s where he got most of his reps today.

On how Coples’ procedure went…

I’m not sure, I haven’t heard yet. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Hoping for the best, obviously.

On the competition between Allen and Jarrett at safety…

Both guys are going at it the way you want them to. Somebody is going to earn that spot. Today with being active, [Antonio Allen] having three interceptions would be the opposite of brutal. Somebody, please .... a great day. No question he had a great day today. It is a great competition.

On if he factors being away from the NFL with a player like Danny Lansanah…

No, you don’t factor it in. You just base it on what you see out there every day.

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