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REX: My Situation Is the Cincinnati Bengals

Posted Oct 24, 2013

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

First off, a little breezy out there, but I think it’s good, you get a chance to work in the elements and all that, you certainly don’t know what it’s going to be like. But it was a little cooler than anticipated. It’s good anyway. We did a lot of work into the wind in particular, unless it was a two-minute situation against the defense, so we flipped it the other way [joking, laughter]. I always do that.

It was some good work today. We’re not there. We’re not hitting on everything yet. So it’s not a concern, it’s just that we know we have to get sharper, we know we have to get better and tomorrow needs to be that way. Mentally, I think we’re pretty good, but it’s the just the execution of some things. Again, the weather can’t be an excuse for it, so we have to do better tomorrow.

Guys that were out: Santonio Holmes is the only one who did not practice today. The other guys who were limited: Antonio Allen, groin and finger, Jeff Cumberland, hamstring, Jeremy Kerley, hamstring, Nick Mangold, ribs, Konrad Reuland with a knee, and then Greg Salas with a knee. That was it. Those guys, they participated. How limited? I guess they’re limited. That’s the official stance.

On if the Kerley injury is new…

Yes, it wasn’t there yesterday. It’s a new injury. It’s just a hamstring. It’s not that it kept him out of everything. It’s just more precautionary than anything else.

On the Bengals strong defensive line…

First off, it’s going to be a huge challenge because you’re right, this defensive line, it’s outstanding, it really is. The [Carlos] Dunlap kid, I really wasn’t that familiar with him. I was out of college, but man, he’s really playing well as the left end. Of course, the [Geno] Atkins kid is becoming a household name having 12.5 sacks last year, a Pro Bowl guy. And he earns that reputation, he really plays hard. Then Michael Johnson, the big, huge guy they franchised last year. Then they have [Domata] Peko, the kid with the hair. He’s a good player, so it’s not just the hair, but I like how he plays. He’s always played hard. It’s a tough group and they have some guys behind them that play well, too. The [Wallace] Gilberry guy can rush the passer. It’s a big solid group and they play hard.

On what he means when he says the team needs to be sharper in practice…

We dropped some balls. Just things like that. The execution wasn’t where we wanted it to be.

On if the cold weather contributed to the drops…

I’m not making excuses. We have to catch the ball anyway, but there were too many drops for us and we’ve been getting away from it. Our guys work extremely hard. They hit the JUGS after every practice. Obviously, we have to catch the football.

On if Cromartie gave up few catches against New England because he played well or because the Patriots were looking to throw elsewhere…

I think that would depend on who you ask. He played an outstanding game. He had an outstanding game, used his hands at the line of scrimmage more. Eighty-five [Kenbrell Thompkins] is a decent receiver they have there and I think Cro did an excellent job on him.

On Woody Johnson’s comments about his future today…

That’s the way it is for anybody. Nobody talks about contracts or whatever. But like I said before, I like the fact my boss said some nice things about me, that’s pretty cool [laughter]. As far as anything else, I said it I said it before and you guys get tired of me saying it, it’s not about me. Right now, it means nothing other than the fact I’m happy that he had some nice comments to say, but as far as my situation, my situation is the Cincinnati Bengals and that’s where my attention is.

On Josh Cribbs

With him, I’ve seen him in action up close and personal, just the kind of the player he is, what kind of talent he has. I’m not so sure anybody really knew where he was at because he hadn’t been playing. So we got him out here and he looked pretty dynamic, especially as a punt returner. So we’ll get him out. We’ll see if he can do a little more for us. Do we implement more in the offense? We’ll see. But certainly, I love his attitude, I love the mentality and he has that track record of being a difference maker.

On if Atkins lines up over both guard spots…

Yes.

On how big of a challenge Atkins will be for Brian Winters

Ooohf, it’s about as big a challenge as it gets. Very few [are similar challenges] — the [J.J.] Watt kid from Houston, you line up on the practice field and see that challenge with Big Mo [Muhammad Wilkerson], but this kid’s an outstanding player.

On Gio Bernard…

Super quick, kind of like that Darren Sproles type. He had like a 24-yard touchdown, in the red zone, things like that, ran vertical, check the ball down to him and makes a great run, so he has that kind of talent. He’s real shifty, change-of-direction-type guy, seems to catch the ball well out of the backfield. He’s a multi-talented kid.

On the combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard…

I think Green-Ellis and add everything else on there, that’s an excellent back. He’s an excellent back in his own right. The rookie [Bernard] is more of a receiving threat, a guy like that out of the backfield. They will run the ball with him on early downs, but that’s more Green-Ellis’ territory.

On if they have seen backs yet like they will with Bernard and Sproles the next two weeks…

We saw Reggie Bush in Detroit, I guess [in the preseason]. You go back to that. That’s probably accurate.

On Coach Lewis saying it did a lot for Andy Dalton to beat Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady consecutively and if it did something similar for Geno Smith when he beat the Patriots…

I don’t know, if he would’ve beaten Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady twice, maybe so [laughter], but no, we’ll see. He’s just Geno out there.

On if the win against Brady and New England will help Smith’s confidence…

He’s always had it. He’s always been a confident guy. It’s not that it’s new to him that he’s confident. I think that’s his makeup.

On if he’ll put Milliner on Tyler Eifert like Alabama did in the BCS National Championship…

They’ll probably put him on him because they do a lot of that. We call it a Detroit formation where they flex the tight end out and put three receivers away from him. But yeah, that’s something that they do on offense. Again, that’s certainly a possibility.

On if he saw something out of Quinton Coples he had not seen since his injury…

Yeah, he sacked the quarterback [joking, laughter]. He only had the one sack, I think. We’re used to him being a little more productive stat-wise that way. He played a lot more than he had. I think probably about 75 snaps or something like that, and that’s probably a little much, quite honestly. It was good to see him get that sack and over a pretty good tackle in [Nate] Solder.

On his relationship with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis…

We’re enemies [joking, laughter]. At least we will be Sunday. But he’s a great guy. He’s a heck of a football coach. I learned a lot from him being under him. The thing that I always liked, I always felt that yeah, I was under Marvin, but I never felt that way. I felt that I worked with him. He made all of his coaches that worked under him feel that way. And that might be one of the reasons I am the way I am. Because I saw the way he led and that was something that "It’s not about me." He made it feel, obviously his role was much greater than the rest of ours, but he made you really feel like part of it. We really were a team and that was something I always appreciated from him. But he’s a great coach in his own right. There are a lot of things that I took for him and as you move forward, you just incorporate what you learned and you make it yours.

On his evaluation of Lewis on “Hard Knocks”…

I haven’t seen it. I probably cussed too much [joking, laughter].

 On what he learned about Chris Ivory last week…

This is a guy that we knew we had. When you watched him on tape in New Orleans, you saw that. You saw games like this that he just took it — "Man, does he run hard." That’s the first thing that jumps out at you is how hard he runs with the football. The thing that I didn’t really know was his pass-protection. I think he’s a much better blitz pickup. He really attacks guys. That was fun to watch. He would cut some guys, too. He would take them up high and sometimes cut them. I think he’s doing a great job in his pass protection and I think part of that you can probably attribute to Anthony Lynn. I think he does a great job of coaching those backs and for my money, he’s as good as it gets.

On if anyone runs harder than Ivory…

Maybe Snacks [Damon Harrison] or Kenrick Ellis or somebody, but I don’t think so. He runs pretty hard.

On if Harrison and Ellis run harder to the cafeteria…

Absolutely, I thought that’s what you meant [joking, laughter]. But no, he is, he’s a hard runner.

On how optimistic he is about Holmes’ chances of playing on Sunday…

Not optimistic today, he never practiced. We’ll see what it looks like. Again, lean on the trainers and the doctors for that.

On if he feels good about Cumberland’s chances of playing on Sunday…

Yes

On Kerley’s ability to make plays in key situations…

It’s huge. I think going into it that was something that Marty [Mornhinweg] had talked about and we featured all through the week at practice. Whoof! Kerley was a huge part of what we were going to do offensively and made a lot of great plays. He made the plays during practice and when we got to the game it was no different. We’ve seen games like that from him before, so it’s really no surprise, but he’s certainly a weapon for us.

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