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REX: Preparing for Another Tough Road Test

Posted Nov 21, 2013

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

Today, Geno Smith really threw the ball well today. It was an excellent day, I thought, from us from a passing standpoint. That was good to see. We kind of doubled up our two-minute, so if we were late, that was probably why. I wanted to get more reps at that. Other than that, it looked pretty good.

I think injury-wise, David Nelson was out. He did not practice, he had an illness. And then Kellen Winslow did not practice, but that’s with his knee, kind of his pitch-count day. Garrett McIntyre again did not practice with his knee. Limited today: Santonio Holmes, foot/hamstring, Jeremy Kerley, elbow. And then everybody else was full.

On if there’s any chance Holmes will not play against Baltimore…

I hope not. I expect him to play.

On how limited Holmes was in practice…

Well, I know he was limited in that for sure. But he did some things. He did some team reps.

On Kerley’s chances of playing against Baltimore…

Well, we’ll see. I mean, the fact he’s out there running around, we’ll see how it goes. I know he’s just following protocol without using that arm. Maybe tomorrow he’ll be able to use it. I’m not sure. I know what you’re saying, he’s out there catching with one hand. Probably wouldn’t be the focus of the offense, I don’t think, that way [joking].

On if Nick Mangold’s wrap on his hand could affect his snapping…

I hope not. But again, he was fine. He was full today. Probably just a usually thing for an offensive lineman, I guess. But I know what you’re saying, it is on his hand. It doesn’t appear that it’s affecting his snaps because we we’re doing shotgun and everything else and he was fine.

On the team’s inconsistency…

We’re hoping we're on the upclimb this week. But again it’s as a team you’re graded on one thing and that’s wins and losses. Ultimately that’s what we’re all judged on and so we’ll see. Obviously we need to play a heck of a lot better than we did last week.

On preparing for a road game…

I think number one is just the preparation you do during the week. That’s the main thing and then you take it out there. Is it tougher to play on the road? Absolutely. There was the thing, win at home, split on the road. That was an old formula.

But it’s much tougher to win on the road. Communication, all that stuff, has got to be sharper when you’re on the road, especially offensively. It’s easier actually easier to communicate on the road on defense. That’s what you’ve got to have and then the old thing, your defense has to play well. And I think you have to protect the quarterback well, especially on the road. Those guys are teeing off on the passer. Sometimes you have to use a silent count and things like that, so you don’t necessarily have the cadence advantage that you normally have, especially playing at home.

On Ray Rice’s lack of production compared to other seasons…

I think maybe a shift a little bit in their philosophy on offense. It used to be more two-back heavy, two-back emphasis, a ton of boss play and stuff like that. You don’t see that as much. It’s more no-huddle, 3-wides than it was with their regular personnel groupings, or what we call Tiger — two-tight-end-two-receiver sets — you don’t see that as much in their offense as you used to. I think the focus has been more with them throwing the football than it has been maybe running bit. We saw last week they went to the two-backs, more of the two back stuff. Certainly, we’re going to be prepared for both styles if you will.

On defending the deep ball against Joe Flacco…

Flacco’s got a huge arm and like we said beginning of the week, this is a vertical passing team, so absolutely, we’re expecting a lot of shots thrown at us.

On Gino Gradkowski…

I think he’s a good guy. Obviously, you have three new starters in the offensive line from what they had. Eugene Monroe, obviously was the starter at Jacksonville, but he’s their left tackle. You have a new starting left guard, the Shipley kid [A.Q. Shipley] from Penn State, and then you have him at center, looks like a good football player. I’ll say this, I don’t know the young man, but I bet he’s not quite as sharp as the kid they had before, the Harvard grad [joking]. I don’t know anything about him. I’m sure he’s a very intelligent kid, but that guy was like ridiculous.

On how the secondary has responded to the Buddy Ryan drills…

They’re still doing them out there. So I think they are. If you look out there, they’re still doing them out there.

On if not having Dennis Pitta so far this season has affected Flacco…

Well, Pitta [and] Anquan Boldin I think that was a guy that was their money guy, it looked like to me. That was their go-to-guy. Injuries are part of it, but obviously you have two guys that were big weapons for him and things. Flacco’s had his moments. He can carve you up to. He’s probably got as big of an arm as there is in the league. Obviously, he’s had 13 interceptions, but that’s what happens when you throw it that many times I guess.

On the team’s struggles in the first quarter in road games…

I think it starts with our ability to be able to run the football, protect the quarterback. I think those are key things. And then defensively, get out there and keep the big ball from happening on us.

On if it feels like the team is in a playoff situation entering the final games of the season...

I don’t know about that. We’re looking at this game, that obviously it’s of the utmost importance. Without question and that’s where the focus is, and as you know, this is about one game. Recognizing the fact that those teams are behind us, or in front of us if you will, it’s about Baltimore and we’re trying to control that game right now.

On Konrad Reuland's injury…

He actually played, finished the game and everything. What happened is his knee did not pop. Sometimes like when you have an ACL, generally there’s a pop. This one was his ACL was stretched, so he did not tear it, but it was stretched. He thought it was an MCL, which he’s had in the past, so he stayed in the game and it kind of went out on him twice. But his play, actually, he was playing well and I don’t know how he did that, but unfortunately he’s going to be put on IR for the ACL surgery.

On the difference between traveling to road games in college and in the NFL…

I don’t think it’s a big difference, I really don’t. Now some of the college I was at it was a big adjustment from the NFL because we’re at great hotels, took planes and all that. There we would take bus trips or a bus trip. When I was at New Mexico Highlands we took a bus 30 hours, so that was probably an adjustment [laughter]. But realistically, it’s set up probably pretty much the same.

On Caleb Schlauderaff being a gameday captain for the Buffalo game…

Well, he was such a leader I thought, but no [joking]. We tried to get every player up there and whoever’s dressed, we try to give each guy [a chance]. Each week it changes and he hadn’t been a captain before.

On the philosophy of rotating captains every game…

We all know how that one worked out for me before [joking]. I just think it’s good and literally I do look at guys who may be from the area, guys who maybe they played with that team or something like that. That’s kind of what I look for. I think it’s special to them. And then there’s guys it’ll be like their first game. I try to get those guys active. Rontez Miles, one time before, Troy Davis. So I'm literally trying to get all of them a shot.

On if the captains have other responsibilities than representing the team during the coin toss…

Sometimes during the week I’ll have guys say a few words or something like that. Especially guys that have been to a certain place where you sense it’s a big game for them. It’s always a big game in this league, but sometimes the bar is raised a little bit when you say you have an Ed Reed going back to Baltimore.

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