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REX: Ravens Pass Rushers a Huge Challenge

Posted Nov 22, 2013

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

Doubtful: Garrett McIntyre, Jeremy Kerley. Both of them were limited in practice. Probably very doubtful. Everybody else is probable. Kellen Winslow was limited in practice with a knee, but he’s probable for the game.

On if McIntyre and Kerley are very doubtful for the Baltimore game…

I’d say pretty much doubtful.

On if McIntyre and Kerley are out for the Baltimore game…

Not out, because they were limited in practice. They did not practice [fully], but they were limited today.

On if he decided that Kerley catching the ball one-handed was not the way to go against Baltimore…

It was probably not the way to go as a starter. No, I don’t think it was [joking].

On Kerley’s injury…

It was ugly, there’s no question. I don’t know how else to describe it, but like a horrific looking injury. There haven’t been a whole lot of receivers that have had this injury, like three in the last 10 years or something. It’s kind of hard to say where he is, but the young man, to his credit, he wants to be out there in the worst way and obviously yesterday [he practiced]. He’s showing it during the week, he’s practicing. But again, we’ll see how it goes. He’s already way further along than I think what people were assuming.

On how he balances focusing on the game on Sunday and exceeding expectations…

We definitely don’t think like that. How we think is, how we can improve? Obviously, learning from mistakes that you made the previous week and how you can improve and going on the practice field with that purpose in mind. That’s really how we handle our business. We recognize the fact that we’re playing an excellent football team in a tough place to play, but again, it’s about us. Yes, certainly we’ll know our opponent and we’ll know it’s tendencies and everything else, but we have to improve, obviously a great deal, a ton from this past week.

On if Winslow may see more snaps…

Yeah, I can definitely see us using Kellen more. Remember, he just got back. He came back off a suspension. It’s not saying he was out of shape or anything, once you’ve been out like that, it’s hard to just go right back to where you were. So it wasn’t surprising to see he wasn’t a huge fixture in the game plan [last] week. We’ll see if it picks up more this week. It probably will.

On playing against pass rushers Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw…

A huge challenge, not just for our line, but anybody’s line. [The players] you mentioned, those are some of the top pass rushers in the league, especially Suggs, and Dumervil is always a guy that doesn’t seem to really get the credit probably because he’s shorter or something, but he’s been a tremendous pass rusher even going back to his days at Louisville. Without question, that’s a big challenge. And they have some guys inside, too. Arthur Jones, I think, is an underrated pass rusher as an inside presence as well.

On how tough it is for tall tackles to block the shorter Dumervil…

He’s definitely going to be under you and you have to bend. A lot of guys who aren’t really athletic or are top-heavy guys who will really struggle with players like that. But even the good ones, the athletes, the athletic guys like Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] and Austin [Howard], you have to get down, but you have to use your length to your advantage. Certainly, he uses his hands well, but we have to be able to use our length and keep him away from our bodies.

On the offensive line's struggles at Buffalo…

Certainly, we got beat on one-on-one battles more than anything, that was the key. So every guy has to step up and has to get better individually. Then collectively, we missed a couple of calls, slide protection calls or whatever. But the mental part, I have no question we’ll improve in that area. The physical part, the one-on-one matchups have to get better and they’ve been better. Some of our guys have been absolutely terrific all season and then kind of laid an egg last week. I think we’ll rebound from it and we have to against the type of rushers we already talked about.

On why he removed Geno Smith last week…

It was probably a combination of the two things. You can learn a lesson, but how many runs do you want the guy to give up leaving him out there? Sometimes [you] pull him back, let him learn from the sideline. Also at the same time give Matt [Simms] some reps, he’s a young quarterback as well.

On the possibility of Brian Winters matching up against Haloti Ngata…

I think the big one is, get ready because he’s going to bring it on you. [He’s] a very talented big man. Fortunately, he goes against that every day here. We have some unusual guys as well. Haloti is an unusual guy, he’s got power, he’s got quickness. It’s going to be huge challenge. We’ll know where Haloti is also.

On if he expects Ngata to play…

I would. This is a huge game for both of our teams. I would expect Haloti to go. I know Haloti, if there is any possibility to go, he’ll definitely be out there.

On Ray Rice’s struggles this season…

I don’t know. Ray Rice, the thing I’ll tell you about Ray, he has everybody’s attention. The way they’re playing defense and all that, he has everybody’s attention. Sometimes it’s tough sledding in there. Last week, they went to more of a two back approach, similar to what they’ve done in the past. I don’t know if we’ll see that this week. A lot of it has been more three wides and no huddle. Vonta Leach, they have an excellent fullback in Vonta Leach. I’m kind of anticipating a little more regular personnel then what they had previously up until this game against Chicago.

On how unique it is to be dominant against the run and not have produced many turnovers…

Well, it is a little unique because when you are so dominant against a certain phase, stopping the run, you will pick up more turnovers, sacks and things like that. Generally, it’s with a lead. I think some of the games where we haven’t had the production in the sacks and the takeaways, a lot of times [it’s when] we’re down. Yet teams are still throwing the ball on us, which is a little unusual. They’ve still been running some, I guess what I’m saying is that it’s not unusual to not get turnovers and sacks when you’re behind. It is unusual though when you’re ahead to not get them. If that makes any sense? Judging by everyone’s reaction it doesn’t [joking] [laughter].

On how Matt Elam is doing for Baltimore…

He’s a hitter. The kid’s a hitter, there’s no question. I think he’s a little better moving forward than he is going back, so playing against the run and underneath coverage I think is his strength. But he’s a good player. Obviously, selected in the first round and things, talented guy. We had his brother here for a little bit, obviously before I got here, Abe. So he obviously comes from good genes, I guess. He definitely doesn’t look out of place at all, so he’s a talented guy.

On if Smith has done anything this week that suggests he is ready to move forward…

There’s a couple of things. Number one, he’s been throwing the ball with great accuracy during the week. Some thing about if it’s not there he’s been taking off with it, so I think that’s good also. He sees certain coverages, knows that he can make some plays with his legs as well and I think that’s been encouraging to me.

On if Smith sees coverages and knows he can run…

The possibility of [running]. Sometimes there’s tips about certain coverages and things. There’s a difference between 2-Zone and 2-Man, obviously, but a lot of the man things, sometimes you’ll have more of an opportunity to run, it goes without saying, the defender's back is to the quarterback, so there’s bigger plays to be made that way. Geno’s athletic enough to where he can burn you on that. He’s not a 4.4-speed guy, but he’s quick enough and fast enough to where he can do some damage when he’s running.

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