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REX: We’re Going to Keep Making Strides

Posted Oct 20, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference at MetLife Stadium following our 30-27 overtime victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday:

That’s what I’m talking about. This is a big victory and keeps us alive. We obviously have a ton of work to do and need to improve a great deal as a football team. We understand that. At the same time, it’s great to get a win, especially against New England.

It came down to situational football. They did a good job driving down at the end for the field goal to tie the game. It was a great team effort. I’m a little worried about our offensive coordinator [Marty Mornhinweg] because all he wants to do is run the football. We had 52 rushing attempts. That’s what I’m talking about. We were at 69 for runs and completions, and you’re going to win a lot of games that way. We know we had the benefit of overtime as well. New England was at 42, which was good. It’s tough to beat [Tom] Brady in the quarterback rating, but we did today, which was a huge plus.

It was a great team effort. It was a great balanced effort by our team. The defense played outstanding, especially in the third quarter. [Defensive coordinator] Dennis Thurman made some adjustments and did a great job. When you look at it, it was a great game. I looked and Bilal [Powell] only carried the ball three times, but [Chris] Ivory had the hot hand and we fed him. They are great complements as running backs. We rode Ivory a little more than normal, but it was just a good game.

The pick-six [by Logan Ryan] was real unfortunate, but other than that, I thought Geno [Smith] had a tremendous game for us. We had some drops, but again, I’m proud of our guys and the effort we gave. We knew we’d give everything we had.

Our fans were outstanding. It was loud and that played into our hands as well. I want to tip my hat to our fans.

On the play of the Jets defense in the second half…

Our staff does a great job. Dennis and [LBs coach] Brian VanGorder and all of those guys, with the exception of [defensive assistant Jeff] Weeks [joking], do a great job, they really do. They made a couple of adjustments that they thought would help us, and they did. You’re playing against a group that knows what they are doing with the football. The fact they were 1-for-12 on third down was good. We can put that in the good category, but I think it was more about our defense than about who wasn’t there and everything else. And I’d like to say our defense actually stepped up at times. I don’t know if that was noted the last time we played them. We finished the job this time and that’s the important thing. I’m really excited about that.

On running the ball on third down before the 56-yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk

We have "Folk Hero" and we thought he could pop one on them. At the end of the day, we believe in our guy. He’s a great kicker. The wind picked up a little more than we anticipated, but fortunately they had a foul on the play. We’ll take it.

On the play of KR/PR Josh Cribbs

He looked pretty good, like the old Josh Cribbs. I was just happy that he was on my sideline and not the other one. For a guy that’s been out, you see those great return skills. Man, he gets it up in there.

On how the Jets are looked at with a 4-3 record…

Hey, we don’t care how people look at us as long as our fans know that this team is going to compete every single day. That’s in the classroom and everything else. I told them last night how proud I was of them because they’re a team that works their tails off. They’re great teammates. With that, I know we’re going to get better. We’re not where we have to be, we’re not even close. But you know what? We’re going to keep making strides and keep making strides, and who knows what happens at the end of the day. We’re certainly much better than, what? I guess it’s not hard to be. We were picked 32nd. I think we’re better than that.

On two third-quarter scrambles by Smith…

It’s interesting. David Lee is a great quarterbacks coach, one of the best in the business. I think he’s under contract for a couple more years, and he’s the best in the league. He told Geno before the game that he would have to make two plays with his legs that are going to win the game for us, and I’ll be darned if that didn’t happen. He has the run on third down and then the touchdown run. When he ran in for the touchdown, I thought, "David Lee is pretty sharp!" I really thought about it as soon as Geno made that run.

That’s something the young man has. Most young quarterbacks will force the issue, throw one into coverage, maybe throw a pick in the red zone, but Geno tucked that ball and ran for a touchdown. Tremendous play by him and I’m really proud of him.

On defeating Patriots QB Tom Brady…

It’s always satisfying to beat him. It’s always hard. It’s only the fourth time we’ve beaten him since I’ve been here, and it’s my fifth year. The numbers aren’t very good. We’re 1-1 this year with this team. It’s a tough team to beat. They’re a smart, very disciplined football team that is well-coached. We just found a way.

On his reaction to the penalty on the first overtime field goal attempt…

I was fairly happy about it [joking, laughter], thus my reaction. But I was like, "You know what? It’s about time we got a break." [joking, laughter] That’s really what I was thinking. It just worked out.

On when he saw the flag on the first overtime field goal attempt…

I saw it right away, but I was saying, "Oh please be on them, please be on them, please be on them." [joking, laughter] I think my reaction was just like our fans because I think I heard the whole stadium saying, “Please be on them, please be on them." [laughter] That was everybody’s reaction.

On Smith’s performance…

We can do without the pick-six. But he was playing great the whole game. He played terrific. That throw right there, probably ill-advised, but it’s easy to sit back in this chair and say, “He shouldn’t throw that ball.” No kidding. Brady shouldn’t have thrown that other one. But you know what? Things happen. You have to give the defense credit. The kid [Logan Ryan] made a nice play for a touchdown.

On the perception Smith outplayed Brady…

He is a fearless guy, but I wouldn’t say he outplayed Brady. I think that’s a team effort and I wouldn’t think, obviously, nobody is going to outplay Brady, maybe Peyton Manning. But I think collectively as a team, that quarterback rating is a team function. That’s how I look at it and that’s how our team looks at it.

On if the win counts a little bit more than 1½ games…

Maybe 1¾ [joking, laughter], because that’s the team you chase. That’s the team we’ve always chased. You’re tired of looking up at them, but at the end of the day, they’ve earned that. We want to win it, just like anyone wants to win their division. We’re no different. The Patriots have won it the last four years.

On using Antonio Allen primarily to cover Gronkowski…

Great adjustment by DT [Thurman]. He’s a guy that’s a long body. He has playmaking skills. I know he was a Sam linebacker at South Carolina. But he’s baller, the guy’s a football player. We knew he’d be challenged. That kid, when he’s covered, he’s open. We thought about [Isaiah] Trufant [joking, laughter], but we were like, “Oh, maybe not.” We had to go with some length on him and that’s really why we made the move.

On being proud of his team…

It’s just that they don’t listen to the noise out there or anything else. They never heard it. They just work hard. From day one, we challenged our guys. We know we can out-prepare people. We might not have this, we might not have that, but we can out-prepare them, and that’s exactly the way we go about our business. Whether we do or not, I don’t know, but I know our guys are competing in the classroom, they study their butts off, and they do a great job. They are prepared.

I think the coaching staff is outstanding, and they’re just great teammates. They push each other, but they take care of each other. They don’t stop believing, period. Outside people have no idea about this group. I’m just telling you, I know it’s special. How that means we’re going to finish record-wise? I don’t know. But I know we have what it takes, in my opinion, to do something great. You have to start with it right here. The guys have to be close. Any good team I’ve ever been with has been like this [crosses his fingers], and that’s how I see this team.

On his thoughts being down going into the second half…

We have to keep fighting. We knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, but we knew it wasn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. We knew that we had to play situation football. We did, and the guys just kept coming back. We did it our way. We never altered our plan as far as offensively. We stayed the course. I thought we did a good job.

On if Ivory got so many carries because of Powell’s injury…

I think both guys are excellent backs. Initially, maybe during the week, we had to see where he was. But Ivory was running extremely hard. We thought it was a good matchup for us and that’s why we rode him.

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