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REX: We’re Phasing Santonio In Right Now

Posted Aug 27, 2013

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

First off, today’s practice was good. We tried to simulate a little of that up-tempo, no-huddle offense and all of that. I don’t think we did a very good job of it with the show team, but anyway it should be interesting playing against Philadelphia with some of the zone-reads and all that other stuff, so we’re trying to get ready for that. As far as the starters, I know you guys want to know who’s starting the game as the quarterback and all that, but like any other position, we’ll announce that on gameday. We’ll get you that information when we’ve had those discussions. So really I’m not ready to tell you that yet.

On if he can name his starters now…

No, but again, there’s a lot that goes into it, how many reps you’re going to get, are you going to get reps with certain individuals and all that type of stuff. I think we’ll release it for all of our players at that time.

On if he has a comment on not naming a starting quarterback like he usually does before preseason games…

I have no comment on that. I’m more comfortable telling you who the starters are as a group right now.

On the downside to playing Geno Smith on Thursday…

Again, I’m not going to get into the downsides or upsides or whatever. I think as a team, we’ll look at where we are and we’ll make those decisions.

On if Mark Sanchez has started his rehabilitation…

He’s been with [head athletic trainer] John Mellody and the trainers. He’s out there, obviously, at practice, but he did not participate today. As we’ve said all along, he’s not going to play in this game. But this is a unique way we do practice because the majority of this preseason game is going to be played a lot by your twos and obviously some guys will get reps, so you kind of work that plan, and also work ahead a little bit to Tampa Bay. Guys were out there, even the defensive guys that couldn’t practice are trying to get some mental work as well for preparation.

On his confidence level in Sanchez…

Like I said yesterday, I’m confident in Mark, there’s no question. All four of our quarterbacks, when Marty [Mornhinweg] and I were talking about, we feel good about all four quarterbacks.

On his confidence level specifically in Sanchez…

I feel good. He has a great grasp of our system. That’s a big thing, obviously. But I think the other quarterbacks as well, it’s surprising when you put in a brand new system, all four guys have seemed to have really grasped the system. So that’s an impressive group of young men over there.

On the status of Antonio Cromartie and Dee Milliner

Both those guys, they’re not going to play this game, but certainly we hope to have them ready to roll sooner or later. It’s Cromartie’s hip and the Achilles of Dee, or calf or whatever you call it. I don’t know, it’s back there [points to the back of his leg]. I should have said leg [laughing]. They both have legs.

On if he is concerned about Milliner being ready for Week 1…

Talking to John Mellody and our doctors, they seem pretty confident that he’ll bounce back.

On if it is realistic to think Sanchez can practice next week…

First off, you look at Mark’s history. He’s had a shoulder injury before, and obviously, there are probably a million different shoulder injuries, but he’s had a shoulder injury before, he was able to play. In fact, I think that was our second year, in 2010, that he played through, I think, all of the postseason with it. I just remember him warming up in between series all the time. That’s how he stayed warm, obviously. We played some cold-weather games. But we’ll see. One thing we know for sure, Mark is durable and he is going to work his tail off to be ready to go. I think we all know that about Mark. If the trainers say they want him to be in there six different times, he’ll be in there six different times.

On what improvements he wants to see from Smith if he plays on Thursday…

The specifics of it and whatever, I think when you look at it, whether it’s on the game field or the practice field, you look for guys making the improvements, not making the same mistakes, putting the ball in front of receivers, those types of things that he needs to see, needs to recognize. Whether it’s any time, practice field, game field, the different schemes that people put in, dropping — [Justin] Tuck was an example out of that, it may be a little unusual, [but] we’re going to see a lot of those, obviously — he'll go through his progressions and things like that. But just like all the quarterbacks, it’s not really just for him, it would be for all the quarterbacks.

On if Greg McElroy will play on Thursday…

I certainly hope so. But again, we’ll lean on the trainers and the doctors to give us final things. And that’s as we say if this guy will play, that guy will play, that’s an example right there of, and there are other guys going through some injuries, who we have to make sure we get a good feel for it and clearance from our medical people before we say that this guy is definitely playing or definitely not playing.

On if he is concerned about Kenrick Ellis’ status for Week 1…

I certainly hope he’s ready to go just like all of the guys. I hope that all of them are ready to go. But we don’t know that for sure. We will remain optimistic.

On Santonio Holmes practicing…

We’re really just phasing Santonio in right now, leaning again on, and I know you guys are tired of me saying it, but that’s who you lean on, you lean on your people, and we’ve done a great job in the past of getting guys ready to go. So I have extreme confidence in our medical staff, our training staff. But we’re just phasing him in. It’s not like he’s going out there every snap. We are just phasing him in right now.

On the chances of Holmes playing against Tampa Bay…

Again, we’ll see as it goes on. I remain optimistic with everybody and we’ll see unless told otherwise.

On Holmes saying he has a lot more work to do…

He knows himself better than anybody, but what I’ve observed, I think he’s in great shape, I really do, and I was being truthful when I said that. I’m not trying to hold anything back. I believe that he’s in phenomenal shape. I saw him run. He looked pretty good to me. But again, I’m optimistic about it. We’ll see. Obviously, the young man has to sign off before anybody plays. But I think our players have a great deal of confidence in our trainers as well. They’re not going to ever put a player at risk, so we’ll see.

On if Holmes participated in practice other than ride the stationary bike…

Besides ride the bike? I mean, I saw him [out there].

On if Holmes participated in team drills during practice…

Well, I saw him out there, but to say that he ran a bunch of plays, again, we’re just kind of phasing him in. It’s not like we repped him with the first team or anything. Right now we’re just working him in.

On if the quarterback competition is still ongoing…

Again, I think for Week 1, until we name the starting quarterback I would say that really anything’s possible because we haven’t named the quarterback yet. So we’ll weigh in all the factors. Certainly the injury to Mark would be a factor as well. Again, when we feel real good about it, we’ll let everybody know.

On if the season’s starting quarterback could be a gameday decision…

That’s a possibility. Certainly, it’d be possibility. I think, guys, if you had an option quarterback or something like that, that might be a bigger deal to an opponent. Once you feel good about it and you know it, we’re going to announce it. If you thought you had an edge then would you purposely hold it? We’re not doing that. But when we’re ready to make the announcement, we will.

On how he feels about Mike Goodson being suspended…

First off, I’m really happy to get Mike back, there’s no question about it. To get him back here is great. He did go through a personal deal that he’ll talk to you guys about. But I’m just happy to get him back. And what he can do, with the league suspension rules, he can condition and meet. Like go to meetings, individual meetings and such and condition, but he cannot practice with the team.

On if Goodson is way behind in conditioning and understanding the offense…

Well, not four weeks’ worth. He’ll get up to speed. When he left he had a pretty good grasp of what we were doing. The conditioning part, he’ll have to obviously have to get into shape, football shape, without being able to practice and that will be a challenge.

On if he’s disappointed with Goodson…

It’s kind of a tough question because everybody makes mistakes. Every person in here has made mistakes and I know I’ve made plenty and they’re well documented. So for me to pass judgment on somebody, I’m just happy that the young man is back with us and I’m happy about that.

On if he hasn’t named a starting quarterback because no one has stood out in the competition…

Again, I think part of [it], with the injuries, to bold both Geno and Mark, and Greg [McElroy] for that matter, it’s certainly wasn’t an ideal situation. Let’s put it that way.

On if it was his game plan since the beginning to wait till the end to name a starting quarterback…

No, that was never the game plan. Our game plan was what we stated a long time ago, when we were comfortable with the decision that we would announce it then.

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