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REX: We’ve Got a Lot of Work to Do, No Question

Posted Sep 30, 2013

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's conference call with Jets reporters on Monday:

Obviously, when you look at the tape, you’ve been beat the way we were beaten, as soundly as we were beat, you go back and you look at the tape and in the coaching business there’s always a saying that “It’s never as good as you think, it’s never as bad as you think.” And that’s probably the case with this as well. But with that being said, we’ve got to fix a lot of different things. Penalties are obviously one. We have to take care of the football better. And we’ve got to really look at what we’re doing and are we putting our players in the best situation. We’ve got to take a hard look. Not just with the players but the coaches as well and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

On what he meant by taking a look at what they’re doing…

Just what position we’re putting our players in. There could always be schematic changes. I know week to week you look at a specific opponent and you try to change your system up accordingly. It’s not that you’re just going to run the same stuff over and over. What we’re asking them to do, whether it’s offense, defense, special teams, how we can give our guys opportunities to be successful and certainly we’ll be looking at that.

On Stephen Hill’s condition…

Well right now I can tell you this, he’s going through the concussion protocol, the NFL’s concussion protocol. So I think that he got a concussion during the game, apparently. So that’s why he’s going through that protocol now.

On Santonio Holmes’ condition…

Nothing new on him with the hamstring. Obviously, he didn’t finish the game, so we’ll see where that is. And the same thing with [Chris] Ivory and [Dee] Milliner that stayed back. We’ll see how they progress and maybe we’ll have more of an update on Wednesday for you on those two. But as far as Holmes is concerned, I know he didn’t finish the game and it was a hamstring injury.

On Smith and offensive line’s protection…

First off, some of those things were screen passes. It looked like Katy-bar-the-door, whatever you want to call it. We just have to get rid of the football in those situations, dirt the ball if you will, instead of taking the sacks. I think that happened a couple of times with screened passes. The protection, overall, I think at times our protection was outstanding. It takes one guy to miss and all of a sudden, obviously we give up five sacks and that’s not good.

On the team up until this point and where they are heading…

Well, we've got a lot of work to do, there’s no question. We have to get better. You mentioned the protection, that has to get better. We have to catch the football better. We have to make better decisions, we have to quit turning the ball over. That’s killing us right now. It wasn’t obvious until this past game. The reason it wasn’t obvious was because we played a really good red zone defense. That wasn’t the case yesterday. We gave up 28 points off of turnovers. That wasn’t case and that’s not what happened in this game. That has to get better.

On defense, being consistent, we've got to play better in the back end and we’ve got to start creating some turnovers. I think that’s the big thing. Obviously, it’s going to be a tremendous challenge in front of us playing against a Falcon team that has a ton of weapons. That’s going to be a major challenge for us. We do have to attack the football down the field more on defense and we have to start creating some turnovers.

On how you go about forcing those turnovers…

I think the big thing is just playing the ball in the air. We were in position to make some plays and two times we give up two touchdowns that obviously can’t happen. Those are areas, whether it’s in individual drills or whatever, there are several things we can do. It starts with position and it’s going up and making plays. We have to work on that.

On if they might give Bilal Powell more touches…

We’ll look at everything. Sure, that’s a possibility. But we’ll definitely take a look and try to do what’s best for our team. You’re right. Bilal Powell’s doing a tremendous job for us. I can’t say enough good things about him.

On if his experience with Mark Sanchez as a rookie will help him coach Smith…

It’s not just on the one person, it has to be on the team. And the team picks each other up. I understand that you can’t buy experience, but with that being said, we still have to do a much better job of, with Geno in particular, we have to protect the football at all costs. And you can’t be nonchalant about it. You have to protect the ball. You can talk about it until you’re blue in the face, but when it happens, now you see it over and over that that’s the way we can improve. We can improve in two areas quickly in my opinion and that could be substantial, protecting the ball and the other is the penalties.

On if he believes Smith can stop the turnovers…

Absolutely, I do believe it. But I think sometimes it’s something that you have to see. I’m reminded of the time we threw the six interceptions against Buffalo. We ran for 320 yards [and] lost the game because we threw six picks. Again, it has to get better. We talked about it. We have to see it. Now, I will say this, the young man [Smith], when you look at his college background, I think he threw six picks all season. I believe it’s going to get better. I don’t think there’s any doubt it’s going to get better.

On if it’s a possibility that Smith will be benched to have him learn from the sidelines…

It’s not a thought at this point right now. Not a thought.

On if he thought Smith was nonchalant in the way he handled the ball on the two fumbles against Tennessee…

Well, no I think and that’s probably not the most accurate thing. But, just a little bit of, when I say it is [nonchalant], I think you have to be more aware of it. That I’ve got to put two hands on the ball. I can’t just have one hand on the football. In particular the one where he fumbled for the touchdown, he’s trying to avoid the rush, but at what cost. To me, it’s we’ve got to put two hands on the ball and if we’ve got to roll our shoulders over the ball and take the sack, then that’s what we have to do. But we can’t’ afford to turn the ball over.

On the plays when Hill got the concussion and Locker left the game…

Well, as far as when Locker got hurt, obviously unfortunate without question, same thing with Hill, but clearly in my opinion, I thought Muhammad [Wilkerson] did what you’re supposed to do, lower your target, he did that and obviously there wasn’t a malicious intent on his part at all. So in my opinion I thought it was a clean hit. As far as the hit on Stephen, it was not flagged.

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