REX: By Saturday We'll Have Answer on Darrelle

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's morning news conference before the Jets' Thursday afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:

[Darrelle] Revis update: Status remains the same. He has been cleared to resume physical activity. If there are any updates during the day, I'll have Bruce [Speight, media relations director] pass them along to you. We'll see how Darrelle is. We're going to proceed with the same thing we've talked about, the NFL protocol. We'll do that. If he's not 100 percent, then Darrelle won't play, it's as simple as that.

Going into this game, it was interesting, [LaRon] Landry, I understand, made some comments about our personnel compared to Pittsburgh's personnel. The thing that we'll say is that both defenses are perennial top five defenses. Last year, obviously, Pittsburgh, tip your hat to them, they were No. 1 in the league in almost every category, so clearly they had a better year than we did last year, but both systems are built around their personnel. I think that's what good coaches do. When you look at the experience that they have playing that system, this is a tough team. We have our work cut out for us to say the least.

They're very physical. That group of linebackers, the safeties are physical. Our teams are built very similar. The systems aren't identical, but we still do a lot of the same things, maybe a little different fashion. They're probably more fire zone or more zone defender, zone coverage, we're probably a little more man, but the systems are similar in the fact that both are physical defenses, both will challenge you mentally and physically. That's what you want to do, so this ought to be a great game for fans to watch for sure.

On when Revis needs to be cleared to play Sunday.…

I have no idea, but clearly I think by Saturday we'd better know something, if he's going or not.

On if there is a different approach to letting players play in a game when they have head injuries…

I think the NFL has a different approach. Obviously, there's a certain protocol and standards that you have to meet. If any young man doesn't meet those standards, then they shouldn't play. That's what the NFL has said. That's what we're all about. The great thing about the NFL is it's taking those steps into helping the players. There's a better understanding of the concussions and there are ways of testing it. No coach would put a player, I know this coach wouldn't put a player out on the field if there was a higher risk of him getting injured. There's no way in heck I would do it and I'm sure every coach in the league feels the same way.

On if nothing has changed in Revis' status from yesterday…

Right. Absolutely.

On if there's a chance that Revis could be cleared for the start of practice…

I don't think so for contact. At least my understanding is not for live contact for sure.

On if Revis will play if his status stays the same tomorrow…

We'll let the process play out, but I think by Saturday we will have an answer.

On if Revis might be a gametime decision…

If a guy had a concussion, I don't think you'd put him on a plane to make the gametime decision. I would think by Saturday that we'll certainly have an answer.

On the Jets safeties being characterized as box safeties…

They say the same thing about all three of our safeties. The first misnomer is, when you look at them body type-wise, they look more like linebackers than defense backs, all three of our guys. These are all three big dudes, there's no question about it. That's the first thing.

You can't say they can't run. Landry ran a 4.3 [40-yard dash], so I guess he checks that box. Just his style of play, you can say the same thing about Troy Polamalu. "This guy is a box safety." No, he's a great safety, period. It doesn't matter if he's playing man coverage, zone coverage, playing the post, playing a half or jumping over the center like he does, he is a great safety.

To me, I would just take a great football player. Troy Polamalu is a great football player, LaRon Landry is a great football player, Ed Reed is a great football player. So I think that was the important thing for us. When we had Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry, we saw two great football players. The systems that they were playing in before, they actually did drop them down so much that maybe they were pigeonholed in that. I don't believe that that's the case with either guy. I think they can play on all levels of the defense.

On who the safeties compare to in their style of play…

I think, I'm going way back, I never saw this guy play, but in the video clips, Dick "Night Train" Lane, that would be a guy that has a physical presence. Some of those hits I saw him make — wow! That would be the guy that I would compare [Landry] to a little bit. He's a physical presence, there's no question about it. Yeremiah Bell is the same way. We have prepared those guys, and when Eric Smith gets healthy, we'd like to think we have three of the more physical safeties in this game. Another team that does is Pittsburgh, with Ryan Clark. I don't think Clark gets the credit that he deserves. He's an outstanding football player. I felt that way when he was in Washington. He was an excellent player, and obviously Troy.

On the challenges of a no-huddle…

I think with no-huddle you have to be conditioned and have good communication. It's not as bad as it used to be. Back in the day, you used to signal and guys could steal your signal and all that stuff. You lose that advantage, but with the mike now, it's a little bit easier to handle it. It's still difficult from a conditioning standpoint, especially early in the season, and if it's hot.

Actually, no-huddle is much easier to run at home, obviously. From a defensive standpoint, the communication is tougher at home than it is on the road. The fans are really into it when their defense is up, it's as loud as can be. When you play at home it's harder for us sometimes. It's also harder to get your cadence and all that other stuff as an offense. On the road, generally you can communicate. That's generally not the issue, but it's a stamina thing. It's sometimes hard to substitute. I think that's an advantage to a no-huddle as well.

On Landry's health…

I think you go into each year, you look at who you have on your team and how you can help, and who's available. I think you look at different things like that. We had Jim Leonhard coming off of a major injury, so that was a factor. When LaRon was available, obviously he had some Achilles issues and he missed two years, part of two years, but we all knew about him. He was a tremendous football player. When you look at the list, he's at the top of the list. I mean, this is a rare talent. He plays the way you want. If you still believe in hitting people in this league, that's the top-of-the-list guy.

When we brought him in, we knew he had to do a physical to find out where he was. I always feel great about our trainers and our medical staff, and we have the track record to prove it, that we keep guys on the field and we keep our guys healthy. We just thought he would be able to do that here. John Mellody's modified his practice schedule through training camp. We're doing the same thing during the regular season to get this guy ready to go on Sunday. So far, so good. He's been healthy and absolutely tremendous for us.

On players that add a fear factor to the game…

I always look at it this way, I always want to draft as many guys or have as many guys on the team that you wouldn't want your kid playing against. Jarret Johnson was a great example in Baltimore for years. I watched him in high school and I tried to recruit him, I was like oh man. I'd literally be like my kid isn't playing this week. My kid has a hamstring this week. Literally, those are the guys that you really want to surround yourself with.

I think you build both of these defenses, you've got Pittsburgh's and the Jets', and they're kind of built the same way. I don't know if you want your kid going against Casey Hampton and against James Harrison, [LaMarr] Woodley, Troy Polamalu or Ike Taylor. My kid is a receiver. I don't want them going against Ike Taylor. If he is, he'd better be off the ball, I don't want him in his face. You certainly don't want your kid going against Darrelle Revis. No chance. He'll end up in the Gatorade. The teams are kind of built that way. It's still tough, old-fashioned football, and I think that still wins on defense. You talk about [Landry] being [tough], there's no question, and he certainly is that.

On if he met Dick LeBeau prior to coaching in the NFL…

I was a coach at Morehead State, I'm sure Dick remembers this, and I worked with a guy named Bob Lord who was good friends with Dick LeBeau. At the time, he was at the University of Cincinnati, or he was at the Cincinnati Bengals. A lot of times I think they played like University of Cincinnati [laughter]. But anyway, I'm just kidding, I'm kidding. They were an outstanding team back then. I remember going up there, and that was right when he was starting to put in the fires on stuff, and I was just a young guy, I wasn't that small, I was whatever. He was kind of a gracious guy, even back then. We had a safety back then that he was looking at and I was able to spend a little time with him there.

On the respect he developed for LeBeau when his defense at Baltimore rivaled theirs…

You knew what you were going up against, certainly. There were some knock-down-drag-outs in that, without question. But yeah, we always had respect for each other. You don't like the guy when you're playing against him, but you respect him, as soon as that game's over you respect him, he's no longer the enemy. But for that 60 minutes, he's the enemy and you can care less about him.

But when that time's over, there is obviously, from my end, a great deal of admiration and respect for him and the same thing about Mike Tomlin. The best thing Mike Tomlin did was he kept Dick LeBeau. And really, that defensive staff, he was able to keep most of those guys. Mitchell's a great defensive line coach, he's been there forever, John Mitchell. Those are great moves. Just like when I was able to keep Mike Westhoff and Mike Devlin and those guys, those were some great moves.

On the problems that James Harrison could pose for the offense…

Just make the list, anything you want, just put it in there because that's him. I guess the first thing that jumps out at you is how physical he is. He's a complete player, strong at the point of attack, relentless in pursuit and a tremendous pass rusher, so obviously, that would be a factor.

On Jeremy Kerley…

We'll see. Again, I haven't seen him today, hopefully he's able to do more than he did yesterday. I mean, he better be. He needs to be able to do more than he did yesterday.

On if Kerley will play Sunday…

I think he'll be able to play, but it's not like I haven't been wrong in the past, but I think he'll be able to play.

On the challenge the receivers will face against the Steelers secondary…

You have to get off the press coverage because they're big corners. They have three big corners, all 6'1" or better, and they're physical. You're going to have to get off press coverage and then you have those two intimidating guys back there at safety. Yeah, it's a big challenge.

On what he thought of his running attack after the game Sunday…

I liked it because we ran it a bunch.

On if there was anything that the offensive line didn't like about its performance Sunday…

No, I think you'd have to ask them. I don't know what we averaged, maybe 3 yards, 3.5 yards a carry, something like that. But our rushing attempts, I liked our rushing attempts. I thought Shonn [Greene], he got better as the game wore on. The thing we were disappointed in is Shonn hardly ever fumbles, and he fumbled twice. I think that's uncharacteristic of Shonn, so clearly we have to take care of that. This week it will be hard to run against this bunch, we all know that. For years and years, this team is about as hard as it gets to run the football against. It's going to be a huge challenge this week.

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