REX: I'm Confident We'll Respond

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

All right, first off, I think I'd like to say that I saw something different on tape than I talked about yesterday, but that really wasn't the case. It was pretty much what I thought happened. They were much more physical than we were, and obviously, they executed their plays with much more efficiency that we did, so it was pretty much what I had mentioned yesterday.

As far as Santonio [Holmes] coming back, we got good news that the X-rays were negative. The MRI we're having shipped to different places and all that type of stuff, so I'm not sure how many weeks he's going to be out, the real extent of that injury. We just know the X-rays were negative, so I think that's good news. Hopefully, we'll find out a little more later and we'll have Bruce give you that information.

On the preliminary results of the MRI…

I think depending on the severity of, I don't know the exact term, but if its muscle, it could heal much quicker, if it's something else, ligaments or whatever, then it would take much longer. But it's good news, I said, on the fact that the X-ray was negative. The MRI, again, they're shipping it out to different people and things like that. Obviously, it looks doubtful for this week. For further than that, I'm not sure.

On why the MRIs were sent out…

We're trying to figure out exactly what it is. But again, they'll send this thing out to different people as well, they try to put their heads together on things. Let's just say it's obviously going to take some time. The longer it goes this week, they'll have probably a better idea of exactly what the injury is.

On if it's a Lisfranc injury…

You know what? It's hard to say. I don't know what it's called. We know it's a foot injury and things like that. Are they ready to say that yet? I'm not sure, because quite honestly, I have no idea what that is. I don't want to give you wrong information. If we find out that that's what they call it, then Bruce will let you know.

On if they have ruled out an Achilles tendon injury…

Yeah, to me that wasn't the issue at all. It's something in his foot. Whether there's some swelling and things like that, whether that's muscle, we want it to be muscle instead of the other.

On if he still believes Mark Sanchez should be the starting quarterback…

I think he's definitely our guy. We've had some poor performances in the past, and not just from our quarterback, from our team, and been whipped pretty good. I'm confident we'll come back, I'm confident we'll respond and play much better. That goes across the board. It's the group on offense, the group on defense, we have to get better and I'm confident we will.

Right now, I can't tell you the answers, how we're going to get better and all that, but that's kind of why I wanted time with the coaches for these two days. We have to come up with some solutions. Because if we just keep repeating the same things or whatever, than how can we expect the results to change. I think that's the challenge to the coaching staff. We have to put our guys in the best situation to be successful and we have to find out what that is and move forward.

Do I think Mark has the talent to be an excellent quarterback? I do, absolutely. We just have to find a way to get that done and each player has to challenge themselves of getting better also.

On what it would take for him to consider a quarterback change…

Again, you know what? I don't want to get into the what-ifs of this, that or whatever. I just know in my heart, right now, that this is not the time. I think Tim [Tebow] is an outstanding player, I think Mark is. Right now, I think Mark gives us our best opportunity to win. I will always do in my opinion what's in the best interest of this team and that interest is what gives us the best chance to win. No matter who it is, if it's a left tackle, a right guard, whatever it is, then we'll certainly look at that.

On how they are going to improve fundamentals of the team…

Well, at times we do it really well, and then there are other times that we didn't. We were inconsistent. I think, again, not giving San Francisco credit, I mean that's where the credit, I think, is due, number one. That was a football team that did a tremendous job. When you look at it fundamentally and everything else, they knocked us off the football consistently, they did a lot of things. I think by me saying, "Well, it was us" and this and that, it wouldn't be doing just, because I think that team deserved it. They went out and definitely out-executed us. Do we have to get better fundamentally? We absolutely do. Is there other ways that we can get better? We're certainly going to be looking at that.

On missing tackles…

Right, again, you credit their backs, they run hard, very confident guys, they put us in situations. From a fundamental standpoint, you have to set edges on defense, you have to get off blocks, you have to run your feet on tackles. At times, we did that, and others we didn't. They made, obviously, a lot of plays against us.

On pressure building on Sanchez…

I think as competitive as Mark is, I know this is killing him. He's going to want to respond. You have to stay within the structure of what we need. You can't just go out and say, "Well I'm going to throw." It's a guy looking for a three run homer with one guy on base. We can't have that. He just has to do his job and when guys are open, get them the football, don't force the issue and protect the football, and I think he will. We've seen him before and he's responded. Let's go back to the Buffalo game his first year when he had five interceptions. I know how he responds. We just need him to be the guy we know he is. He's competitive and I think he's going to respond.

On the game at New England in 2010…

Well I think that's kind of what it felt like. That one was a 45-3 game. We got pushed around in that game too, but we responded. We came back and had an opportunity to play them again and the next time we played them we were a much better team. That's obviously what has to happen. We have to improve, and that goes without saying. That's it, I believe we have the talent to do it, both as players and as coaches. I think we'll respond. I don't think there's any doubt we'll respond.

On how difficult it is to win when you can't run the ball or stop the run…

Well, it's pretty hard to win, without question. We have to be able to run the ball with more efficiency, without question. You have to be able to stop the run. from everything, That team beat us on the perimeter, they beat us with the quarterback running, they beat us with the reverses, they beat us downhill. There's a lot to correct with defense and the same thing offensively. We have to get movement. That's a big difference. They were able to get movement, we weren't. We were running similar plays, but we weren't having the success obviously. Again, you credit San Francisco for that as well. I know we've seen better, I know we can do better.

On if they will be changing the starting lineup over the next two days…

No, what I want to do is, I want to make sure we meet and we go over everything. That we come out, and by the time we hit our Wednesday meeting, that we're confident that we can get the thing done. We have to look for solutions ourselves. It's not just on the players, I'm not pointing a finger, "Well, it's this player, it's this player," or whatever. That's not who we are. We have to look at ourselves first, look at what we're asking them to do.

And No. 1 thing as a coach, you have to put your player in a position where they can be successful. We really have to look at that. Are we doing that right now? Are we absolutely doing that right now? And if we are, then fine, we have to find another way to get better. But challenge yourself, and that's what I think our team will do. I think that's why I needed that time, really away from the players, where we can focus on the game, obviously, and then focus on the solutions. By Wednesday, we have to have some solutions ready to go.

On if he would consider putting Tebow in for a series to allow him to gain momentum…

Again, I just watched the tape today, so we haven't even had those discussions yet.

On if he is confident in the current group of receivers if Holmes is out…

I think as an organization, we'll look at every possibility that's out there. But I have confidence in the guys we have. I think Jeremy [Kerley], he looks terrific, I think that will help. I think [Clyde] Gates now, hopefully he can step up a little bit. Hopefully Stephen Hill's hamstring's okay. There's some things here. I think if we're healthy, I feel good about our group. If we're not healthy, maybe that opens up some other things.

On if Sanchez is not as safe as a starter with a back-up like Tebow behind him…

I don't want to dwell on negatives and all that stuff. I just know that as a group, we have to get better, and that includes the quarterback. We have to get better. We have a short time, and it's not necessarily about our opponents, it's about us, but our opponent coming down that road is pretty impressive.

On the struggles running the ball…

I think it starts up front. You have to be able to get movement. It's several things. You have to run with power. You have to run through things. I think a strength of our team is the offensive line and that's something that I've always prided myself in since I've been here, having an offensive line that can knock people off the ball. That didn't happen yesterday to my satisfaction and to anybody's satisfaction, including that group. I'm sure they'll be the first to tell you that we have to do a better job up front. The running game starts with them. It doesn't end with them, but certainly it starts with our group. I know how competitive this football team is. Every group is going to challenge each other. That's what I'm counting on.

On acquiring a wide receiver due to Holmes' injury…

Mike and I haven't really discussed those things, but whatever helps our football team, gives our football team the best chance to be successful, we'll certainly look at those possibilities.

On if they looked into Aaron Berry's issues off the field…

I met with Aaron last week. Everybody has made mistakes in their lives, there's no question. I've always talked about it. I've made more than my share. We go back and we do background checks. Matt Cavanaugh was on the staff at Pittsburgh when he was there and he feels good about Aaron. We have different things. We always say, "All precincts reported." We feel that Aaron has a chance to be successful on and off the field here. If we didn't believe that, than we wouldn't bring him here.

As far as him as a player, I feel he has the physical skillset we look for in our corners and the No. 1 skill would be man cover skills. We feel he has that.

On what cornerback position Berry will play…

It's too early to tell. You're coming into a brand-new system and there's a difference between being in shape and being in football shape. He has been out several weeks, so we'll find out later in the week where that is. Could that be two weeks, one week? I'm not really sure right now.

On if Tebow has a good grasp of the offense…

I think Tim has a good grasp of our offense, so I don't think that's an issue.

On if Tebow has been used the way he envisioned when the team acquired him…

I envisioned Mark Sanchez being our starting quarterback and Tim being able to have some roles on this football team. I think you see that as a personal protector and I think you see those things with some of the Wildcat. We haven't been as successful at running the Wildcat as I thought we would. I think that's fair to say, but again, without question, I'm not ready to give up on him. I think the Wildcat is tough to defend and I've always said that. I certainly looked like it yesterday with them running their version of the Wildcat.

On if they were surprised by San Francisco's Wildcat…

Maybe a couple of the plays, but we had some alignment issues on a couple of them that bothered us. I don't think we were really caught by surprise. We practice against it. We know this young man [Colin Kaepernick] is a talented runner. So I don't think we were caught by surprise, but we did line up wrong one time and he certainly made us pay. A couple times we made some mistakes.

On if they have to make a roster move to make room for Berry…

We'll look at all possibilities on our roster and do what we think is in the best interest of our team. With Aaron coming on board, I think you can put Joe [McKnight] back full-time at running back obviously.

On if it feels like they're in first place…

It doesn't right now, but by Wednesday I promise you it will.

On if he thinks the loss will damage team chemistry and if it's similar to last season's game at Baltimore…

Not at all, I think we're past that as a football team. It's interesting you bring that up, but that was a beatdown, too, that game, obviously. As a football team, I think we're passed that. I think this team is close. We all know that, like pointing fingers, we have to get better collectively. We understand that, but all of us need to really look at it. Start with us: How am I going to get better? What do I need to do? That's why we took these days, to really look at it, and as coaches, that's on us. We have talent. There's no doubt we have talent here. Are we getting the most out of our talent? I think that's what we have to do. That's a challenge to myself and the coaches.

On if he was planning to have a meeting with the coaches before Sunday's game… No, I think it was pretty evident though after that game that we needed to. Once you win, sometimes it's harder to look. You don't necessarily sometimes take as close a look at yourself maybe as you need to and after you get beat by this, it's not hard to. I think that was just something that I believe that we need to do.

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