REX: No, Today's Fight Wasn't a Melee

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's late afternoon responses to questions posed by the Jets' media relations department regarding the fight at their midday training camp practice Monday at SUNY Cortland:

All right, first off, as far as it being a melee, I don't see that. Now it is a first. I don't think I've ever seen a sign get knocked over in a fight because it happened on the sideline, but it wasn't a melee. Guys weren't throwing helmets. Sometimes when you're competing and all that stuff, things like that happen. I think we've had enough fights for camp so I don't expect too many more after this one.

On if he has spoken to the team about this…

Not specifically.

On if this is something he will speak to the team about…

Nope. To me it's just that you're about ready to hit somebody else in a different-color jersey. You know you're competing with each other. It becomes a little more of a competition when we put the black jerseys out there. It's just getting to be that time, but you just have to take care of one another and that's the biggest thing. Fights happen occasionally, but I think we've had enough of them, like I said. I really don't think I'm going to have to speak directly about it, but if I do, that's fine.

On if he agrees with Mark Sanchez about protecting the team and each other…

That's exactly what I'm saying. That's exactly what I told the team afterwards. It wasn't the fight, it was about our team being close, and even though you're competing, you always protect your teammate. I think that's something that has to be done. I think sometimes in a competition, guys try to get that last shove on offense or defense and sometimes it can escalate.

On how it ranks in fights he's seen…

Oh, it's not even close, not even close [laughing]. We had way better ones my first year here and there's no question about that. Like I said, though, this is the first time we've seen a sign get knocked over, but I've seen way better ones than that.

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's morning news conference before the Jets' midday training camp practice Monday at SUNY Cortland:

First off, I would obviously like to give my condolences to Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy. Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with Andy and his family.

Moving on to the scrimmage, I think watching the tape some things stand out. And it's funny when you get the perspective of Tony [Sparano] and the offensive coaches and then Mike [Pettine] and the defensive coaches, they all say the same thing, like, "Man, if we didn't make a mistake here, look how successful we could have been in this and that." Clearly, when you watch the tape, we did leave a lot of yards on the field, left some guys open, kind of missed them. We had some drops and stuff like that. But a lot of that, we kind of blew a couple of coverages out there, especially with the twos. We ran some loaded zones that we were not that clear and crisp on. That's the thing that, number one, it's encouraging, both sides are right, but we have to clean it up. We have to get better and tighten things up. This is expected, that's what happens the first time you scrimmage, but it's also encouraging because when we do things right on both sides of the ball, we look pretty good, and we encourage that way.

Some guys that stood out, obviously Aaron Maybin had three sacks or something in the game. It doesn't matter who you go against, the fact that he is the Energizer Bunny out there, he's running all over the place, but he makes plays. Another guy that jumped out at me that's a young guy is Antonio Allen. He just keeps making plays, doesn't always do things 100 percent right, but he's got a chance because when he's out there and the lights come on he's ready to play. In fact, the most disappointed guy on the field when we cut practice, after we got our 60 snaps and we cut the practice off, was Antonio Allen. He was wanting to play and I would say offensively it was probably Matt Simms because he was feeling it. That's good to see, it really is, and you can tell this guy [Allen] really loves to play. I know [Mike] Westhoff has been impressed with him as of late, so we'll see what he does. I think it will be great competition once you start playing someone else and see these guys.

Offensively, I thought Matt Slauson did really well, playing left guard and also playing some center. I thought he did well and some guys stepping up in different roles, mentally, had a couple breaks, but not that many considering guys are left guard or right guard or all over the place. I thought that was pretty impressive.

On Santonio Holmes' injury…

Well, we're lucky we never had a fractured rib like we thought, or I thought, anyway, so that's a good sign. Whether he plays this week, I'm not real sure, I'm not going to rule him out but I would say it's probably doubtful, but we'll see. I thought Bart Scott gave him some sound advice when he said to put some barbeque sauce on that rib. We'll see how that goes. Just a loving teammate, Bart is. But anyway, you can see him, he is obviously tender, but we'll see how that goes.

On the severity of Holmes' diagnosis…

Remember he's had a fractured rib before and he was trying to tell me it was something about cartilage or whatever. He got hit pretty good.

On his reaction to the results…

Yeah, I was surprised when it came back that it wasn't fractured, so it's obviously better this way than with a fractured rib.

On if the wide receivers will have trouble adjusting to Holmes' absence…

I hope not, we've got, what, 12 guys out there, or at least they're supposed to be out there. Let's see some of these young guys step up and compete. The White kid, Jordan White, we'll see how he does. He's progressing and maybe he'll get an opportunity. Hopefully we'll get some of these guys back from their injuries.

On how Holmes is adjusting and helping the younger members…

Yeah, I don't know how long Tone is going to be out but clearly you want your best guy out there and it looks like they have been grasping the system well. Santonio's doing a great job. Mentally, he makes very few mental mistakes, and Tony is moving them all over the place. So he's slot, he's this, he's that, and that's really been impressive. He's doing a nice job in the receiver room also, mentoring some of these young guys, and he's on top of it.

So the mental part won't be an issue, but you're right, you would like to have him out there with the timing. I think he had four catches the other night. I think Mark [Sanchez] seems to be very comfortable with Santonio, but again somebody has to step up. If there's an injury, the next guy has to step up and we've always said that guy has to maintain that level or pick it up a level. That'll be a stretch, if you're trying to replace Santonio Holmes, but that has to be your mentality.

On if Jeremy Kerley will practice today…

I don't think so. I think that hamstring wasn't just a tweak, it was a pulled hamstring. I'm not real sure on it, but I don't anticipate him being out there today

On the concern of Kerley's injury...

I'm concerned. I think he needs to get out, and when he can, show that he has the system down, the new system down. I think that's my biggest concern. Obviously, this guy at the end of the year was about as effective as any receiver we had, playing that slot receiver, and you're hoping he can get back to that. He also did a great job as a punt returner, so clearly we need this young man, but it's kind of a fine line. If you throw him out there too early and he has a setback, now you're looking at regular-season games, so you don't want to do that. You also want to make sure he's dialed in mentally, where he can get on that field and let his physical talents take over.

On if Kerley's hamstring is torn…

I'm not really sure. It's not like I'm withholding information, I just don't know. I know it's a hamstring issue and they generally say out for practice, so that's where I'm at.

On if it's hard to evaluate the offense with all of the injuries…

No, but I think we'll know a lot more about our offense when we really start getting into the preseason games and things. I like the way we're competing, and like I said, we did some good things when you talk about having three of your offensive linemen out. I still think the protection for the most part was good. We gave up a couple of sacks with that first group, but I thought we did a pretty good job of that.

Mark, I thought, looked really good, 7-of-10 I believe is where he was. He had a couple of drops and missed a throw but I thought he did well. The thing that I'm impressing with about Mark, too, is that his presence in the pocket, I think is so much better, and I mentioned that before. He's protecting the football while he moves in the pocket, with two hands on it, and I think that's really been good. You can tell he's trying to make a point of protecting that football and that's been good. Again, we'll see. Clearly we don't have our entire offense in, but I think we're getting a good grasp of our system, so we'll see when we start playing other people.

On Stephen Hill…

I like where Stephen is, I really like the way he practices, full speed every day. He never really caught any balls in the scrimmage but he's working against a heck of a tandem, the best tandem in football in my opinion, with [Darrelle] Revis and [Antonio] Cromartie, Revis clearly being the best corner in football and Cromartie, who's working his way up that ladder, so that's great for him. But I love the way Stephen works. He blocks, he competes and he comes off the same whether it's a run or a pass, he's coming off full speed off that line of scrimmage and I think this is great, him working against these guys.

On what Mark Sanchez is doing to work on his movement in the pocket…

I think, number one, it starts with the film preparation he did before, recognizing that we have to get better in this area. I think he definitely has. I guess you have to ask Matt Cavanaugh specifically but it's something that I notice. When he's stepping up in the pocket, he moves the ball off his front shoulder, two hands on the football. He's picking it up. Without looking at the rush, he's still able to move like the top quarterbacks do in this league. They have a sense of where they need to move to, do they need to step up, step back, whatever it is. I feel like he's getting there right now.

On his footwork in the new offense…

Every offense, you have reads, whether it's Brian [Schottenheimer]'s, Tony's, whatever. Obviously there's different reads but I just feel that he's much more comfortable in the pocket. Clearly this is not the first time that he's ever started, this is going to be his fourth season, but I just get that sense.

On if the presence of Tim Tebow has challenged Sanchez…

I'm not real sure. I think, number one, the challenge to our offense is when you bring in a brand-new coordinator. With Tony, you have to learn the system. There's a challenge right there, that you have to an entire system to learn, especially when you're a quarterback. I think that's a big challenge. I'm tired of talking about last year, but the last thing that I'm going to say about it is that nobody liked where we finished last year and so now we're doing something about it, this whole football team physically trying to get better preparation-wise, whatever it takes. I'm not going to talk about last year anymore but overall, I think that's kind of where we're at.

On the film he's seen on Mike DeVito and Muhammad Wilkerson…

Oh, outstanding, both of those guys. Mike looks more athletic now than I've seen him in the past. I credit Karl Dunbar for that, a lot of those things. Karl is clearly one of the top defensive line coaches in the league and he's done a great job with them. Mike has really taken to his coaching and so he's been impressive. Obviously Mo. I think it's without saying, even though it's his second year, he's ready to take off.

On if Wilkerson is living up to his expectations…

No doubt. He's a factor on that field. Outside of Revis, he's probably playing as well as any defensive player we have.

On calling more pass plays than run plays during the Green & White practice…

Well, I think that we did run it 22 times or something like that in the scrimmage. There are different situations. Unfortunately, we had a couple of issues, self-inflicted wounds we call it, whether it's a snap problem or whatever, the defense making a good play and putting us behind the numbers a little bit, and that'll affect some things. The fact that you have three offensive lineman out, that'll probably affect it as well. But again, we're not ever going to say that we're going to run it X amount of times. We are going to have that ground-and-pound mentality that you'd better defend the run and if you don't we can run it twice as many times as we ran it in that scrimmage.

On if he expects LaRon Landry to play against the Bengals…

I do expect him to play. I think as far as I know, he's fine coming out of it. We're going to keep a close eye on what he does. We want to get him there on opening day. He's an impact guy, there's no question about that. He came on one of those blitzes and just slapped the quarterback and it was like "Woof!" Sometimes when you send a smaller guy, by position, whether it's a safety, a nickel, a corner, whatever, sometimes you don't have quite the impact. This guy will bring an impact with him.

On if he's confident about Yeremiah Bell and Landry knowing the defense…

I believe so, I don't think there's any doubt. Yeremiah's got a great grasp of our system and LaRon, even though he's missed a lot of time, I think also is getting a good grasp of this defense. Is he where Yeremiah is or where Eric Smith is? No, I don't think so, but he's closing the gap a little bit.

On what he's seen out of Bell…

Everything that we thought he would be. Tremendous football player, smart, tough, and I think that his cover skills might have even been a shade better than I thought they were. I know everybody looks at him as a low safety in Miami for all those years but he showed skills of being able to play as a complete safety and I think that's what we'll get here.

On whom the defense will look to for presnap alignments now that Jim Leonhard is gone…

Well, if those two are there, then Yeremiah has a great grasp of our system. But every player is responsible to know their assignment and I don't think that will be an issue.

On if this is the most motivated he's ever seen Sanchez…

Mark's always been a competitive guy, there's no doubt. I just think he has a better grasp of what we want. He has a great understanding of what we want. We have to protect the football, first thing, and then I think he's doing a nice job of understanding the playbook and just moving around from a physical standpoint. Even the way he moves in the pocket, this is the best that I've seen him.

On what stood out about Tebow from the Green & White practice…

I don't know the exact thing about it, but we have to get those snaps when he's underneath center because those things kill your momentum. Obviously we're getting the ball back but those things have a tendency to ruin the whole rhythm and everything else. You kind of lose that when those things happen and I'm not saying that's Tim's fault or the center's fault, I'm not real sure, but we have to get that corrected. We had some high snaps when he was in the shotgun. He made some great plays back there. But I love his competitiveness and when you see him in there, the way he is when it's a live situation, he's excited, and I think he elevates his play.

On if he thinks it's challenging for Tebow to take snaps from under center…

I don't think so. He's taken plenty of snaps out here, but it just happened there. For whatever reason, clearly we have to get it fixed. Is the quarterback pulling out? Is he not in there deep enough? Is the center not getting the ball up? I'm not sure. Obviously when you have [Nick] Mangold in there ... we were moving guys in and out of there, but again there's no excuses. We have to get the quarterback-center exchange, clearly.

On when Mangold will return from his trip to London…

I think he'll be back tomorrow, I believe.

On if it's difficult for Tebow to work with the second-string players…

Sometimes you can look at it, well, you're going against the second defense or whatever. If the guy's got a Jets decal on his helmet, or in this case they don't [laughter], if you have a green and white jersey, then that's who you're throwing it to. He did make a couple of nice throws that were dropped because that's it, too, when you make a couple of big throws, it gets you going, it gets you on track, and things like that. I have not been disappointed with Tim at all. His play, once you go to a live situation, that's going to elevate his play. It's not just that he's throwing the ball and all that because he's such a weapon when he takes off with it as well.

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