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REX: Not as Sharp as I Wanted It Today


Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following our Wednesday afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:*

Sorry about that, being a little late today. Trying to thaw out. It's good, though, you get ready, get outdoors because you're going to play in cold weather, wind, all that stuff, obviously getting ready to play Buffalo at Buffalo. I know what the weather says, but I'll believe that when I see it.

I never thought we were as sharp as I wanted it to be today. Just little things missing that we clearly, in my opinion, we're going to need to get better at to go out on Sunday and play at a high level. So that was a challenge that I spoke with the team about after practice today. It wasn't terrible, but it just wasn't as sharp as I'd like.

Guys that did not practice today, we had [Leger] Douzable with an illness, he did not practice, Jeremy Kerley with his elbow and Garrett McIntyre with his knee. These players were limited — Kenrick Ellis with a back, Alex Green, hamstring, Stephen Hill, foot and knee, Santonio Holmes, foot and hamstring, and Kellen Winslow, knee. Everybody else was full.

On what he didn't like about practice…

Even like formations, receivers on, off, too much communication with them. Whether it's a protection, the guy oversets a little bit too much, whatever, it just didn't look as sharp to me. We had some dropped balls. Defensively it was probably a little better. We have a lot of stuff in. So sometimes when you do that, it's not as clear, but having this extra time, I expected it to be sharper. And that's a challenge. And understanding our guys, the focus, attention to detail, everything we have has just got to be ratcheted up a little tighter.


On concerns over Geno Smith playing in cold weather…**

Well, I can tell you today he was throwing the ball great. He hasn't been affected by it so far. I think everybody remembers that bowl game and so it was a cold game and all that kind of stuff. That might have been more of a team deal than it was on Geno himself.

On what Santonio Holmes coming back brings…

Well, I think he's got the proven track record. Obviously, Holmes is a tough guy, tough matchup problem because even regards to your coverage, you want to roll your coverage to him, he can beat the first guy, get separation. He's excellent against man, smart, excellent route runner, strong hands, can beat you vertically and underneath as well. So I think he's a complete receiver.

On if Holmes was waiting to get through the bye week to play…

Well, he had a major hamstring injury. It was the worst one we've had this year by far. He was trying to come back. He did a great job in rehab. I think at the end it got closer and closer. Could he have played against New Orleans? If it was the Super Bowl, maybe, but I'm not sure of that. But he just kept working. I think now he's at a good spot. He's ready to go. In my opinion, I think he'll play. We'll see as the week goes on but I feel pretty good about him playing.

On his feel of this locker room after saying he did not have a pulse on the team in seasons past…

I think you change with experience. I think that helps, without question. When I made that pulse thing, I never saw it coming, like that Miami game and all that stuff. I had the guts to say it, but it's not the smartest thing to say. But when you really look back on it, I always think that's a strength of mine, is I do know my locker room. And when an incident like that happened in that game, that's what threw me back. Was it a true reflection on the season? I'm not so sure about that. At that particular time, I did not see that coming.

Now, I just think through experience or whatever, maybe you look for different signs. But I can tell you this about this team, this is a close football team. I really think getting together in Cortland helps. I think it builds it, or taking them off-site, you just have each other and I think it builds you a little bit, makes it easier. You know your teammates better. I think that's good.

I think that one particular year, we had camp here, so they never really had it off-site. You kind of miss those opportunities of building. Also, that season I think you missed working out. That was the time when your players really weren't around each other. As you know, I've always bragged about it, but it's true, we've had the best attendance of anybody in the offseason. And I think that's bonding time as well and team-building time.

On if Stephen Hill's injuries are new…

No, I think he's had some of those. And again, he practiced. He was limited. I don't know how limited. He looked pretty good to me.

On how he guards against rookies hitting a rookie wall…

That's an interesting question. I don't sense it right now. Maybe it's too early in the season. But if you do get to it, there is no bowl preparation time, so you're right about that. It's just right here, man, this is it. Part of just keeping your focus on a week-to-week basis and not trying to get to the finish line, you're just, "Hey, this is the job at hand right now, it's all about this." I think kind of helps that as well, though.

On if the team is considering signing Ed Reed…

I think with us as an organization, we're going to look at any player out there that we feel can help us. We added Greg [Salas], we added David [Nelson] to the receiving corps and things like that because we thought they could help us. If that's the case with Ed Reed or any player, we'll certainly consider it.

On if the team put in a waiver claim for Reed…

Have we put in a waiver claim? I'll tell you this, as you can tell, you might want to check upstairs if they put in a waiver claim. This is the honest truth: My focus is on this football game and this team and that's exactly where it is. And so whether we picked one up or not, I have not been informed of that.

On if he would want Reed on the team…

It's a logical question. Look, the way I am, so I could say absolutely yes, I would like him on our team. And I'll say that knowing that you guys know me. I'd like to have Brandon Moore on the team. I'd like to have Alan Faneca on the team. Anybody that I've ever coached that bled for me, I want them. Trevor Pryce, if Trevor called, I'd love to have Trevor on the team. That's how I feel. The big picture of things, how it relates, all that, if we can get Ray Lewis in here, of course.

But the big picture of right now, the current football team, I'm probably not the right guy to make all those decisions. I think sometimes there's a comfort level in knowing guys, without question, and guys that certainly played well for you, Damien Woody, I'd like those guys, without question.

On if he and John Idzik discussed Reed…

If we did, I'd keep that conversation private and all that type of stuff. But part of due diligence, if you've coached a player, I'm sure you would want that input. So did we have it? I think it's safe to say yes.

On his current group of safeties…

I really like them. I'll tell you what, the one kid I think's got a chance to be really good, and that's Antonio Allen, I don't think there's any doubt. He played man coverage, he's learning every day. You put him out there with an excellent veteran player like [Dawan] Landry, I think that has been great for him as a mentor. I think you've got Jaiquawn [Jarrett], who's done a good job for us. And then you also have [Josh] Bush back there that. Unfortunately for him, he backs up Landry, who never seems to take a play off. So I think we have a good group of safeties.

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