REX: Revis Hamstring Is Just a Minor Thing

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's midday news conference following Sunday morning's training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

First off, this just in, the weather was better today. I just want to put that out there. It was the first day of pads, so as a coach you look forward to it. Obviously, it's been forever since we've been in pads. All the way back, we never made the playoffs. Three-straight years, I coached or was part of a team that went to a championship game, although we lost all three. But you're used to playing a month later into the season. This one just seemed like it took forever to get here, to get those pads on, but it was good. Once we got out there, it was fantastic. If you include the nine-on-seven portion of the practice, our first 22 snaps of team were runs. I thought that was interesting. We even had a special category period that had nothing to do with the run and we just did 22 runs. We need to establish the running game and have our opponents understand that we are a running team. We will run the football, but 22 straight, I don't know if I even envisioned that much. That was absolutely terrific. I liked the mindset we had.

There were some guys who stood out today. We had a couple guys on defense, the young guys. Damon Harrison, I call him the wrecking ball — he has the biggest helmet in the history of our franchise, number 71. He's a big ole dude from William Penn. He looked pretty good. He's a 340-pound nose tackle. It was his kind of day, a running day. He looked pretty good out there. Then Austin Howard is a guy who I was really excited about going into the season. He proceeded to show up maybe 20 pounds overweight, so I wasn't as excited about him, but when we got to training camp he was back in shape. He had the weight under control. He had his weight way back down to under-340. This is a big man, 6-8 or whatever he is, 340 pounds, but he comes off and he can bend. That's what he showed last year as we got going. That was why we were really excited about him. We saw that today. He was really moving some people off the line today. That was encouraging.

The competition, you talk about these black jerseys and who's going to wear them. You had Bart Scott talking about making sure his has starch in it. They're thinking about it and talking about it. Little things like that pick up the competition and it's great. I like the way some of our backs ran today. Shonn Greene hit a couple of four, five and six-yard runs, but that is how you win. You win with those kind of runs, so that was good. Joe McKnight had a couple of big runs for us today. Powell is showing up and then [Terrance] Ganaway. Josh Baker broke his nose today. What's not surprising? When someone breaks their nose, you know things are going well for you, the first day of camp when you have pads on. That's why he was wearing a red jersey. Ganaway filled in at tailback and at fullback. That's good to see. He says, "Rex, that fullback, it's a little different in there." "Yeah, son, just keep blocking, as far as you know we'll give you the football." He did a nice job in there, so that was good.

I was a little disappointed we had a few too many false starts. We started the live part of our team drill and Mark [Sanchez] throws the ball out there to [Santonio] Holmes. We get about an 8, 9-yard completion in there, a 10-yard completion, and then we have a false start. We really have to be mindful of that snap count. Little things, but other than a few things like that, I was pleased with the effort today.

On comparing Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow to Joe Montana and Steve Young…

First off, I want to make sure everyone understands I was not comparing Sanchez and Tebow to Montana and Young. I'll be criticized for it. I'm sure. The scenario, when you brought it up, it seemed to work there. With us, when we had Brad Smith and were able to run the Wildcat, it helped us. We probably ran the Wildcat, maybe not as effectively as Miami did, but we were close. We were very efficient in running the Wildcat.

When you bring in a guy like Tim, as much as I love Brad, Brad can't bring you the inside game that Tim can give you, and Tim can throw the ball a little better than Brad. Those are things that are really positive to me. I said from day one that clearly our starting quarterback is Mark Sanchez. There's no doubt, but Tebow is a guy that we know can be effective. He's a football player and that's what I see. I think he's also doing a tremendous job on the punt team. We didn't bring him in just to be a personal protector. We have to get him out there and we will.

On if he's concerned about Darrelle Revis' hamstring…

No, if we were playing a game, I'd be concerned and he would play. He's had some hamstring issues in previous training camps where he probably fought through some and then pulled it. We don't want that to happen. It was just a minor thing. I think he thinks he'll be out there tomorrow. But anytime you get that kind of situation with any player, you hit the brakes to avoid doing something foolish.

On what he saw from Aaron Maybin…

A lot, and not surprisingly, as a guy who went to the same high school as my oldest son, I expect a lot from him. The guy has been tremendous. Mike Pettine did a great job yesterday. He showed Aaron running to the football like he does. He said, "Guys, as teammates you have to be embarrassed because this guy embarrassed the other 10 guys that were out there at that time." They might have been thinking they were going hard, but this guy reminds me a little of Michael McCrary in the fact that when I had this young man in Baltimore, he was relentless. That's the way Aaron plays. He goes 100 miles an hour, and I think LaRon Landry and him, that's kind of how they do it. He doesn't play with any brakes. He doesn't slow down until he runs into something. That's who he is and that's who he's been since he's been a New York Jet.

On expanding Maybin's role…

I could definitely see that. He's got to earn that, and you have to earn your way out there and I think he's on his way to earning more reps and more responsibility from us.

On Yeremiah Bell's play…

It's worth it. He has stepped in from day one. He had a thinking buddy with him in Eric Smith initially. He doesn't need it now. He's dialed in on this defense. It's his defense now and he's been absolutely tremendous. When you start blitzing him in live drills, he's going to show up. Today there was kind of a little thud thing. He stepped in there and was backing off and Shonn kept going on one of those runs. He has way more cover skills than he is ever given credit for. He's not just an in-the-box safety. Neither is LaRon Landry. They can do multiple things. Both guys can run. They're smart and have ball skills. I think that's what you're seeing from Yeremiah.

On the new NFL training camp rules…

I've been fined enough by the league. I love it, I love the new rules [joking]. We had the best schedule ever, we really did. Mike Westhoff, who has seen a few huddles broken in his day, agreed. We would go padded practice, then shells in the afternoon, or padded practice, then special teams. We had a great one. I thought we had a huge advantage over other teams, because the other teams that were just going pad, pad, pad, pad were killing their players. We kept our players fresh, but we were prepared and I thought we had a huge advantage because of it. Obviously, as a head coach, you bring that with you, how you envision practice. My dad was the old way of pads, pads, pads, whatever it was. We'd pad up in walkthrough. It was way different, but I stole it from the Bill Walsh, who won a few games. I flat stole it from the late, great Bill Walsh. It's unfortunate they changed the schedule.

On if he thinks the speed and explosiveness at wide receiver has improved...

I do. I think we're much faster than we were last year. We just added Chaz Schilens, who is a sub-4.4 guy, and obviously Stephen Hill was the fastest kid at the combine. We added some size and some speed. I think that was important. You throw Cromartie out there, which adds more size and speed as well. With Jeremy, understand I'm disappointed because I expect so much from him. He had really taken off, and at the end of the year, he was one of the premiere punt returners, and he was doing a great job in the slot. That's what we have to get him back to. We have to get him back on that practice field, and when I saw him go down with a hamstring I was like ugh. I expect him to step back up once he gets healthy to come back in and be the player we expect him to be.

On the experience level of the wide receivers…

You'd much rather have guys who have more game experience but you know the size and speed that these guys bring is intriguing. It's not like it used to be in the past. Jerry Rice never started his rookie year in San Francisco. Now, that's probably somebody's fault, but it's a fact. It just seemed like guys weren't really ready to come in as rookies and step in. Now, more and more guys are catching a zillion footballs and are ready. What's amazing about Stephen Hill is the fact that he caught 28 balls [last season in college] and he's way ahead of it as you guys can see.

On why he thinks the run game will be better this year…

I just think the mentality is that some of the scheme runs are a little different than they've been. Nothing against what we did in the past, because we did have a lot of success, especially in the first couple of years, but this is who we are. We are going to run it and run it and find a way to get it done running the football. I think once we do, when we establish the run with the mentality of 'hey here they come again,' it's only going to help our passing game. We can beat you on the outside. The ideal world for us is that you're playing with eight-man-spacing and you have to get them all down there to stop our run and allow our outside guys to go one-on-one. I think with Dustin Keller one-on-one, if it happens, we'll be able to throw the ball, maybe not with the New Englands, but with almost anyone else in the league.

On if he would consider going back to a 60/40 run/pass ratio as in Sanchez's rookie year...

Whatever Tony [Sparano] thinks will help us win is what we're going to do. Clearly, any defensive-minded head coach would love that. Now again, I'm a defensive-minded head coach that just wants to win. If that means that we're going to throw it more because Sanchez looks terrific, there's no question about it. It has nothing to do with Mark, but the mentality that you try to set establishes that you're going to run the football. You have to have your opponent think that and then also be able to throw it.

On if he is saying making more public statements about his players this year…

No, I don't think so. I think I've been pretty much up front. I would agree that we hate losing. I hate losing. We talked about it already, how disappointing last season was. We don't want to be in that same situation with accountability and all that type of stuff. We have to make sure that we put ourselves in a position where we can be successful and that's with everybody on point.

On if Sanchez and Tebow struggled today after each went one-for-seven passing…

One-for-7? [laughing] No, I thought they were terrific. I hope we can run the ball if we were 1-for-7. No, I mean they were going up against a pretty good defense over there. The great thing is the team that has the most success will be wearing the black jerseys the next day and pads and all that. I will always be wearing black because either my defense won or my offense won, so I'm in business. It was a tough day. There's no question about it, the defense probably had the better of it, but we did pop some runs in there that you don't see our defense giving up very often and that was encouraging to me.

On what he's noticed about Sanchez over the course of his career…

His mental maturation and his physical maturation. I will say this. I can't believe how our quarterbacks work in the weightroom. I'm out there running as far as you guys know, ok I'm walking on the treadmill, but I watch it and its unbelievable how these guys work. It's so encouraging to me that he realizes that the NFL is no joke. You better be in physical shape and you better mentally have your stuff wired tight. That's what you see. Mark Sanchez knows this offense so well that you would think he was playing for Sparano for years.

On if anyone gave Tebow grief for his shirtless run through the rain Saturday…

I'm not sure you. You guys were the first ones who brought it up to me, so in other words, absolutely. I'm sure they did, but I never heard anything about it.

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