Rex's Friday News Conference

050109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_2_320.jpg


Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following Friday's midday practice:    

Today we were honored to have all the branches of the military represented today at practice, probably close to 100 people out there today. That was exciting for us and we certainly appreciate them coming out and supporting us. We thank them for their service to our country and to us. We know how fortunate we are to be doing what we're doing. It was just great to have them out here today. After practice our team went over and signed a bunch of autographs. It was neat to have them out here.

On the injury front, Vernon Gholston did not participate, so that's going to be very doubtful that he plays. Brad Smith and Shaun Ellis are probable. We expect them to play. They both look good. Really everybody should be up. The guys that are probable are Shaun Ellis, Lito Sheppard, Brad Smith, Donald Strickland, Damien Woody and Wallace Wright. All those guys, I expect them to play.

On if giving the players six days off had the affect he was hoping for…

We're going to see on Sunday. Those six days off are going to be judged by how successful we play. That's fine. I think we're going to play well. Our guys are fresh and I think we're focused. It's going to be a great game on Sunday.

On if he expects Lito Sheppard to start…

I don't think we'll start Lito. Even though he's practiced fully, I don't think Lito's all the way back yet. We'll evaluate to see how much he'll play. I think we'll start Dwight Lowery.

On the possibility of Justin Miller not returning kicks…

That's a real possibility. We'll see. We're always going to do what's in the best interest of us and if we think that Lowery or Brad Smith give us the best opportunity to be successful in our return game, then that's what we'll do.

On if there is concern about Miller's speed…

Yeah, probably. This is the only time I've been around Justin. He's a competitive guy and I think he's a hard-nosed guy. I know he was a Pro Bowl returner, but I really can't answer that. I wasn't here before.

On if they are in the stretch run of their season after the bye week…

I think it is the stretch run. When you consider how long these guys have been at it. All the mini-camps and OTAs and the training camp and half your regular season games, to get that time off, it is the stretch run. Albeit at the beginning of the stretch run, but that's what it is. There's got to be that sense of urgency. Don't wait for somebody else to make the breaks for you. We've got to do it ourselves and we understand that.

On if it's been good to have Leon Washington around…

Oh, yeah. That's where he belongs. He's definitely one of us even though he can't practice or play right now. His presence, he's around, he's starting rehab. Big Jenks [Kris Jenkins] just had his surgery and he'll be around. It's always good to have that. Those guys are Jets. He lights up a room. He's that kind of guy. I've always said that about Leon. He's a big part of our success and will be.

On Leon Washington and Kris Jenkins being around the facility and upbeat…

It shows how supportive they are of their teammates. Guys supporting them and vice-versa. They're always encouraging our guys and they believe that we have enough to get it done even without them. It would have been a lot easier with them, but we still have enough to be successful. I know that the guys appreciate that and the encouragement that they are giving to the team and vice-versa.

On if he feels bad that Washington didn't get a contract extension before he was injured…

That's part of it. I always feel bad for anybody that has to go on injured reserve. I have great confidence that Leon is going to get back. Everyone knows how hard he works. I think we have the best guys right here to help in John Mellody and his crew and Sal [Alosi] and all of those guys. That's why I'm encouraged. There seems to be no infection now that we know of, so that's a big thing. I think he's going to bounce back. I know he has the heart, the dedication and he's just a tough little guy. I think he's going to be back, 100 percent.

On if he knew right away that Washington's injury was serious…

I thought he had an ankle sprain or something like that. I thought his ankle was twisted and then when they took him across directly, thought the Raiders sideline I was like, "Man, this must be worse than I think." When people were coming off the field, then you realize it was a compound fracture. Certainly that is a devastating injury to us and to Leon. Unfortunately that is part of this game. You don't feel good about it by any stretch of the imagination. You don't wish it upon anybody, but that is a part of the game. You wish it wasn't. That's why they say that it takes special people to play this game. When we say "mighty men" that's part of it. This game is 100 percent guaranteed injury rate. I don't care if you're a kicker, at one point or another you are going to have some type of injury that you're going to have to overcome. This is one of the few games that it takes courage to play. That's why there are special guys that play this game.

On what he stressed to the defense about Maurice Jones-Drew…

He's just a tough guy. He's a bowling ball with football pads on. You have to face it. You see it on tape, you have to wrap him and do all of that kind of stuff. I find it interesting that nobody is talking about our back, our Jones. They're going to find out about Thomas [Jones]. They probably need to worry about him.

On Rashean Mathis…

I think he's an excellent player. Like a lot of good ones, he'll take chances. The first thing you notice is the hair and the fact that he has 10 interceptions. He's a heck of a football player. He really is, but I like our guy [Darrelle Revis]. I think our guy is the best. Mathis, I know is a great player, but I like our guy.

On Shaun Ellis…

I wanted us to draft him when I was in Baltimore several years ago. He might be more athletic than I thought. The nickname 'The Big Katt' really applies to him. Very rarely do you get a guy with his size to have that kind of athleticism. He can play outside, inside, 3-4, and 4-3. You name it, he can play. Really one of our best players and one of the best linemen in this league.

On the defensive line's success after Kris Jenkins' injury…

Kris is a bell cow, there's no question, but the guys stepped it up. They know they can play this game. They took it upon themselves, that whole unit there, led by Shaun [Ellis] and [Marques] Douglas. With Sione [Pouha] and Howard Green stepping up, these guys can play themselves. They knew they needed to step it up, that you can't just rely on Kris Jenkins getting the job done. These guys are excellent players in their own right. They set out to prove that to themselves, the fans and to their teammates that they can get the job done. So far, they definitely have.

On Ellis' injury…

Generally, I think it's more precaution that we don't over-extend him. I think that's why he's on the list all the time. He had that knee, so John subtly puts it out there so we don't practice him full-go all the time and that we monitor his reps. That's basically why he's on this list each week, but he's fine. He's ready to roll.

On if Ellis being listed on the injury report is more of a message to him…

I think so. 'John, I got the point.' Let's not overwork him. I understand that.

On addressing the team yesterday about not wanting to hear anymore 'excuses'…

It is what it is. I believe in being honest and telling the truth. Practice today, I thought was outstanding with the focus, attention to detail. We're close. I thought it was much better, but you can't have a good practice or a good game and then all of sudden one or two plays, "But if this doesn't happen or that happen we'd be 7-1." The fact is those things have happened. We're tired of making excuses. We don't need to make excuses. We just need to play better and find ways to win. That's the message to our team.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising