Rex's Friday News Conference

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

Here's the injury update: Robert Turner did not practice. He is out for the game. Nick Mangold did not practice today again. He was home with an illness. We list him as questionable. I think he'll play though. He's an offensive lineman. Guys that are listed as probable are: [Marquice] Cole, [Shaun] Ellis, [Jim] Leonhard, [Dwight] Lowery and [Mark] Sanchez. All those guys fully participated in practice. They should all be ready to roll. Mark will start at quarterback, to no great surprise to anybody. He looked good. He's got both knee braces, so it's going to be a Joe Namath throwback game for Mark. He slid right in front of me in practice to make sure I knew he was ready to go. He feels confident. He threw the ball really well today. He's ready to go.

On if Sanchez took all the snaps today…

He took all the snaps with the ones.

On when he made the decision that Sanchez would start…

After practice. We went into practice thinking he would be fine, so he was going to get 100 percent of the reps. After talking with the doctors, they felt great. Our medical staff felt great about where he was at. Mark feels strong. I asked him again, "Do you feel strong?" and he said, "Yeah, absolutely." The doctors and our medical staff feel really good about it. We will never put any athlete out there if we don't think he's ready to play, able to protect himself and stay healthy.

On preparing Sanchez for the snow…

We put some of the UGG boot stuff in his helmet so he's going to be warmer. I'm not kidding. Look at his helmet. He's got some of that in there. We try to make sure our guys are comfortable and healthy and protected.

On if he is curious about how Sanchez will play in the cold…

We had some practices out here that will be colder than what the game will be. That's our advantage. We worked outside, as you guys know, for two days this week and the wind was howling. He went out there without the sleeves the first day. The next day, he had sleeves on. He said forget about being that cool, him and Braylon [Edwards]. I think Braylon was the only one without sleeves on the next day.

He's ready to go. I don't think the conditions will be a factor at all for him. He's got big hands, which I think you have to have in cold weather games. In really bad weather games, if it's raining, you need the big hands to zip the ball. He can throw it, so he'll be just fine.

On how important it is to finish drives with touchdowns instead of field goals…

You would definitely like to finish and if you're in those kind of games, the math doesn't work. You need to score when you're in the red zone. We've probably worked down there as much as anybody. We feel good about our red zone. We just need to make sure we knock it in there somehow. Sometimes, like last week, we weren't going to risk it. Any type of risk at all we were like, "We've got the game pretty well where we want it. We feel good about it. We got three. We feel great about Jay [Feely]. We're not going to force the issue." I think that might have been a little product of why we couldn't get in there and Tampa's defense. You've got to give them credit. They were able to keep us out of the end zone.

On being an all-weather offense…

I think you have to be able to run the football and regardless of the conditions, your offense has to move. There are some teams where when it's a bad weather game, they don't know what to do. With us, we're going to know what to do. Whether that's your throws, you have to have passing lanes and be accurate. You can't let the wind be a factor of your ability to throw the football and I think you have to be able to run the ball. This time of year, especially in our conference, I think you need to be able to run the ball. You need to be able to stop the run on defense. You have to play lights out on defense. Our team is built for playing in December.

On Nick Mangold's illness…

He was here and then we sent him home again. That's two days in a row.

On if Mangold was sent home to keep from infecting the other players…

Yes, pretty much that. Give him his meds and let him stay home and get rested. He's going to be fine. He knows this system better than anybody.

On Matt Slauson…

He's really come on. We started him at left guard only. That was where we were working him. Then it's left guard and right guard. Now he's backing up center. I feel good about him. I think he can do the job. I think he's a little nervous right now with his shot gun snaps. He's maybe not as consistent as I think he will be down the road. He just needs that experience. We feel really good about the way he's progressing.

On if Slauson has played center before…

Not that I know of. Not that I'm aware of.

On the Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis game…

I watched the game last night. I was a Colt fan. Jack Del Rio is a personal friend of mine. I love you Jack, but I was hoping you got beat. I was happy to see the Colts win. Of course you're going to watch it, but none of that matters if we can't beat Atlanta. Our focus is on playing this game and winning this game, but I was very aware of what was going on last night.

On if it will be interesting for Sanchez Sunday with the snow storm and having a week off…

Yes. Again, I just want to win. I don't care if we don't throw the ball or he throws it 30 times. We've just got to win. This football team – we need a win. We're preparing like crazy to get this win. I think our fans are going to be a huge difference too. The fans have never left us, it's just that we haven't played at home for a while it seems. This is going to be great for us to get back and play this game in our stadium, in front our fans in our conditions.

On if he is preparing for other teams on the schedule…

No way at all. We don't do that. I was aware of the game last night. I watched the game last night, but I wasn't trying to come up with a game plan. We have to get past Atlanta and that's no easy task. It's one of the best teams in the NFC. If [Michael] Turner plays or Matt Ryan, obviously, they are two tremendous players. If they don't play they still have very capable backups so we'll see what happens. They're going to give us their best shot and we're going to give them our best shot back. We'll see what happens.

On if Chris Redman is different than Matt Ryan and if they are more no huddle with Ryan…

He's no slouch. I was with him in Baltimore. There is a reason why Matt Ryan is the starter. Again, the no huddle thing, that's fine. I think it plays into our hands a little bit because you're in front of our crowd. That's an advantage for us. Again, we're prepared for it. We always prepare for no huddle. How much they use it really doesn't matter. They're going to snap it eventually.

On Calvin Pace…

Right now this is his defense. In other words, he's really bought into it. I think he knows it. We do some different things with him and [Bryan] Thomas. We can flip who is the SAM and who is the rush. We can do all those different things. He's got an excellent grasp of our system. You're seeing his physical talents right now, which we all know. They're obvious. He's a very gifted player. You can't play a physical game if you don't know what you're doing. He's playing better now than he has at any point during the season and he's played well early. He is really playing exceptional right now.

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