Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference after Monday's midday practice:
After looking at the film, it's really what I thought it was after the game. There are some real positives on that tape and some things we need to get corrected. I read a lot of the papers, and it looked like Eric Smith got beat on that one touchdown. That was not Eric's guy. I think in desperation Eric realized nobody was on top where they were supposed to be. That's why he reached out and tried to grab the guy. That was not Eric's coverage. Our communication needs to be tightened up. When you make a mistake in the back, it can cost you a touchdown, just like missing a tackle back there. Everybody in the stadium realizes when somebody in the secondary breaks down. Up front sometimes a guy can blow an assignment or miss a tackle and you don't necessarily notice it, but in the back end it's clear to everybody.
That was unfortunate but I thought the way our guys responded was great. We were playing against a great football team. It was my prediction that they'll represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. That was good to see. It was good competition. Both sides of the ball and both teams were playing hard and it was a physical brand of football, so that was good to watch and it was fun to be a part of.
Moving forward, I think we'll play our starters maybe just one series on both sides of the ball just to get them out there. Sometimes it's great to have that extra time, but sometimes it almost feels like too much time to have completely off. There will be some guys extended beyond that, but very few I think, so the starters have got to make it count.
I've had it happen where sometimes the starters don't really focus as much. They just line up and try to get it over with and that's when you get your tail kicked. We'll see how our guys respond. I don't think that will happen. I think our guys will show up and be ready to play even though it's the one series. After that, let's see what shakes out. There are still some competitions out there, still some roster spots open, and let's see what happens.
It's going to be vanilla football for the most part. Don't expect a whole lot of blitzing or anything else. It's just going to be line up, let's see who can play. I think I can speak for Andy [Reid] that way as well. I'm sure they'll come out with Wildcat and everything else when I say that. It doesn't matter. It's 11-on-11, let's see what happens.
We've got to evaluate our guys, make sure we're keeping the guys we think give us the best opportunity to be successful and make sure we feel good about the competition, that we've done our job in making it easy for our evaluations. I know it's tough and I've got to always remind those starters, when you're out of the game, those guys are battling for a paycheck so always be respectful of that as well. Not everybody can be a first-string guy, but eventually we're going to need everybody on that roster.
On the defense needing more playing time together to develop chemistry.
Nah, because I think the chemistry has been developed on the practice field. Even though Kris [Jenkins] and Darrelle [Revis] haven't had that much, we've been around a long time. We had the minicamp practices. I think we know each other. It's more of a timing issue, especially up front like with Kris, just getting the timing, how you're coming off blocks, rushing the passer. I will say this: He's a load. He's impressive. You almost forget what you don't have until he's in there and then you're like 'Wow!' You realize how special a guy like that is in the middle of your defense. That was a pretty good offensive line he was going against with the Giants and they've got a good center. It's hard for one man to handle Kris Jenkins. I've never seen a guy that can handle him 1-on-1. It was good to see him.
Bart [Scott] playing when his helmet was off was a classic when you see it on tape. He rips the ball from him [Brandon Jacobs], and that's a big man. And he's got no helmet on and he gets kicked in the head by [Marques] Douglas and you see it on the video and he's still running his mouth. That was impressive. It's fun to watch. Those guys were flying around. Those two inside 'backers [Scott and David Harris], that's a great combination. I'll go out on a limb and say that those two, in my opinion, are the best duo in the league.
On Calvin Pace getting more playing time vs. the Eagles since he will miss the first four regular-season games…
We need to try to keep him going a little bit, so I feel he'll be rushing the passer pretty good in the second half [laughter]. If I was him, I'd try to move my protection the other way, try to move that pocket. If Calvin is out there, then here he comes. He's been playing great, too. This training camp and this preseason, Calvin's been outstanding. Again, we're going to miss him, but we have no excuses.
I think [Vernon] Gholston's improving. He's still not where I think he's capable of playing at. I think we're going to just see that steady climb in the way he plays. I see him as he's got a lot of potential. I think he can get better — I know he can get better. But I'm encouraged with the way he's playing.
On LB Jamaal Westerman getting more playing time this game…
Oh, yes, absolutely. There's that name. It's amazing how it keeps coming up. He's played himself onto this football team, I think. We'll see how he does. I don't want to pump him up too much and then all of sudden he doesn't do anything [laughter].
He was impressive, even on that last play when that guy had that big pass on us. He was literally tying to get our corner to play off. He's playing a quarter-flat, technical term, technique. He knew our corner had to be off, which says something, since he's a rookie, he used to play with his hand in the dirt, and we moved him from outside to inside and from inside to outside, and he's learning the defense. That's what's impressive to me. Not only did he know his position but he also knew what the corner was supposed to do. That's when you know a young man's getting it.
On Gholston's sack/forced fumble that was nullified by his penalty…
That was a good shot, there's no question. He clearly never intended to hit him [David Carr], but I think it grazed the guy's facemask. He tried to get his head across him, but his helmet did make contact with the facemask of the quarterback. It wasn't intentional, but it was good to see him put the quarterback on deck, though.
On playing against Michael Vick…
I was hoping they wouldn't play him. To be honest with you, I can't stand going against that guy. I don't think he likes going against me, either, if you look at the history. He's going to do his thing. We're not going to come after him like we would be in the regular season, that's understandable. I hope he sits back there and plays quarterback and doesn't run it all over us because of that. We'll see.
He's an unbelievable talent. He scares you. We've haven't had many run-ins with him. I played against him in Baltimore a couple of times. Unfortunately, when he broke his leg it was in a preseason game against the Ravens. That was a bad deal. I couldn't believe it. The wind went right out of the sails of the Falcons. It was awful. He is just an amazing talent, so it will be fun chasing him around. I can say that because I don't have to chase him. He's going to play a lot, too, I understand. Andy told me that.
On if Gholston will playing more than one series vs. the Eagles…
Yes, I think so. I think he'll get pressed a little bit more.
On what Gholston is missing right now…
Well, I don't think it's missing. From where he's going, I think he's at this level where he can play much higher. It's just more of having an opportunity to do it. He's working on the practice field, he's working hard. Chuck Smith has done a great job with him. We brought Chuck in to work with our pass rushers and he's doing a great job with Vernon.
It's a steady improvement by him. It's not like he's stepping here and then dropping down. I think he's steadily going up. His teammates have accepted him. They know what he is. He's trying. He's playing hard. I just think he's scratching the surface. I know he can get better. I see it. He's got the ability. It's just keep working each day and eventually get up to where we think he should be.
On if it will help Gholston's confidence when he gets his first sack…
There's that old saying, "Sacks happen in bunches." But sometimes it's just like that. It's tough sledding. I've seen some great pass rushers struggle and then all of a sudden it just hits. They get one. They get a cheap one. They run. They do this and that. Next thing, you turn around, he's got 10 sacks. Hopefully that will happen to Vernon. You've got to get that first one first without hitting the quarterback in the head.
On Chansi Stuckey's touchdown catch and his bid to be the No. 2 WR...
I think he's making a big bid for it. It's great competition. I think It's still a position that's going to be by committee, but he's the guy you throw out there first. The catch he makes, he's running full speed going to the sideline. If that would have been me or an average man, he breaks his ankle trying to stay inbounds. It was crazy. The move he makes is ridiculous.
It was a great throw. Your quarterback's getting smacked and he makes a great throw. And Stuckey makes an unbelievable catch. The other thing is that you had some good blocking down field as well. That was quite a run. I can't believe he did it. When you look at it, the moves he had to make to get in there that was special.
On David Clowney's performance…
It's funny because I talked to him and said, "What happened to the Clown?" [laughter] He says, "Hey, Coach, I was blocking out there." And he was. He did a good job blocking. Sometimes the ball comes to you and sometimes it doesn't. But he has a great attitude. I enjoy the way he blocks out there. He's doing a good job. He's competing.
All of those guys are — Dustin Keller. D'Brickashaw [Ferguson] and [Nick] Mangold had some unbelievable blocks down field on that screen-pass to Jerricho [Cotchery]. They're out there hitting guys in space. They're offensive linemen and they're able to do this in space. That's really encouraging. I always brag about this offensive line because, wow, they're amazing. I love the way they come off the ball. They play as a unit.
Brandon Moore hit the linebacker from the Giants so hard, and I know that young man and I won't put his name out there because it's in the same media, but he used to play for my brother. I'll just leave it like that [laughter]. I texted my brother back and said, "You should have seen the shot that he took." Those were some good things.
I will say this: It was both sides of the ball and both teams coming at each other. It was a very physical game.
On Mike DeVito's injury…
DeVito's got a leg injury. Check — a shoulder injury that came down to his hamstring, I think [laughter]. It's just a little thing. He's going to be fine. He probably could go if this was a regular game. I don't anticipate playing him in this game.
On the status of Shonn Greene and his injury…
Shonn was out there today so we'll see. I thought for sure he was out and I watched him out there today, he looks pretty good. We're calling him McRib [laughter]. He looks good, though.
On Lito Sheppard's performance…
He had a tough time. They were going at him, there's no question. This could happen. They go away from Revis. Lito Sheppard, all he is is, what, a two-time Pro Bowler. He's got quite a résumé in his own right.
He got hit on a couple of fouls. I think one of them was a little tick-tacky, to be honest with you. He made the call and that's fine. We'll live with it. You've got to go back and play. The thing that I like was that he kept competing. Some guys just go straight in the tank and they don't get their confidence back. You've heard this a million times about how a good corner has to have a short memory. Sometimes that happens.
We changed his leverage. A lot of times he was playing outside leverage. We moved him back inside on some of those things and that helped him. He wasn't sure he could do that in the scheme, and I'm like, "Oh, yeah, of course you can. It's your defense, too." He's like, "Oh, really?" And I'm like "Yeah."
What you see is not just his fault. Everybody gets beat. Again, I'm glad he's on our team. He made some plays as well. Sometimes you've got to give credit. [Eli] Manning, now I know everyone is taking about the 90-yard pass the guy dropped. You've still got to get in there. It might have only been 70. But anyway, the kid dropped it but Manning made some great throws in that game. I know the numbers don't necessarily do it. He made some big time throws. We had good coverage and the guy put it in there. It's harder to defend against the perfectly thrown pass, but I've got to give that guy some credit there.
On if such a big gap between defender and receiver on the dropped pass is unusual…
They got beat. It was. Again, we were playing with the wrong leverage. You've got to play with some inside leverage there. It was off the play-action. They did a nice job faking. They kept our safety down which was [Jim] Leonhard. They threw the post in behind and we got caught a little short. Even Kerry [Rhodes] was probably a little short on it. And then Lito got beat inside to the post. Those things happen. You don't like to see it, but you've got to give them credit, too.
On if Clowney will play with the first team…
I don't even know. He'll definitely get to play. We'll see what Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] has planned. We're just going to go with the one series. Will those wideouts have to play more and get in there more? Yes. For the most part, I think one series is what we'll go with the starters.
On punters Reggie Hodges and Glenn Pakulak…
We'll let them both punt and see what happens. Hodges had some nice punts and then some probably he wish he had back, but I was encouraged. He had a couple of nice punts.
I thought Brad Smith did an outstanding job on coverage. Wallace [Wright] did a good job, but Brad as a personal protector and being able to make some plays that he made, they were big-time. He made a great tackle, I think it was inside the 20, and then he threw the ball back on the 1-yard line, so I like to single him out.
But I thought Reggie had a better day. The left-footed punter [Pakulak], we'll see how he does. He'll get an opportunity this week to punt.
On Danny Woodhead…
To say will he make the team or not, I don't know. It's tough sledding. You've got three big-time backs in front of him. But Woodhead is a special guy. He's tough. He's got great hands. He's a great competitor so we'll see how he does. He knows in the second half it's probably just going to be him. His partner [Greene] left him with the rib injury and he's been carrying the load, which is fine for that guy. He's overcome a lot more than these odds in his career so we'll see. He's a great kid and I think he's got some talent as well.