Rex's Monday News Conference

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Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference Monday afternoon:    

I think our fans were maybe even a bigger part of that game than I first thought. They had four or five penalties against their offense, four delay of games. That doesn't happen to really any team but especially New England. I can't remember the last time that's ever happened. So our crowd was really into it and they really deserved that game ball that we are giving them. We are going to have it out in our trophy case, should have it here by Friday.

I was proud of our team. It was a great team effort. Normally, we'll play better up front offensively with our offensive line than we played in that game. It wasn't that there was constant pressure on the quarterback, it's just I think sometimes when we run the football, we anticipate that we are going to get more movement than we got. And I think that our guys know they never played their best game. They played good enough to win, but it probably wasn't our best game up front.

I thought our defense showed a lot of pride, showed a lot of guts, keeping New England out of the end zone. That's critical in that type of game. You've got to keep them out. Our guys did a tremendous job of that. The depth of our team, we talked about it all training camp, where especially in the back end that we had a lot of outstanding prospects at DB, and we had to use 10 of them in that game. All 10 of those guys contributed to our defense. So it wasn't just like they were playing special teams, which also was a big part of our success. But they played well on defense.

Eric Smith had to go in and play what we call an X position or a dime position. Drew Coleman had to step up and play nickel. So it was great. But those guys prepared. They always prepare like they are going to play. And that actually happened. It's like we are telling these guys, 'hey, never assume anything. Always assume that you are going to be the guy that has to play 60 snaps for us.' I was proud of the way they responded.

This week, we have another outstanding opponent. Jeff Fisher, actually, his first playing days and first coaching experience was under my dad. He's, the longest tenured head coach I think in the league with his current team, and rightfully so. He does a great job. It's always good to see somebody who has been influenced by my dad still be successful [laughter]. But no, he does a great job. And I know they are 0-2 right now, but they could easily be 2-0. They lost two tough games. They lost to the defending Super Bowl champs at Pittsburgh, which is no easy task, as I know. They just had a tough one against Houston. They need a win, but so do we.

We've just got to do a great job this week. Our preparation is going to be a lot different. I think this team likes to run the ball first, pass second. They got kind of Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, not exactly Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, but their version of it with [Chris] Johnson and then [LenDale] White. So we are going to be challenged, there's no doubt. We think our guys will be ready for that challenge, and we will see what happens. If we can get that kind of effort out of our fans again this week, we'll take it. We'll sign up for it right now.

On injuries from the game…

We had three guys that kind of got banged up. [Kris] Jenkins just got the wind knocked out of him. So he's definitely going to be fine. He's a little sore, but I think he should be fine. Then we had [Donald] Strickland, who has an ankle injury and Lito Shepherd who had a quad injury. I don't know right now how severe those injuries will be or if they will keep him out of the lineup or not. We're not 100% sure. They may be limited in practice but we'll see what happens. As of now, I don't believe anybody is listed as out.

On Strickland's quad injury…

I think he didn't necessarily have a pull, but something like that. I don't know. You can always say strain, nobody know what is that is. He had a quad strain [laughter]. Ankle strain for the other guy since I have no idea.

On if he will record another voicemail for fans this week…

No, they know what we want. Our fans know what we want.

On guarding the team from a letdown vs. Tennessee after talking about the New England game for so long…

I don't know if I was really necessarily talking about it for months. It's just when somebody would ask me a question about the Pats or they would ask me a question about [Bill] Belichick , I would answer it. But this is no different. This football team won more teams than anybody in the AFC last year. They were ranked No. 1 in the AFC. Anything less than our full preparation and our best will guarantee that we are not successful.

Now, if we give everything we've got, we'll see. That's what I anticipate that our guys will do. With our fan support everything, I think we'll be successful, but it's not going to be easy, that's for sure. It's an explosive team, one I'm very familiar with. I got to play them twice last year. We [Baltimore] split with them. We totally outplayed them the first time in Baltimore and lost the game. They outplayed us in Tennessee and we won the game. So hopefully they will outplay us and we will win.

On if he spoke to Bill Belichick after the game...

Yeah, we saw each other after the game when he was going to the bus. We shook hands off the field. It was kind of hard to carry on a conversation. But we did see each other after the game.

On if he and Belichick spoke on the field….

No, we just shook hands and that was it.

On how many quarterback hits they counted…

Twenty-three. Well, I think it's the combo platter. If you don't knock him down, but you still hit the quarterback physically, then that's a hit. That was the key to that game. We had to get pressure on him. If you can bring three to get there, great, four, five, six, seven, eight, whatever it takes, we thought we had to do that. You can't let Tom Brady be comfortable back there. Sometimes we would mix coverages. The guy is a special quarterback and if you are just going to sit back and take it, then he's going to light you up.

On how many hits they had on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub…

It was less than that, but we only had 47 snaps I think against Houston. I think the percentage is probably similar.

On if 23 quarterbacks is a high number…

That's high. I don't believe that's the highest total I've ever had. I know we had one where the guy was out with general soreness the next week [laughter].

On where that quarterback hit was…

I don't remember. I think Morgan State when I played them when I was at Moorehead State. They had minus ten yards that game. That might have been worse.

On the Jets being accused of tampering by San Francisco…

It's not accurate. It's not true. But we'll let the league figure this out. I think I've said all I'm going to say about it. Just, it's not true.

On when he heard the news…

This morning.

On if it is his understanding that charges have been filed and that the charges are not true… 

My understanding is that they filed charges with the league. I'm saying my response is that it's not true. But again, we'll let the league figure it out.

On if he's aware of the specifics of the charges…

No.

On if he received a phone call about the charges…

No, I was told about it. But again, I don't care what the specifics are. This is not true.

On if he made a comment that he would like to play the 49ers this year…

Yes. I'll stand by that comment. It means we are in the Super Bowl, so I'll definitely take that [laughter].

On how much they played of the 46 defense…

Not a whole lot. Concept-wise, you probably play it. We play some of it, maybe a snap or two of it.

On if he would describe his defense as a kind of a compilation and evolution of what he's been through in his life…

I like those words, I have no idea what one of those meant, compilation or whatever [laughter]. Yes, I think so. Absolutely [laughing]. I think you have your background. I have influences by the guys I even played for in college, Bob Mazie. I pick up things all over the place. I worked under Marvin Lewis, who was an outstanding coordinator. I picked up things from him, picked up things from Mike Nolan. I picked up, obviously, a ton from my dad. He was probably 20 years ahead of his time.

But I think you've just got to be yourself and we have a system that it's about the players. It's not about driving a square peg in a round hole. That's not what it is. It's the players over the system. I think I've just been around enough things, maybe are creative enough and have the outstanding coaching staff that I have with Mike Pettine, Dennis Thurman, Bob Sutton, Jeff Weeks, Kerry Locklin, Chuck [Smith] and everybody. That's the biggest staff in the league I think. But with everybody's input. This is not just my team. This is our team. So we'll take input from a lot of places and then do what is best for our team.

On if expectations have been raised after winning the last two games…

Where were my expectations at? I don't know if they can go higher than that, where I put them [laughing]. So my expectations were always high. I'm not sure. I think you're exactly right. Maybe there are some people that never really wanted to believe in this football team. The fact we beat a good Houston team, the way we did, at their place, was a big win for us. This game yesterday was big. The Patriots, they are ranked No. 1 in most polls. They have a great quarterback, a great coach, a great team and yet we were able to beat them at our place with obviously the help of our fans. I think that's huge.

Expectations for us? We just have to knock them off one at a time. That's the way we play and this week we've got Tennessee. I don't know if the schedule-maker was mad at us or something, but that's a rough start. We'll accept them. We'll be excited to play and see how we fair against an outstanding team in Tennessee this week.

On Darrelle Revis' performance…

Just amazing. We said it from day one and it's not hard to figure out that we think he's the best corner in the League. When you're out here on the practice field and he catches as many passes as he gives up in 1-on-1 drills — I've never seen that before. The guy is amazing. He can cover you with his feet. He can jam you at the line, press you there and keep you there. He's a great tackler. He's tough. He's got great ball skills. He's got it all. You know, we'd better start saving some money for him because it's going to cost us [laughter]. It's going to be ridiculous.

On Donald Strickland's performance…

He's just a tough guy. I have to give credit to Mike Tannenbaum, Scott Cohen and all his guys up there. I never knew Strickland. I was trying to get Corey Ivy in here. At that time Corey was holding out and they brought in the film on this young man. We could tell he was tough. When I saw him knock Brandon Jacobs back in the open field one-on-one, I said, 'He's plenty tough enough.' You just don't see that and he certainly hasn't disappointed. He's got great skills to be a nickel. He's tough. He can tackle. He's got good coverage skills, man coverage skills and he's a good blitzer. So he was an ideal guy for us.

On if it is part of his philosophy for every player to have a role…

It's about the team. Everything we do is about our team. We got great teammates. We got great people. Sometimes your role may be a lot bigger than maybe another week. It doesn't mean you're not playing well, we don't think you're a player. It's just that there are different ones. I'll give you an example. We had Howard Green, Ropati [Pitoitua], and [Mike] DeVito all down this week. All three of those guys played well in the first week. But the game plan, we were going to go in there with 10 DBs. We needed the corners, we thought. As it worked out, it's a good thing we had them up because we needed every one of those guys.

On if he will bring up more linemen for Tennessee because they are more of a running team…

Yeah, we are definitely going to go in with more D-Linemen than we have. We only had four true D-Linemen up for this past game.

On determining how many carries Leon Washington and Thomas Jones get during a game…

We would like to get Leon 20 touches a game. He's a special player. We're not married to that, but I think that's good business. I hope he doesn't have to return four kickoffs every week like he did this week. The ideal situation would be that he would return one kickoff and then maybe a couple of punts. But it's worked out. I think he's had about 20 touches each game so far, but that's good. If Thomas can carry it 30 times a game, that's great for me. I love seeing Thomas run with the ball. I don't know the specific numbers, but we are not trying to 'Well, OK, Leon needs to catch up to Thomas and this and that.' That's not how we are doing things.

On getting Shonn Greene some carries…

I'd like to. I would like to and get that three-headed monster, but we don't have to do anything. We're just trying to win and if that means Shonn is in the game running the ball for us, great. But the good thing about this is we are in the win business. If that means we are going to put another defensive player up in his place or in somebody else's place, so be it. We think Shonn Greene has the potential to be an outstanding player. Would I like to see him carry the ball? Absolutely. But again, we don't have to play anybody, okay.

*On how Mark Sanchez's youth has been a benefit to the team…           *

I think his enthusiasm. He's that kind of guy. He loves to play. He's just so passionate and has a good time. He prepares. This guy prepares like a pro, yet it's still new to him. So there's that energy. There's that excitement. It's good. Our guys are happy to see him and he's a great competitor. You know what's great? When he gets interviewed, he's everything you look for. I was watching the interview he did last year, he mentioned nine different teammates. He's just so energetic. He's a little more handsome than I am, maybe just a tad, but not much [laughter]. But he's a charismatic guy. He's a great teammate. I think the guys really like him. He's got a million nicknames. He's just a heck of a kid.

On if Sanchez has exceeded his expectations…

I had some pretty high expectations. I think he exceeded my expectations that first game on third down. To be able to hit on 10 third-and-long situations, be able to convert them, I think that probably exceeded my expectations. But he's the same kind of guy when we drafted him. We knew that he was a winner, a competitor, could make all the throws, has great poise, great pocket presence.

But again, until you get out there and do it, that's why there was open competition between him and [Kellen] Clemens. He's earned the starting job. I think that was big. I thought that was good for both those guys. I think the competition with Clemens helped him get to where he is right now. We are just fortunate to have him.

*On working together with Mike Tannenbaum to bring Donald Strickland to the team…           *

I think there's a great deal of respect for our personnel department amongst the coaching staff and probably vice versa. But this was a list, we went through the process. "Rex, we think you'll like this guy. Let's take a look at him." Well, I watched him. Mike Pettine watched him. Dennis Thurman watched him. They all were like, "Hey, let's get this guy." So he actually came in here on his visit. I'm such a great recruiter, I wasn't even here [laughing]. But I'm certainly happy he's here.

On Kevin O'Connell being listed as the third quarterback Sunday…

Well, he was captain. The kid did a great job. He did a great job of preparing our team, running the scout team, putting in some plays that they would check to if they saw certain looks. So he really helped our defense. We sat, had some discussions with him. [Erik] Ainge is our third-string quarterback, but this young man has got a lot of ability and it was just something I thought was important.

I wanted New England to know that this is our quarterback. This is our player. He's on our team now. And for whatever the reason they thought was reported, we were just going to pick his brain, we've got plenty of coaches here. But he was helpful on the practice field, there's no doubt and the kid's a Jet. I thought it was the right thing to do.

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