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Rex's Monday News Conference


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

Watching the video, there was really a lot of outstanding performances in the game. After looking at the tape, we give game balls to the players. Thomas Jones, I think he had 1 yard rushing at halftime. It just goes to show, you just keep powering it in there and eventually we popped a couple of big ones. I thought he ran hard. His attitude was great. Whatever it takes to help the team, he's ready to do. We had a little ground-and-pound in that fourth quarter. You're going to win a lot of games when you can run the ball like that in the fourth quarter. I thought it was impressive.

Then we had on offense, we gave Mark Sanchez a game ball. He had 10 completions, I believe, on third downs for 190-something yards. That's outstanding for a rookie quarterback — unheard of, really. That would be nice for a veteran quarterback, rookie quarterback, anybody. He did a tremendous job, had great poise in the pocket. Mario Williams is one of the premier pass rushers in the game and I thought our guys did a great job. I thought Mark had a great feel for the pocket and was able to step, slide and do different things to avoid the rush and still get the ball down the field. So that was tremendous.

On defense, we played like I thought we would. It was a great team effort. One of the sacks we got, the coverage was outstanding. It's hard to get a sack in this league without great coverage in the back end and it's hard to get an interception without pressuring the quarterback. We saw both of those things. You saw the sack that [Jamaal] Westerman got was due to the great coverage we had on the back end and then the interception that Lito [Sheppard] had, we had some pretty good pressure on the quarterback and [Matt] Schaub threw it up there trying to throw it to a spot. Lito had great coverage and was able to come down with the interception.

That's how it feeds off each other. That's the team defense that we've been talking about. That was good to finally play someone for real. We see what this defense could be. I think it could be a dominant group. We're going to line them up every week. This week, of course, we have New England coming in here with Tom Brady. It won't get any tougher than this. Well maybe it will because the Saints, I think, Drew Brees had six touchdown passes [laughter]. We've got them too later on so we're going to face them all, but like we always say, they've got to face us too. We'll see how that goes.

On defensive game balls, Darrelle Revis — outstanding. Andre Johnson is a bad man [laughter], he's a heck of a receiver. I still feel that way about him, but Darrelle Revis … nah nobody listens anyway. He's an average corner [laughter]. Then, you have David Harris. Sometimes big hits will turn a tide of a game faster than anything. He laid the wood out there a few times. He had a tremendous game. Jason Trusnik got a game ball for special teams. He did a tremendous job especially on punt returns. It really sent a message to them. He took the personal protector back. He actually ran the personal protector into the punter twice. Those are some things you don't normally see out there. He did a tremendous job.

On Jamaal Westerman's performance and if he thought he would be talking about him this early in the season…

Well I did. Hutch [Dave Hutchinson] has got the Rutgers hat on so I figured the question would be coming from him [laughter]. He's just part of the group and he plays like a Jet. He's playing hard. He flies around. I think it was clear early that he had that type of temperament that we were looking for and that kind of passion and that physical style of play that we really like. I thought he did a tremendous job and it was good. His first game, he gets his first sack. That was impressive.

On Vernon Gholston's performance…

Up and down. He played well at times. I believe he was in on four tackles. He had one for a loss. He did a lot of good things. Again, he helped cause a number of hits on the quarterback, took two guys with him occasionally and then was able to push the pocket a little bit. We knew it was going to be a game where we wanted to get a whole lot of sacks just because the way the quarterback would get rid of the football. I think he was sacked less than 4 percent of the time last year on his throws, so we knew he was going to get rid of it. It's the pressure, the hits on the quarterback and the fly-bys that you can get on him. I think our guys did a good job of that.

Again, there were other times where I would've liked to see him jump on a pile, not necessarily a pile, but before a guy goes down throw at him. Get you a piece of him. That's something that I think he'll understand. That's what we want. If there's a little piece of fabric that you can hit before that guy is down, then go take a shot at him. Once we get that mentality, we can improve in that area. Not just Vernon, but with all of our guys. We want to have some gang tackling and just swarming piles.

On his wide receivers' performance…

Everybody has been telling that they will play like this all year. We have NFL receivers. We might not have the number one, big time guy that pumps his chest, but we have some excellent receivers. Jerricho Cotchery, that guy is a great football player. The most impressive things weren't his pass receiving but his blocking. All of them were blocking down the field.

And you get [Chansi] Stuckey, a great run after a catch. He caught the ball 7 yards away from the first down, yet he still keeps his feet driving. We did a good job of running after contact and blocking for each other. We buy in to the team concept. I think that's the important thing. This is a group that can even get better. We can improve on little things. I'm excited about our receiving group. They did really well.

On Lito Sheppard's performance…

When we started playing our coverages, I think we did ok. Sometimes in the preseason, that's why you guys thought I was speaking in code because all you've got to do is go back and look at the history. We're not a team that you want to open up against on defense. We don't show you a whole lot in the preseason. You may think you're seeing a whole lot, but maybe you're not. We kind of set our guys up for failure a little bit in the preseason, but our guys knew that. They understand that.

Sometimes you do that and have to bite the bullet in the media. You're pride too hurts. Teams are going up and down the field and you're like, "I can help them out a little bit." [laughter] But there are bigger pictures. It's all about winning that opener. We did the same thing to Cincinnati two years in a row. They were all bummed out the second year and were like, "I can't believe we've got open up against you." That's not an easy thing to do because now there's no hiding. Once you get in the regular season, you are who you are. You're going to be running your defenses and you're not going to hold a lot of things back for your second week's opponent as far as I know.

On if it's a fun week for the team to see where they measure up after defeating Houston…

We're going to find out.

On if he's looking forward to playing the Patriots…

I'm looking forward to it. They're better than us in two spots that I know for sure and that's at head coach and quarterback. But we'll find out who has the better team right now. We'll see.

We need our fans to show up. Our team is going to show up and we need our fans to show up. We need to be loud and make it miserable on them. We know Brady has a lot of poise. The pressure isn't just on one man. You want to make it on a whole unit to where they've got to pick the hots, all the communication and all the protections. I believe in our fans, too.

Our guys are going to show up and our fans are going to show up and it's going to be on. We want to have a place where it's just absolutely miserable to come to. That's what I'm looking forward to. We've had the preseason games, but we're holding off. Let's see how we do. Let's see how our fans perform. I'm looking forward to it because I'm expecting huge things out of them, too, just like I did this football team.

If we all get on the same page and we make it loud, players are going to pick up from our enthusiasm of our crowd as well, obviously be juiced up from their own enthusiasm but when our crowd is with you on top of that, it makes it tough. I've been in those stadiums where it seems like you've got 14 guys on the field on defense. The offense can't communicate. Your crowd is so into it, it almost seems like that.

On if it's hard to admit that New England has a better head coach and quarterback than the Jets…

No, I'm saying that. I believe that to be a fact right now. It's not about me against Belichick, that would be one sided, but I think I'll compete. I know I'll compete. He's going to get everything I've got. I think New England will get everything Sanchez has too. When you're putting a little check, you put the check by quarterback, you put the check by coach. That's fine.

On the rest of the team comparing to New England…

We're going to find out.

On who his dad, Buddy Ryan, might have compared himself to…

It was [Bill] Parcells, Joe Gibbs, [Tom] Landry or Jimmy Johnson. Those were the big guns when he was coaching with the Eagles. It's funny. My dad would beat Parcells, but lose to Gibbs. Parcells always beat Gibbs. They beat each other up. Those were the days. Landry, I think that was at the end of his time, so he was down a little bit, and then Jimmy Johnson came in.

Those were great to watch. As a fan growing up, that was fun to watch. They got after it. They all played a little differently, but they were all tough. You thought any one of those teams could win the whole thing. That's how I felt. It's unfortunate, the Eagles never won a playoff game during those times, but I thought they were really talented.

On if New England will be surprised by the Jets defense when they watch tape…

I don't think they'll be surprised at all. I don't think they will. I think more than anything maybe some of the so-called experts will be surprised, but New England won't be surprised. They know how we're going to play defense.

On if there were any injuries during the game…

We had a little ankle [injury] with Pouha, or whatever — Bo, Sione, 91 [laughter]. Then Eric Smith, I don't know if he got a broken nose, but he got kicked in the nose when David Harris hit that receiver and the guy's foot came up and kicked Eric in the nose. I think that's about it. I think we came out of it pretty good. I know [Mike] DeVito looked pretty good. Hopefully we'll be 100 percent healthy.

On Sanchez's interception and what he can do better…

Probably not throw it in the first spot. No, I'm just kidding. I think the check-down was open and when you're up by 17, that's probably the better throw at the time. We were going to go back into the ground and run it, but we had a penalty, an illegal procedure call, backed us up, so we thought let's go ahead and throw it. No problem. When it's there, probably make a little better decision with the ball. I thought the check-down was open.

On Sanchez's decision making…

With Mark, we're thinking he's always going to make the right decision. You're going to have moments like that. You're right, more than most, he's going to make the right decision. Our team's got complete confidence in him. Some guys were calling him "Sanchize" because he's a franchise quarterback. Who am I to argue that? He made a lot of great decisions in that game and showed a lot of poise. Sometimes, know what's behind you. Know that you don't have to score every time you get the football. I know how competitive he is. Just play your game. Play quarterback. When you get up 17, if you've got a sure thing, go ahead and take that.

On Sanchez's pocket presence…

It was outstanding. I expected him to be good, but wow. Just the way he was able to slide, step up, back, just the different things. Brady is the best in the league at it and Peyton Manning. Steve McNair was great at that. Playing that position, you have to have that. You can't be looking down at that pass rush and play quarterback in this league. He clearly has that kind of poise and he's got that awareness that it takes to be a successful quarterback. That's critical.

On D'Brickashaw Ferguson…

Phenomenal. He did an outstanding job. I know he got the personal foul. I guess he punched somebody in the face, but it looked like it was an accident to me. I thought they punched him first, too, but I'm not going to criticize the officials. It's that mentality that you're seeing from him. He's playing aggressively. He knows physically he can play with any of these guys in the league. We think he's a premier left tackle in this game, so he's playing like it. He's being physical. I'm not surprised by it.

We thought we matched up well against Houston. I think our guys believed that and went out and really stuck to the game plan and performed well. I think Brian Schottenheimer did an outstanding job, him and Mike Pettine because it was a good game on defense. Pettine did a great job calling the defense. I really though Schottenheimer and his crew, [Bill] Callahan and the guys, did a great job. 462 yards, I don't know if I've ever been with a team that's had that many yards in a game and really controlled the game. The time of possession was almost 39 minutes for the Jets. That was more than impressive.

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