Rex's Monday News Conference

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

Just an injury update on Jim Leonhard, Jim's going to have surgery on his thumb. We don't know how long he'll be out for, but that's unfortunate. On the missed tackle on the first touchdown run by Maurice Jones-Drew, that's when he got the thumb. He will be having surgery later today.

As far as being in this position right now, after another tough game, this is four games that we've lost basically on the last play of the game. They always say that you stay in the league long enough, it will even out. I certainly hope so because it's tough. I think it's my responsibility to find a way for this football team to do the things to win the game at the end, that we're celebrating, on the last play of the game, victory. That's up to me. That's what I'm searching for.

It's tough because when you look at it, is it one or two plays that really affect the game? It absolutely is. Is it one or two mental mistakes that can cost you a game? Is it a penalty that can cost you a game? All those things, yes, it is. It's on me to find that answer. Trust me, I'm gonna work to the best of my ability to find answers. Whatever it is, I believe we'll find them. I know our task is hard, but it's not impossible.

On if he saw the Patriots-Colts game Sunday night…

I actually went to sleep. It was 31-21 when I went to sleep with under five minutes left. I just turned it off. I had no idea the game turned out the way it did until late this morning after we watched our entire film. I was with the defensive staff. We watched the entire film. Then Mike [Pettine] made a comment, "Yeah, it's pretty amazing. You think about it, we win this game, we're one game out." I thought he was crazy. I said, 'No, they won the game.' He was like, "No, they didn't." Doesn't feel like it, but that's where we're at.

On if he knows how long Leonhard will be out...

No. They said when they go in, they'll have a much better idea. They don't even know if they're going to put screws in it, what they're going to do. When I heard it, surgery, that doesn't sound good to me. This kid is a tough kid. If it's up to Jim, he'll be out there.

On if he thinks there is any way Leonhard could play this week…

Yeah, still up in the air. We'll know better when the doctors call later and let us know how the surgery went.

On if the thumb injury was a break or a ligament tear…

I really don't know. I think it's a broken thumb, I believe.

On if there is hope that they'll be able to cast up Leonhard's thumb so he can play…

I hope so but we'll see. When they say surgery, I don't think that sounds very good.

On waiving Ahmad Carroll…

I'm not going to get into the specifics of it. I think [Marquice] Cole has really taken his role. I think he's done an outstanding job. That's not a slight to Batman [Carroll]. It's just that I think this guy won the job. It's a chance for us to get Kenwin Cummings up. We will sign Cummings to our active roster. He's really looked good on the scout teams, been a real physical presence for us. We'll see what Kenwin can do for us.

On if there were anything non-football related involved with the decision to waive Carroll…

I'd rather not get into the specifics of it.

On if not getting into the specifics means there was another reason for waiving Carroll…

I don't know. You can ask him.

On the defense not being able to make a play to end the game…

It's been disappointing. My only thing is, can we learn from it? Let's focus on how do we get it fixed? That's what I'm focusing on now. It is my job to get it fixed. It is unfortunate. We got beat the last play of the game four times. We've just got to find a way to reverse it. I really challenged our guys to find the answer. Let's find the answer. Preparation is the only thing that I can think of. If I'm Kerry Rhodes, do I get with Jim Leonhard and we watch extra film together?

Those are the things. The communication, that's the thing. It's not necessarily an individual thing. If it was one individual, that would be easy. It's more of just knowing the defense like the back of your hand. This is our defense. This is not my defense. It's got to be our defense. In those situations, that's when we got to tighten it up. That's when you become New York Jets. You sell out for this organization. You do it exactly by the books. That's what we've got to have. We've got to get it done. Does it burn me to think that we're going to give up a score like that? Absolutely. The times you go back, that's hard for me to live with, but those are the facts.

On how to correct mental errors …

Well, that's easy. That's through preparation. That's through going over it. We went over the mistakes today, both on offense and defense. We went over and walked through the mistakes. It's easy. Second-team All-American, it's easy to stop, but we're going to fix them. You don't get any do-.overs. For us to make a mental mistake like that in a critical situation, it's not acceptable. Again, it's on me. I'm not pointing it at anybody else. I know where to look, and it's in the mirror. It starts with me, and I've got to get it fixed.

On burning two timeouts during the second half Sunday…

We had two bad ones there. The one on the offense, again, that's my decision. Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] never thought it was going to be a successful play. We called a timeout. I thought there were 12 guys on the field, to be honest with you, because it looked like there was some confusion there. I think it's better to call the timeout. We needed to score down there. If there were 12, like I initially thought, then obviously you can't afford that kind of penalty. On the defensive end, when we had to take the timeout, unacceptable, totally unacceptable.

On if there were 12 men on the field prior to the offensive timeout…

I thought there were 12. We knew the play wasn't going to be successful. We tried to catch the defense, and they actually did a great job. Jack [Del Rio] did a great job getting those guys in the gaps. The play was not going to be successful. We just thought it was appropriate to call the timeout.

On if there was miscommunication between Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard during Marcedes Lewis' 33-yard reception…

There was miscommunication there. It just never got done. Let's just put it that way. Are you on the closed side of the formation or the open side of the formation? I think Kerry thought he was on the open side of the formation. Then Jim thought he was on the open side of the formation. So that was the issue.

On if Jacksonville had the tight end and tackle eligible during Lewis' 33-yard reception…

Right, but one side is closed and one side is open, always, on any formation.

On who was supposed to be in the middle covering Lewis…

I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to go there.

On if he heard the details of Bill Belichick's fourth-and-2 decision against the Colts…

I don't know all the specifics of it, but I understand that apparently Belichick went for it on fourth and two at the 28 yard line. That's what I understand. I don't know what the time was or anything else. Sounds like he put it in his offense's hands instead of the defense's hands. He's won a heck of a lot more games than I have. I'm not going to criticize the guy one way or the other.

On if a 4-5 record is so bad considering the team has a rookie head coach and quarterback and injured players…

Well, it's not so bad when you still got a chance. When you look at it, obviously we can't look past anything. Like we're going to look past the New England Patriots? It is right there. I understand what the facts are. We're 4-5. I understand all that. Those are facts, but if we do beat New England, we're one game out with six games left. Those are facts. One thing about us, until they say we're officially dead, we're going to give everything we have. We're going to give it anyway. That's all I know, so I guess if you look at it that way, with how many games left, we're still in it. We get to play New England again, a team we already beat, that we'll have a tiebreaker with. That's huge. It sounds like an opportunity to me.

On how to prevent coming out "flat" the first half…

I guess we can say we were flat, but I think you got to give credit to the opponent. Jacksonville came out, their running back broke some tackles, did all those kind of things. I guess we're looking at it. I think our preparation was great. The best practice we had was the last Friday for the whole season. I thought we'd come out, we wanted to start fast. First play of the game we throw an interception, they drive the length of the field, score a touchdown. That was obviously something that never got accomplished there. I knew we were fresh, I knew we'd be ready to go, I just never happened.

On if he will rethink his bye week schedule next year…

I think every year's different. You got to approach everything differently. The fact that we lost a game the last play of the game, was that a mistake? It's easy to say that it was. I know I left myself open for criticism. The fans have a right. Everybody has the right to criticize now the fact that we didn't get it done.

On Sanchez having turnovers this game after several games without…

I never really look at it like that. I thought the first throw of the game might have been under-thrown a little bit. The kid made a great play on it. The screen pass, that's a rare thing. I think I've only seen that maybe one or two other times, that a guy intercepts a screen pass like that.

I thought he did a great job of leading the team down the field. Hit some huge third-down calls. I thought Mark played well.

On if the play was similar to a preseason play…

That's true. But at least we tackled 'em, gave ourselves a chance. They're not in it until they're in. I will say this, Darrelle Revis, he makes an unbelievable play, him and Kerry Rhodes save a touchdown, then he fumbles the next play. That was huge, absolutely huge for us. The other thing, too, we have to find a way that once we get momentum, to keep momentum. Just because we have something go good, OK, now we'll just play at whatever. We need to keep it rolling. I think that's something that Schotty and I were talking about. We don't have to go three-and-out, we don't have to do whatever, let's keep this thing rolling.

It's just like in that case, the defense stopping them, making them go three-and-out, then we had that interception. It just seems like we're stubbing our toe as a football team in those kinds of situations. Those are things that we just have to find a way to get better at. Obviously to finish games is absolutely critical.

On if he talks to other NFL coaches…

I'll be placing a lot of calls because I want the answers. I'll lean on several guys that I really respect. Right now, trust me, I'm not above taking advice. I'll lean on some guys that we have here, Bill Callahan has been through it, Bob Sutton, several of my other coaching guys. It's a frustrating thing because normally we finish those games. I've been used to finishing when I'm on defense.

The stats say one thing, but we're still not there yet. We have to find a way to get there. And I think as a unit, I know these guys are hurting, these guys want to win. Trust me, I feel the fans' pain, I understand that. But this is a group of competitive people, competitive men. We're searching for answers. We're going to give our best shot. That I can guarantee you.

On if he is surprised in how the last several games have gone…

Absolutely I am. I thought we were rolling. I thought we were going to be where we were at. I know we have a good football team. It's just finding ways to get it done. It's a comedy of errors, but it's not funny. We're finding different ways to not be successful. But the great thing is, we believe in each other. There's no question about that. I believe in our players, there is no doubt. I believe in the competitiveness. I believe in the professionalism. I think we're going to get it done. I haven't wavered off of that. At the end of the day, I always say, somebody is going to have egg on their face. So far it looks like me. But I'm betting on me. I'm betting on our football team. So we'll see at the end of the day.

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