Rex's Monday News Conference

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

On the last time he had a Christmas gift list given to him "on a silver platter"…

I don't know what you're talking about [laughing]. No, you know what's funny, I think it's unfortunate. My statement yesterday about Indianapolis earning the right to make the best decision for their football team and for their organization I think is lost. That's a heck of a football team. They don't have to apologize to anybody about anything, and neither do we. We won the game. We ended up doing what we had to do, whoever was in the Colt jerseys. I think that there's very little credit that our football team's given, and that's unfortunate.

But again, we really don't care. All we have to do now is find a way to win this game, which is no easy task. This is the team that's won the [AFC] North, [there are] some outstanding teams in [division]. Again, we're going to play at home. We're playing in front of our fans. I think that's going to give us a big lift. I think our guys understand how we have a special opportunity, and that special opportunity's to make the playoffs. I think we're going to take full advantage of it. I know we're going to prepare like it, that's for sure.

On if he thinks the Bengals will rest some players this week…

Yeah, I mean, I guess. I don't know. We'll see. We're preparing that Carson Palmer will be the quarterback and Chad Ochocinco will be a receiver. Again, Cincinnati earned that right and they make those choices.

On if the result of the game was lost because the Colts rested players…

Yeah, I do. And I think it was to be expected. Again, our team wasn't rolling over for anybody, and neither were the Colts. They were trying to win. Granted, it wasn't with some of their players. They're trying to compete, trying to win. Our guys made plays to help win that game. We won by 14 points. So I think it was a big win for our franchise. It set up this opportunity that we have in front of us. I know our guys are excited about it.

On the team's emotions…

I've been level the whole season [laughter]. There's no question. Yeah, from a guy that said, Well, it's unfortunate we're done. We're right there. [We're] alive and kicking. I think I told our team Tears for Fears, Simple Minds sang that song, we are alive and kicking, so here we go. Every team wants to be in the situation where you control your own destiny. Obviously, everybody would like to be where the Colts are, to have the No. 1 seed secured. But to have the opportunity to actually play the last game of the season, the last regular-season game, with everything riding on it in front of your fans, I think most teams would take that, would sign up for that opportunity. That's where we're at right now. We'll be the fifth seed. If we win the game, we're the fifth seed. If we don't win, we're out. That's the math that I can figure out.

On if the reputation of his defense will factor in to the Bengals decision to rest their players…

I'm not sure. I do know Marvin [Lewis] well. One year I thought Cincinnati might have had the best team in the NFL, but unfortunately Carson got hurt I think the first game of a play against Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Will that factoring into it? I have no idea. Obviously, you'd have to ask Marvin. Again, if it's me, I don't play him or any other starter. That's just me. I'm throwing it out there.

On if it is surprising that the team is leading the league in defense and rushing and hasn't secured a playoff spot yet…

When you've looked at the way we've played games, figured out way to lose, we probably should be four or five games above .500. Maybe we're resting people. You don't luck into those stats. That's what makes us a dangerous football team now, for this last regular-season game and then heading into the postseason. That's usually the blueprint of success in the National Football League. You got to play great defense and you have to be able to run the football this time of year.

On if this team can make a run in the playoffs…

Everybody knows how I feel. And I've said it from day one. I think that we have a team that I felt strongly about. It's our first year coming in here and we never deteriorate under-sell approach like most people do. We did just the opposite. I told everybody the truth, what I felt to be the truth, and I thought we had a good football team. I think we're built to be a team that can win in December and January, and I still feel that way. I think we would be a very dangerous team if we make the playoffs.

On if playing the last few weeks as if they were playoff games will help the team…

I still think anybody that has been through the playoffs, you're still going to have the butterflies. I don't think it is jitters, but it is butterflies. That's how special the playoffs are, that you do get those experiences. But you take it as excitement and opportunities more than like swallowing the olive, so to speak. I think with us realistically I thought, as we all know, we had to win six straight. So our playoffs really started back then when we thought we had to move six games. Maybe Carolina and Tampa aren't as bad of football teams as previously reported. Maybe those teams are pretty decent that we beat. That's what I'm encouraged about.

Right now we're hitting about as high as we have all season. I think our running game is strong. I think our passing game was very efficient. I think we're very talented at receiver. So I feel good about our offense. I feel great about our defense, as well. Like I say, this is the New York Jet defense, not the Baltimore Raven defense, not my defense, it's our defense. I think there's ownership that our players are taking, knowing the system. Quite honestly we know it almost as well as Peyton knew it, because he was pretty amazing yesterday, by the way, figuring out what we were doing. You got to give the guy a lot of credit. But we're there. And now, like I said, we don't make excuses. We never have. We're just going to play. I like our chances.

On injuries…

No. I haven't really heard too much. I think Shonn Greene will be fine. We're not sure about the shoulder. We think it's probably a little bruise or something. I think he's going to be fine. I think [Damien] Woody and [Brandon] Moore and all those guys, they might have been out for a little bit, but I think everybody's going to play. I would be shocked if we're not very healthy. I think [Donald] Strickland got a bruise on a quad or something like that when he made the sack, which maybe might limit him on Wednesday. But hopefully he'll be ready to play.

On if he is bothered by the perception that the Colts "gifted" the game for the Jets…

It bothers me a little bit. You have to earn everything you get in this league. Whether you're playing against a starter or backup, whatever. For half the year, people played against our backup nose tackle. I don't think anybody's made note of that. I know this is Peyton Manning or whatever, but he did play 2½ quarters. Again, that's fine. People can make their own conclusions and draw their own conclusions.

But I look at it as we won by 14 points in that game. I think we were right there. We were just fighting toe-to-toe with them. Our job is to try to get it done regardless of who is on the field. We talked about that during the week. If it's Tom Matte at running back, it never mattered to us. We had to find a way to win, and that's what we did. Again, we make no excuses and no apologies for getting our job done.

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