Rex's Monday News Conference

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following Monday's midday practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

OK, first things first. I got fined 75,000 [dollars]. I think you guys know that. If not, then I'm telling you now. So I received the notice today from Commissioner [Roger] Goodell and I won't appeal it. I know the commissioner has a tough enough job. I'm an NFL lifer and I know I represent the NFL and I represent the Jets, so I'm accountable for my actions. So I will not appeal it. Now, we're just moving on to Buffalo.

With that, we have a lot of guys, bonus coverage on injuries, we had LT [LaDainian Tomlinson], [Jeremy] Kerley, Brodney Pool, Shonn Greene, they weren't practicing. They were on the side. I think, though, all of them would play. And [Matt] Slauson was on the side, as well, but he's a guard [joking]. That poor guy's had a neck, an ankle, a knee, but he'll play. We just tell him, "Yeah, you're fine." [joking] But I think everybody will play, so we'll see, obviously, as the week goes. Would they have played today? I don't know about that, but I think by Sunday our guys will be ready.

On if the length of the injury list indicates there was too short of a turnaround in between games…

It might not have been ideal, but the circumstances that we were under, they had the exact same scenario that we did. Unfortunately, we got beat.

On if he believes the Jets can still make a run and become a playoff team…

Yeah, we can, and this league, I think, will show you any time you think something's a certainty or whatever, it really isn't. I don't know how many wins we have to get or whatever, but certainly, we're right there lumped in with a bunch of teams, fighting for playoffs spots. Absolutely, we can make a run.

On if he paid attention to the teams competing against the Jets for playoff spots…

Yeah, I did. Absolutely. And then I will for the rest of the time. I just know, in my opinion, we have the kind of team that can get hot and can put it together. That's been the biggest problem that I see, that we've been inconsistent in all three phases, and we have yet to really put together a great game where we've played consistently in all three areas. Even our special teams, which is an outstanding unit, we've turned the ball over four times on special teams. That doesn't help you. Defensively, you play great for 57 minutes or whatever it was, and then give up a drive. Our standards are higher than that. We're better than that. And then offensively, it's the same thing. Sometimes we look like a million dollars, sometimes we look like 75,000, sometimes we look like nothing. So I just think we've got to be consistent. If we're consistent, and I believe we can be, that we'll be right there in the end.

On if the fine from the NFL was fair…

I just know that it was a mistake and I've owned up to that mistake. There's no question about it. I'm not going to appeal it, because quite honestly, the man's made a decision. His decision is that I should be fined 75,000 [dollars]. That's the way it is. I just want to get it behind me. Obviously, it was a mistake that I made and I'm responsible for my actions. I haven't denied that one bit or slouched on that responsibility. I understand it, and I know to coach in the National Football League is an honor. I don't want to be the guy to put a black eye on this or whatever. I just want to get it behind me and move forward.

On if he spoke to Commissioner Goodell before the fine was issued.

Yeah, I talked to Roger before. Shoot, I just wanted to apologize to him. Like I said, I never denied that I didn't make a mistake. I did make a mistake.

On if he spoke to Goodell today…

No, I did not. I'm not taking his calls. [joking]

On if he spoke to Goodell before the fine was issued…

Right.

On if everything is OK with Plaxico Burress…

Yeah, this was a while ago. He's got a personal day today and tomorrow. I'll just leave it at that.

On what he has seen from Eric Smith and if he has had a difficult season…

That's definitely unfair. Eric's played well. He's played well for us. In fact, he probably has played more plays than any player we've got on this team. If anything, we've asked him to play too much because he's played on a ton of special teams, he plays on every snap on defense, Now, obviously that wasn't the plan. We wanted to get him some breaks on teams, wanted to give him some breaks on defense, with Brodney's injury, it's hard to take him off the field. He does such a good job for us, and I'll bet on Eric Smith every day of the week. Is he perfect? No, he's not perfect. But I know one thing. He's going to give you everything he has. He's got heart. I can't say enough good things about Eric Smith.

On if he finds it hard to imagine that the defense let Denver drive 95 yards to win the game last Thursday against a quarterback who does not have a reputation as being a great quarterback…

He does have a reputation of being a winner and he found ways to win. He's done that in three of his four starts, I believe, but again, that's no excuse. We expect to have a dominant defense for 60 minutes, not 58 minutes or whatever it was.

On why the defense changed personnel during the break with the fan going onto the field before Tim Tebow's touchdown and if they changed the play call…

We were going to have all-out pressure, but we can do multiple things. Maybe that presents a different look, but we can still run the same pressures out of that multiple-personnel grouping. Sometimes, when you don't want someone to get a Kodak, we call it, where they can see what you're in exactly. We kind of changed it. I don't think that was the designed-play initially for them. Tebow just made a play. That's basically just what it was.

On if the blitz was a run blitz or if they were blitzing because they thought Denver was passing…

What I call it, it's a gap-eight blitz, so it's sound versus the run and the pass, but the kid made a great play, an individual play. Really, that's what it was, an individual play. It was a pass, but the kid made an individual play.

On how many times during the game they ran the gap-eight blitz...

Just once.

On why they chose to run the blitz in that situation…

I think we wanted to try to dictate. We've ran that blitz sometimes in other games as well. It's one that's been really good to us. We'll never call a defensive play that we don't feel great about. In that situation, we thought it was the right call. The kid just made a great individual play. He really did.

On if he surprised how much Buffalo has struggled lately…

Again, I've been worried about us, not about somebody else. Obviously, they're a good football team. We're the exact same record, so we know it's going to be a big challenge, but I think you play that many, this will be their third game on the road, that's a tough stretch. We went through it ourselves. That's not easy.

On if it is tough dealing with the emotions of playing for first place in the division to fighting for their playoff lives within eight days…

It's rough, there is no doubt. We were hoping this one, we'd be at the top of the AFC, but we're not. We're not going to dwell on what's behind us. We're going to try to learn from it and move forward. The season, it still has six games, so we're not going to get our six wins by looking in our rearview mirror. We have to get better and we have to become more consistent, and that's what we're planning on doing.

On if he thinks the running the table would assure a playoff spot…

I would think so. If you're 11-5, you're going to the playoffs I would think. Again, we have to beat Buffalo, period, end of conversation. That's where our focus is going to be.

On if the offensive mistakes from the last couple of games are the same ones they had during the first losing streak…

I think there are different mistakes each time, but there are things that we have to look at. Whether it's from schematics, whether it's what we're asking are guys to do, whether it's this player or that player, whatever it is, we're looking for the answers.

On if he thinks Mark Sanchez needs to be a bigger part of the offense down the stretch this season than he was in 2009…

I think it depends on how you're running the football. How efficiently you're running the football, I think, is a big part of it, and how you're playing defense. In some of those games, that was plenty. We never needed it. We were running the ball so well and we were playing great defense that, when I think you look at that stretch, I don't know how many teams scored more than 14 points against us. It probably wasn't many. I think that's what we need to get back to. The good thing about this football team is everything we do is setup to get our team to be at their best at the end of the season, and here we are. There are six games left. There are no excuses. We're sitting here. We've earned that 5-5 record, but we're focused on what is in front of us. We better get it done. We better get it done in a hurry.

On what the team does early on to set the team up for success late in the year…

I just think it's the way we do everything, the way we lift, the way we take care of our players. I've never been around a team that takes care of their players better than we do, the individual attention that they take. The rest we get, the time I give them off in the bye week, which I always get criticized for, you try to make up that this is why you do those things. This is why we do what we do, from the scheduling, the way we practice and all those types of things is to be better at this time of year, so we'll see if we're on point with that or not.

On if he told the team that they are built to be better late in the season…

I'm sure that's what we mentioned. They know. They know how we build things. Even before we go into the bye, we tell them. It's for the season. It's not for one game. They know how we take care of them. They know how we lift, all those types of things. It's so we're a stronger team at the end of the year than we are at the beginning of the year.

On the injuries this season in the NFL and if he thinks that has to do with the shortened offseason…

I think you probably saw more of those injuries, especially soft-tissue injuries or whatever. I'm not sure if that's true or not, if that's accurate or not, but you can certainly understand it. I think, right now, we're pretty healthy. We've had some injuries, but we think we're pretty healthy. I think we're, at this stage of the game, about as healthy as any team.

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