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Rex's Saturday News Conference


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

With all that traffic, I can tell why only eight of us are here today. It is great to be back. I thank the fans for coming out today. It was raining, but we had a lot of support out there for practice so that was good to see. There's nothing like coming home and sleeping in your own bed, too. The only thing about Cortland, I can honestly say that I think my bed at home is a little more comfortable than that one. But, the facilities were fantastic. I forgot how comfortable I was, getting in your own bed, watching your own TV. I had a regular bed [in Cortland].

The negative about being here was the Italian food. That was a huge negative last night. I didn't think it was possible to eat that much [laughter]. Wow. I forgot that we were supposed to weigh in today. I'm not proud of those numbers. Let's just say I'm not as heavy as I was when I started, but oh boy.

Football-related, the best tackle of training camp without question: Kellen Clemens on Eric Smith today. We just looked at each other in amazement like 'did I just see that happen like two feet away from me or is that not right?' But, it was a big-time tackle. Kellen was over there apologizing to Eric and goes, "I went in there just to pick you up and I lost my footing." So he basically cut him and Eric did a flip right over the top and landed on him. It was a great hit.

On what he wants to accomplish Monday against Baltimore…

We accomplished a lot [vs. the Rams]. I thought we played better than St. Louis but it wasn't reflected on the scoreboard. That's what you try to accomplish, but again I can't tell you what the score of that game was. I can't tell you any preseason game that I've ever been in, but you want to drive that thing home, that this is what we want. We want to win. I don't care if our third-string is in there or what, we still want to win.

This one here, we can measure ourselves against this football team. Baltimore in my opinion, we were the second-best team in football last year because we got beat by Pittsburgh, they won the Super Bowl. I know the defense is outstanding and we know that their offense is really coming. There are a lot of playmakers over there on offense so this is going to be a great measuring [stick]. Let's see if we match up with the elite teams in this league. I think we can find that out a little bit on Monday night.

The atmosphere is going to be awesome out there because I'm coming back there [laughing]. It's going to be ridiculous [laughing]. In Baltimore that feeling there you get before [the game] — I hope they introduce Ray [Lewis] last. That would be awesome. It's just good the way they do their introductions, the way fans are there early. It's a great feeling. You put Monday night on top of that and you're playing against a great football team and you're going to play against one that's going to be great in the New York Jets so I think that's going to be a great matchup. You've got myself and [Baltimore head coach] John [Harbaugh], two great buddies going against each other. I've got the utmost respect for their players, their coaching staff and that entire organization from the top down, from Steve Bisciotti on, but that's what's fun.

You're there and you're like "Wow, this is a preseason game," but it's going to feel special. I know it is. It's not just going to feel special to me. It's going to feel special for all our guys. If there's such a thing as a special preseason game, I think this is it. We're going to be on the road and it's going to be a hostile crowd. I just hope I know where to go. I've been on that field for 10 years and I have my routine down pat. This will be great.

On where he stands regarding the evaluation of his backup receivers…

That one is a little easier. You get to evaluate. You throw guys in. They can play throughout the game. How can you not be impressed with what David Clowney did? And topping that off, the year before he led the NFL in receiving yards in the preseason. Then he breaks his collarbone and he doesn't get to play. This guy is coming off not just one great game but he's coming off a preseason last year as well. That's exciting.

I think [Chansi] Stuckey has had an outstanding camp. And then Brad Smith. We all know the kind of athlete he is, but those two catches he made the other day when we've got to have it and he worked himself open using his big body to grab two touchdowns on the last play of our simulated games, that's big time. That's him. If you look at the talent and match him up talent-wise with other guys, he should be a big-time receiver.

It should be sitting right in front of us. We've got some guys with unique skill sets. That should be great competition. Wallace [Wright] is tough as heck. I don't think we're near as bad as people think we are. I feel good about our guys and the first preseason game showed that. They all did good things in that game.

On if Damien Woody is getting closer to coming back from his injury…

He won't play Monday night, that's for sure. But it was good to see him out there. At least he had his helmet on so that was good.

On plans for his QB rotation against Baltimore…

Before the half is over, both of them will be in there. Is one of them going to play substantially more than the other? That could happen. Kellen had the majority or the reps in the first preseason game. I could see Sanchez getting the majority of the reps in this one.

Then [Erik] Ainge will take a ton of them in the second half just like we did [vs. St. Louis]. And [Chris] Pizzotti is going to get one possession like I told you guys I wanted to do. We were able to do that, bring him back. We'll get him on the national Monday Night Football game and say, "All right, have at it, kid. You've got one possession in the National Football League." Some kids would die for that chance, so let's see what he does.

On what he would like to see from Sanchez during the Baltimore game…

Nothing specific. I think just go out and play quarterback. Do your thing. And by the way, that other team over there is pretty good on defense. They're going to be looking to hunt. They're going to get after him just like we'll be looking to get after their quarterback. It's going to be fun. It'll be good to watch. It's going to be closer to regular season tempo than any preseason game. I know the way the Ravens play. They're going to give us everything they've got and we're going to give them everything we've got.

Did we game-plan them? No, there hasn't been a single thing game-planning-wise. I bet you they have. I know the way John [Harbaugh] is. I know the way Cam [Cameron] is. I guarantee they've game-planned us, but that doesn't matter because it's more about you putting 11 against 11. Let's see what happens. This is an attitude game. It's going to be great because Baltimore is physical as a football team. Baltimore, Pittsburgh and the Giants probably are as physical as any teams in the league.

That's what we want to be. We want to be that tough, physical team that won't back down from anybody. That's why I think our team will come out and play that way. Do I know who we'll have in there at the o-line? No. It doesn't matter. I mean, it does, but in a way it doesn't. You're a Jet. You're expected to step up and play. We always say to our opponent they've got to strap it on tight. Same thing this week. We know it's a double-chinstrap game. Here it comes. Let's see what happens.

On if he has talked to anyone in Baltimore…

Vic Fangio sent me a text and I sent him one back. I sent a message to tell all the fellas I said hello. Just a little sparring back and forth. Just having some fun with it.

On if it's a possibility that he'll name a starting QB after Baltimore…

Yes, it definitely is. You're going against a top group. Obviously, you're taking the body of work. It won't be just through one game. But if someone steps up and shines against what is one of the best defenses in the National Football League, then you'd have to weigh it more than you would going against somebody else. [Laughter] I'm not picking anybody out. Cortland or somebody else.

On Nick Mangold…

I think Mangold will play. How much will he play being that it's his first real preseason game? Maybe not much. I think he's moving there. I think he's progressed enough where we can play him. He's probable.

On if Darrelle Revis leaving the field during practice means he's suffered a setback…

No, just the opposite. He hasn't opened it up full speed past 30 yards. That's not where Sal [Alosi] or John [Mellody] wants him yet. When we have the red zone period, obviously nobody's going to outrun him. He's not going to run more than 30 yards. He's not going to open up more than that. That's why he was allowed to do that.

On if Revis is out for Monday's game…


On Jamaal Westerman…

He'll get more opportunities as training camp goes on to make our football team. I think he's got an excellent shot and I think I've said that from early in camp. I really like the things he's doing. You can use him a lot of different ways. You can use him with his hand in the dirt. You can use him inside [or] outside. I know we're using him on special teams. I know Mike [Westhoff] really likes what he's done on teams as well.

On Shonn Greene filling a different role than the other running backs…

I don't know if it will be much different. He probably has a little more combination to him. Where Thomas [Jones] is just a battering ram, I think he's part battering ram, part finesse all tied in one package. Leon [Washington] is a special guy. He's out there by himself. Don't compare him to anybody.

I think Shonn Greene can be a special back. I really do. I think he's getting better at his pass protection. I think he's catching the ball better than he's had. When we drafted him in the third round, we traded up to get him. It's because we thought he had these special tools and he's showing us in practice. I still don't think he's 100 percent from that ankle, but he's toughing it out.

On if Greene is facing the same learning curve as other rookie running backs…

Yeah, I think so. You're exactly right. Guys are taught to just run the ball. Those are the things you wonder about with any rookie back. Can they handle protections? With him, he was always just asked to carry it, so you never even saw him catch the ball. Those were the two biggest questions we had even from the draft when we were questioned. I'm like, "Hey, guys, he can really run it. I don't know about that pass protection, but he can really run it." He's definitely progressed further along and faster than I even thought he would in those areas.

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