Rex's Thursday News Conference

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

It was obvious we made a bad decision today. I was thinking of you guys. I decided to have the practice indoors today. So I was thinking of you guys and I thought it was going to rain and I look back out there like "Where is all that rain we were supposed to get?" But anyway, it was a poor decision. It's tough when you've got all those toys out there. We went with toy one and stayed with the indoor facility.

It was great — a lot of fun today out at practice. I think the guys are understanding the competitiveness. We are having fun, they are competing with one another, and sometimes the offense is probably better in the 7-on-7 and the defense is better in the two-minute period. It is fun to compete. If it's always one-sided, it's not as fun and I was used to that for several years in Baltimore. But it's great to see our guys interacting with each other and becoming familiar with our new coaches and stuff like that. And again, I look at it like the more I am here the more "My gosh, this is my team. This is my team. Wow, this is really exciting."

I sat in today with the offensive line, their meetings. Every time I do that l relate to them — not really relate to them, maybe the size [laughter], but these guys are a lot smarter than I am, there is no doubt. When you have Bill Callahan and he's sitting over there going over all these calls and I'm like "What am I, in French class?"

It's amazing, though. This guy is really a great teacher and I have been blown away with him and the players. I see that offensive line and its like "Wow, this is a great group." It's a prideful group and they communicate so well with each other. That's always impressive. It is kind of interesting to finally go in those on the other side of the ball. I've been on defense forever, and to see the way guys teach stuff like that, that's been fun.

On his decision to wear a hooded sweatshirt to practice…

Well, it's probably a negative. Again, I appreciate you bringing that up. Here's what I normally do. I go and say, "Which one has the four X's on it? I'll take that one. I'm going to wear that bad guy." It's like when you go to these stores and you're like "Excuse me, where's the men's section?" They say, "What are you talking about?" "There are no 4-X's here." So it's brutal. Short Hills Mall, I love you, but come on, step up a little bit, would you, please? [laughter]

On Leon Washington taking off the OTAs…

Well, I love it when he takes off when he's got the ball under his arm. To me, he is a great player. He's one of my favorite guys. I love him. I love the energy — everything about him. He's a real positive guy. I love his energy. I understand this is a long voluntary camp and all that stuff. Would I like him to be here? Absolutely. No question. I would love for Leon to be here and Thomas [Jones]. But he chose not to be here and that is unfortunate.

On if he was surprised that Washington is not participating in OTAs…

I would say maybe a little. I was disappointed. But again, it is a voluntary camp. Things like this come up every year on every team. Again, Leon is a great guy and who knows where he is getting advice from or whatever. It is a voluntary camp.

On if Washington's absence affects the offense at practice…

You saw it today. It really doesn't impact us. It provides opportunity for other guys, for [Danny] Woodhead and guys like that to step in there and show what they can do. The offensive line is there. Somebody is going to look good a lot of times back there, whoever is running with the football. But again, I am not going to sit here and say that I don't wish he was here. Of course I do, but it does provide an opportunity for us to get a good look at Woodhead and, to be honest, I am impressed with him.

On if he expects Washington and Thomas Jones to attend the mandatory minicamp…

Yes, because that word "mandatory" I think would mean, to me, I'm not the smartest guy, but I think you should be here if it's mandatory. Heck, yeah, I would expect him to be here. I expect Thomas here as well.

On if he thinks agent Alvin Keels is a bad influence on Washington…

Alvin Keels, I guess that's his new agent. I don't know who's tell who anything or whatever. I can just tell you that when Leon is in the building, he's a terrific person and he's the type of player you love to have on your team.

On what he thinks about Twitter…

I have no idea. I haven't seen anything on Twitter.

On how confident he is that the situations with Washington and Jones will be resolved…

I think when we go to play our first game against Houston, I believe both of them are going to be with us and ready to go. So I am definitely confident on that.

On if it is true that he told Laveranues Coles that he does not believe in renegotiating a player's second or third contract while there is still time left on the contract…

Well, if I had that discussion with Coles, then that's who I had it with. I never had that discussion with you guys or anybody else, so you can read into that what you want. These are voluntary camps. Thomas Jones is not the only veteran player that is having whatever issues. I haven't heard anything. He's not here. That's unfortunate, but I look forward to seeing him when we have our mandatory camp, I really do.

On when TE Bubba Franks will practice…

I think you probably need to talk to John [Mellody, head trainer] more about that. I see Bubba. I always kid him. I always try to get the play from Bubba and then tell the defense. But you can tell he's been working out. He has a little thing with his knee. We don't think it's serious. Obviously we wouldn't have signed him if that was the case. But we think Bubba will be fine when we go to training camp.

On the wide receivers…

There are guys here that are able: "Let's step up, let's see what you've got." Is it going to be Brad Smith? Is it going to be [David] Clowney? Is it going to be [Chansi] Stuckey? We have guys. It's not like the cupboard is totally bare. We have guys that can play and they compete to get better each day. And I have confidence. Is it going to be one guy? Maybe. Will that role be shared? That's a possibility as well. But I have confidence, not just in that group, but in our football team.

I don't truly believe that there is a shortcoming at receiver. I think we have some good players there. But I also think, like every team, you have your strengths and your weaknesses when you look at them, but when you look at our football team overall, I think we have an outstanding team. Again, people can focus on "you don't have this, you don't have whatever," but I can put it right back on you and say we have a better defense than you have and we have an offensive line that's probably better than yours.

We have no excuses. By the time we snap it for real, we'll see who's making excuses.

On the tight ends…

We're not in pads. I sat back with Coach Devlin and I watched him work with Kareem [Brown] and work with [Dustin] Keller and I think that both of them have potential to be decent enough blockers. You have to use your quickness. Shannon Sharpe wasn't the greatest head-on knock-you-off-the-ball blocker, but he was effective because he used his quickness and he got on defenders quickly. It's almost like you try to beat them to the punch and he has that kind of ability. He is a good enough athlete to beat the defender to the punch and I think you will see him improve and I think he will make those improvements.

And Kareem Brown, I think he looks pretty good over there. For a guy that just moved over, I think he's got a lot of upside and well see. Obviously, we bring in a veteran with Bubba Franks and I think we said we'd be open to look for guys. Certainly we considered other guys, but at the end of the day we thought that Bubba was our best choice out there.

The thing that I'm really impressed with, and you guys probably knew this before I did, the kind of person he is, the kind of leader he is, charismatic guy. You can tell that his teammates really like him. He's really a pro and Ed Reed called me about him and he is a guy that I value his opinion and he certainly wasn't wrong with Bubba.

On Woodhead…

The production is the first thing when you read his bio. He has a talent for running the football. There are a couple of things. Number one is he is tough. They bounce him around and he pops right back up. He gives as well as he takes.

The other thing I noticed is he can really catch the football. The other day out here at practice, he actually beat Calvin [Pace] to the boundary and turned it up on him. I was like "Wow, I never thought I would see that." The young man has some ability.

On Jehuu Caulcrick…

When you are looking at fullbacks, you have to really see them hit linebackers and we are not doing that. He looks pretty good. He knows where he is going. He is not going to stand out like a Woodhead would because he has to do more of the dirty work.

You bring up fullbacks. Tony Richardson was laying out for a ball. I was like "Tony, you don't have to do that." It just goes to show you the excitement and fun they are having out there. They are competing and having a great time doing it.

On the absence of Washington and Jones allowing him to evaluate other players…

Yeah, because now they are running with the first team. It is a great opportunity. If you come in and you are the third and fourth tailback, you are not going to get the reps, and I think Woodhead knows that. He has been impressive.

On Kellen Clemens since the Jets selected Mark Sanchez…

With Kellen, his focus has not changed. He knew he was going to have to compete for the job. It just was not exactly how he thought. We never knew we were going to get Sanchez. Nobody knew. With the fact that we were able to get this young man, now the competition is against someone else. He's a first-round pick. He is going to be making a whole lot of money and all of that kind of stuff. At the end of the day, the best guy is going to be playing quarterback for us on opening day. If that is Kellen, great. If it's Sanchez, that's great. One of them is going to have to earn that job.

On if his mind is made up because he said earlier that he has an idea where the QB competition is going to go…

No. I think it means that I am just like anybody else. You can't honestly tell me that you do not have an idea on where it is going to go. I'm just telling the truth, that I think it's going to go a certain way. But I've been wrong before. For me to say "I wanted it to go this way," that is not what I am saying. I am saying I believe it will go a certain way. Again, it is an open competition.

On the importance of Bart Scott joking at practice and keeping the team loose…

I think it is great. You have to let everyone express themselves as long as it is not detrimental to the football team. They are having a good time out there. Damien Woody told me the other day, "I never heard someone get on someone so much." It's a good thing. He is trying to pick up everyone's game. If he can get the offense riled up and ready to go, we are going to get everything the offense has. They are going to compete. That's all he is looking for, everybody to compete.

It's not just him. The offense is giving it right back. Some of our coaches will give it right back to each other. It's a fun thing, but it's competitive. As soon as somebody starts chirping, you want to prove him wrong. Bart knows that better than anyone else. It livens up practice. It's hard to go out there and have a bad practice when guys are flying around having a good time with each other.

On why DE Marques Douglas is so productive…

I always say "Don't judge him by his appearance. He's not a real good-looking kid." [laughter] I told him he looks slimmer in [jersey number] 93 [laughter].

He's an outstanding football player. You can't put up the numbers he has without being a good football player. The reason I bring him in all the time is I know he can play. This is the type of player I want to surround myself with. I can be successful because the players we bring in are passionate guys that just love to play the game. They prepare to play and when the lights come on these guys play great and they elevate other players' games as well.

Douglas is that kind of guy. When he came out of Howard as a free agent with no money, he had this much chance [holding fingers an inch apart] of making it and I told him that. Now, this is his 11th season. All the credit goes to him. He is just a hard-working guy, a lunchpail guy, an overachiever. That is who he is.

On if Douglas is frustrated by flying under the radar…

I'm sure it is frustrating for him. It has been good for me, but it has been frustrating for him [laughter]. I am kind of glad he looks like he looks [laughter]. He is a heck of a football player and he knows it. It was a signing that went under the radar when we signed Douglas and Howard Green. But it allowed us to make the trade. It allowed us the move with [Kenyon] Coleman, who is a good football player. Would we be able to make that trade if we never had the depth? Or would we ever be able to make that trade if we did not have the depth at safety? I don't know if we would have been able to do that. But we felt great about the depth that we added. We know Marques can play.

On Lito Sheppard returning to his Pro Bowl form…

I haven't looked at all of his tapes. I just looked back at last year. I know this guy is an outstanding player. I don't know if he is a Pro Bowl guy or whatever. I know he is a heck of a football player and we are fortunate to have him.

Do I think he is going to get more passes to his side than he has ever seen before? I would say that is a true statement because the other guy is ridiculous. Darrelle Revis is pretty darn good. He does some things that I have never seen before. I have never seen a guy go one-on-one and end up catching as many passes as the receiver will catch against him. That just does not happen and I have been around some good ones.

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