Rex's Thursday News Conference

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Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference after Thursday's Green & White Scrimmage:

For a first scrimmage, things went pretty close to what I thought it would be, except now we're scored on, so maybe there will be more pressure on me (laughs). It was unfortunate. The only negative part about the scrimmage was the drops. We had several dropped passes, I know we had three (drops) on third down. Obviously, that's where you have to focus more than anything else; catch the football first and then worry about running afterwards. It's junior high stuff. That was disappointing. 

The thing that was encouraging was, number one, unbelievable how many fans were out here watching the scrimmage, it was wild, it was great, really overwhelm(ing). We have players all over the place right now, signing autographs, so that was outstanding and really incredible. Hats off to everybody here. Cortland is still doing a tremendous job for us, so that's really great to see. All the Jets fans out here is really great to see. I think there were a lot of good things in the scrimmage, I think you saw some guys step up (as well). (With) Shonn Greene, one thing we had talked about before (the scrimmage) is that he has to improve as a pass protector and a pass receiver, and you saw he had a nice catch for (33 yards). He also made a nice run. (Mike) Pettine and his crew had some exotic blitzes drawn up there for a little bit and had a couple of free-runners (pass rushers). The quarterbacks showed some poise in there and delivered the ball. We'll see if that happens (during real games), sometimes those quarterbacks flinch a little bit when they're live, but I don't think these two guys (Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez) will. They did a nice job. 

I thought Erik Ainge did a nice job. He got in there with that third group, (Marcus Henry) did a great job of giving his quarterback a chance when he went over Drew (Coleman). Coleman was in good position, but Henry went up and took the ball from him, it was a great catch. (Paul) Raymond got the reverse for the touchdown, it was set up perfectly. Defense had a miscommunication with a young safety and when you do that, bad things happen. Other than that, I thought it was good, and it was great to get on the grass field. I think injury wise, (Mike) DeVito was temporarily injured. He's fine, let's put it that way. Jehuu (Caulcrick) got one of those "flash knockdowns," he got hit, he popped up, and on the pop up he wasn't real right, but he came back in and finished the scrimmage, so I think he's fine. I saw where (Dwight) Lowery was taken out, but I've been told he's fine. We came out of that scrimmage well, a lot of guys got some snaps. I thought there was some good tacking out there. The three guys that really jumped out at me were (David) Harris, (Kenwin) Cummings and Lito Sheppard. Sheppard had a great tackle in the open field and then when big Thomas (Jones) comes around there with that ball, you have to get him on the ground. It doesn't have to look pretty, you don't have to knock a big back like you want to, (like) you see on tape, but you just want to get him down. You see that big rascal was coming down at you, you have to grip that mouth-guard tight and hold on because here he comes. I thought our (line)backers did a nice job of making some good open-field tackles.

On Mark Sanchez's performance…

I thought he did well. Unfortunately, a lot of those (drops) were on third down, or the drives (would have) been extended. I think we all wanted to see what he could do, keep those drives alive, but those things happen and we have to get them corrected.

On the dropped passes…

Well it wasn't rookie inexperience with the drops, he wasn't catching them. (Sanchez) was putting the ball out there, we just have to do a better job of catching them. 

Britt Davis had the one straight between the numbers. He's done so well out on the practice field that it's different sometimes. Hopefully when we (play) these preseason games, Davis can show that he can play when the big lights are on, so we'll see. A great practice player is just like a horse that's great in the morning workouts but doesn't do anything when it's on the track for real. I know all about those (experiences), I had two of them myself. We want guys that can play when the lights go on and I'm not saying (Davis) can't, but we'll see.

On if there was anything specific he wanted to see from Sanchez tonight…

Yes. I wanted to see poise, I also wanted to see the accuracy that he showed. He really did show up. I think it was frustrating at the end there (for Sanchez). He wanted to (clearly) impress. I think the offense wanted to score. We put them in some bad situations, we backed them up a little bit, and with the defense that we should have, there should be very few drives that go 70 yards, so it was set up. I moved it up a little bit from there. That's the way it should be, it should be hard to drive the ball on us, but don't do (the defense) any favors by dropping balls either. 

On Sanchez's performance and progression…

I'm not a quarterback expert, but when a guy's open, he was putting the ball on the mark. (They all) would have been first downs. He was impressive to me. Again, I keep talking about that deep sideline throw, those comebacks and outs. You have to be able to make that throw, and he does it consistently, so I was excited about that.                                  

On quarterback Mark Sanchez's chemistry with wide receiver Wallace Wright…

They do (have a connection) don't they? They've had a lot of reps together. I know Wallace is a fierce competitor and I know Mark has great confidence in him.

On Kellen Clemens…

I thought he did well. Unfortunately, I had to call that one sack. The guy was there for like two seconds so I think that was the only one we called all day. He made a nice throw and things like that. He was a leader. I'll tell you what was impressive to me about Kellen. You can hear the plays coming in, from (Brian Schottenheimer) and (Clemens) just like, "I got it. I got it. No problem, I got it." And he's able to move all the pieces, so he really knows how to run that team and understands that system. That's what I'm impressed with and, obviously, he's a talented guy. He makes some nice throws. He's giving his receivers a chance even when they're covered. We've got two excellent (cornerbacks). We've got more than that. We've got several excellent corners and I think you saw Lito (Sheppard) and (Darrelle) Revis (show that) they can lock them down. The guys weren't open sometimes.

On if Chansi Stuckey had a step or two on the corner during a pass from Clemens…

I'm not real sure. I was back there and it never seemed like a whole lot of guys were open on some of those things. And Rich (Cimini) I appreciate you bringing up your vantage point (laughing). I'm just kidding, but it (the field) probably wasn't ideal for the fans, but again we're going to always do what's in the best interest for our players and they're safety. But, no I thought the coverage was really good. Dennis Thurman is an outstanding secondary coach along with Jim O'Neil who's back there with Doug Plank. Those guys are doing a tremendous job. They're great teachers. I think our guys are improving. Even the guys that have been here, they understand our difference, what we're expecting, what Mike and Dennis are expecting of them and they step up and get better. They've only had one really bad practice, the secondary. The rest of them, they've been outstanding. I thought today, they wanted to play. You can tell they actually wanted to play more, but we had a set plan and I got away from it a little bit. I had our threes play a little more maybe than we anticipated, but I thought it went well.

On gauging how well the defense is playing compared to the offense…

Again, I think we put our guys in a tougher situation. We put our offense in some tougher situations. So, I think our offense will be just fine. I think the defense is doing well. When you consider that the big guy (Kris Jenkins) is not in there. You know he's only better than anyone in the league. So, you throw that big dude in the middle of your defense, that's pretty good. I'll be excited to get Big Jenk out there.

On the role of defensive end Mike Devito…

It absolutely is (going to expand). He's a tremendous talent, a big strong guy. He's smart, tough and dependable. That goes a long way in this league and he's talented and young on top of that. Those are guys that can really help you whether he's starting, whether he's in a platoon situation or in a backup role I'm not sure yet. That will all be determined. Clearly, he's definitely in our plans. We've got big plans for him.

On if Shonn Greene is more versatile than many give him credit for…

I think he might be. I'm not sure he was asked to do a whole lot of (receiving) in college. They (Iowa) just turned around and gave it to him. I think we all saw why they gave it to him so much (laughing). He's a talented runner. He has great vision, everything we thought he was. And the fact that he's playing with an ankle injury, that speaks volumes about that man.

On if Greene will get more first team reps…

We've got a pretty good stable of backs, that's for sure. When he's in there, we know what he can do. I would think he's going to get his fair share of carries.

On happy about where team is at after a week of camp…

Absolutely. Our offense isn't easy to prepare for. The multiple shifts, motions and all the things we do, the empty formations. You name it, we do it offensively. The defense has been up to the challenge. It's not a vanilla offense at all to go up against. We don't play a vanilla scheme. I think those guys are staying on top of it and have progressed where we like it to go. I really like the attitude of the offense. I love the tempo and look in their eye. I keep going back to Thomas (Jones) and Leon (Washington). You look in their faces and I mean they want that football. That's what you want. You want to have backs that want it. We have that right now. We haven't had a number two receiver step up and clearly take that role. As of right now, it's more by committee than maybe what is ideal. I think we can get by with what we have. I think (Dustin) Keller is doing an outstanding job as a receiver and he wants to be a good blocker. I'm encouraged by that. Our quarterbacks are both competing so I definitely like where we're at right now.

On if he's happy to have a day off tomorrow…

We're actually going to do a little Cooperstown trip (Baseball Hall of Fame), I think with some of the players. We have some work to do administratively, but we're going to probably down there and see some baseball things and come back. So yes I'm definitely looking forward to that.

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