Rex's Thursday News Conference

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Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference after Thursday's midday practice:    

Today's practice was good. Nothing new on the injury updates. [Mike] DeVito did some things in the practice. He wasn't full go, but he did practice some, so that's encouraging. Everything is status quo with the way it was the last day, so nothing new there.

A little windy out there today, which is good in case that dome gets a hole in it or something [laughing]. We'll be ready. We're ready for all things. I thought it was a good practice today. I thought the tempo was good. Our scout teams do need to pick it up a little as we explain to them this is not install, you're running a card. They want all the ins-and-outs of it. Other than that, it was a pretty good practice.

On if he gets a better perspective of practice from standing under center instead of on the sideline…

Yeah, sometimes. It's good to see the communication back there. It picks that team up a little bit, with me being the quarterback. It's good. It's just a little different thing for them. You can go out there, be quarterback and throw the ball to [Jeff] Weeks every other play. They've pretty much got our M.O. down. They see me in a different light. The coaches are coaching and they need someone to play that spot. That's why I do that.

On Houston's offense and defense…

There're good players on both sides of the ball and on teams. It's the tempo of their offense. They have a lot of confidence in their zone running game, so it's up-tempo. They get to the line quick, they snap the ball quick, they'll max-protect a lot of times where they'll run the ball. With that zone scheme, they don't really care what you do defensively, so it's built in that way. They do a nice job. It's very up-tempo.

Then, on defense, they fly around to the football. They've got a lot of active kids and Mario Williams jumps off the tape at you. DeMeco Ryans plays very deep, but he's a very active, instinctive type linebacker. They're fun to watch, probably not fun to play against, but they're fun to watch.

On if the Houston defense will force Mark Sanchez to get his hands on the ball more often…

It'll be in Sanchez's hands every snap probably [laughing]. No, I mean, I think with us you need to think about stopping the run first. We were very effective last year in running the football. We have an experienced line and some excellent backs, so that's probably the number one thing teams will try to take away from us every week. I guess if that's putting the ball in the young man's hands, so be it. We're going to have to make plays on the outside. We know we're going to get a lot of man coverage, a lot of one-on-one, from every team in this league. Houston won't be any different there. I think we'll be able to make some plays down the field.

On if Houston's up-tempo offense affects the defense…

No, not really. They're going to play their offense and we're going to play our defense. It's really not that big of a deal. You've got to get set and be ready to roll. You can't be messing around. They'll snap the ball quick on you. I like the up-tempo. I want our offense to be up-tempo. I like that style of play.

On how far along Ben Hartsock is in learning the offense…

The guy's a sharp young man. He's been studying ever since we got him. Is he 100 percent? I'm not sure, you'll have to ask him. We're using him quite a bit. I expect him to play quite a bit for us this week.

On if he plans to use one punter and one kicker this season…

Yes, that would be the plan. I feel good about our kicker [Jay Feely], and our punter [Steve Weatherford] was launching them today.

On if there is a back-up plan for the punter and kicker…

Of course, always have a back-up plan in case of injuries. We'll have a guest kick on Friday. We'll have them sign up. Sometimes you can find your kicker then. We honestly do that just so guys know how tough it is to be a kicker. In Baltimore, [Brian] Billick started that. I think I made my field goals every year. I just want you to know that. If I've got to come out of retirement, then I'll do it myself.

On Bryan Thomas switching from weakside to strongside at OLB…

It's a little more than that, but he's making it look that simple. That's a good thing. We have cross-trained him and I am very confident in Bryan playing both those spots. ... I think the biggest question would be why you're wearing that Rutgers hat after Cincinnati put it on them [laughing]? That would be my question. ... It looks good. They'll come back.

On Thomas' talent level…

I knew, obviously, he was a very gifted athlete when he was a first-round pick. Everybody knew about him. You put up those kind of numbers, the young man ran a 4.4 or something when he came out. He's obviously a great athlete and can really run, but he's smart. We knew he was a good football player when we got here. He never disappointed, that's for sure.

On if he's thought about what he'll say to the team before the game on Sunday…

No, not really. I'd rather just speak from the heart. Am I a fiery guy? I'll give you one guess. I don't hold anything back. I just let them know how I feel and speak from the heart. I speak the truth and I speak from the heart. That's it. I don't plan anything in advance because I think if I did it would come off weird and they might miss my message. I'm not good at that. I'd rather just show up and tell them how I really feel.

On if there will be a teleprompter for him…

[Laughing] No, I don't do anything. I'm just up there as myself.

On what he expects Bart Scott to bring to the defense…

I expect him to play lights out. I expect him to be a physical presence like he always is and bring that type of mentality to the defense. He already has. The great things is, I think he feels great about David [Harris] playing right next to him. That's the big two right there in the middle and then you've got [Kris] Jenkins in there with them. He's just a guy that's fantastic for the whole unit. He's enthusiastic and I think the whole group feeds off him. He's not a selfish guy at all, just the opposite. He'll do the dirty work, he doesn't mind doing that. He'll always try to help free a teammate up. He's an excellent teammate.

On Scott's best characteristic as a player…

Just the type of passion he plays with, that intensity. Bart's one of the most physical players in this league. His first play as a Jet I think is funny because we all of saw it when we watched the tape when he knocked that guard out. That just tells you a lot about Bart. This fullback [Vonta Leach] they have in Houston is a big fullback, one of the most physical fullbacks in the game, so that's going to be a collision. That's going to be fun to watch.

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