Rex's Thursday News Conference

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

On the injury front, the only change is Marques Murrell. He was a full-participant in practice from limited, so he's doing better. Jerricho [Cotchery] with a hamstring, Lito Sheppard quad, Brad Smith quad, Damien Woody knee slash foot. Those guys did not practice. The limited participants were Braylon Edwards quad, Shaun Ellis knee and Donald Strickland ankle. The other full guys are David Harris wrist, Larry Izzo hamstring, Marques Murrell head, Kerry Rhodes knee, Bryan Thomas wrist and Wallace Wright knee. All those guys were full-go.

Practice today was excellent. The communication was much better than yesterday. We were flying around. It was great competition. We had our two-minute today and it was great competition. We made it an end of the game two-minute and Wallace Wright caught a pass from [Mark] Sanchez on a fourth-and-10 to win the game for the offense. It was good throw by Mark. Mark looked really good today, so we'll see how that goes. The energy of the practice, I think was really good today.

On if Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith will play Sunday...

I'm hopeful that at least one of those guys will play. They both might end up playing, but I think Jerricho has a real shot to play. I don't feel quite as good about Brad.

On if Lito Sheppard will play Sunday…

No, I don't think so. I think he's out.

On if Sheppard had a setback with the same injury he had…

It wasn't the exact same injury, but it might as well have been. It's not as bad as the last time, but I think it's bad enough where he's not going to play this week.

On if he's been frustrated by Sheppard's injury...

If you're not healthy, you can't play. I'll tell you this about Lito. He tries everything he can above and beyond the normal thing to try and get back. He works his tail off on getting back. If somebody had a home remedy, he would try it. He wants to play. He feels like he's letting this team down. If you're not healthy, you can't play. It's as simple as that, but he's trying everything he can to get back.

On if Sheppard's quad was an issue when he gave up the game-tying touchdown against Buffalo…

It was not a very good play by him, that's for sure. The thing I love about Lito is he never once said anything to anybody. He wore the hat. He should have had somebody underneath him. Never said one word about it. He wasn't the only one that had a chance to make a tackle and didn't. I think a lot of Lito. So far, it's unfortunate because he hasn't been healthy that much this year. Once he gets back and he is healthy, I think this young man can play. I know he's competitive. He wants it bad.

On if it's frustrating that his secondary hasn't been healthy since the first couple of weeks of the season…

We had depth. Even at training camp, we knew one of the strengths of our team was the depth that we had at the secondary. We have no excuses. That's a good enough group right there to get it done.

On if this is an opportunity for guys to step up since Kris Jenkins is out for the season…

To quote a former New York Jet head coach, Lou Holtz, he would say, "Adversity to some becomes opportunity to others." That's a true statement. Some of these guys are going to have opportunities and they've been working the whole time. We'll see how it pans out for them, but I have a lot of faith in the guys. We have some good football players that are going to have to step up: [Mike] DeVito, Howard Green, [Sione] Pouha and all these guys. Marques Douglas has been in the league for a long time. In fact, Marques has played in as many games in a row as almost any defensive lineman in the league. He's certainly no stranger to these kinds of circumstances.

I was reminded that one year in Baltimore, I think it was 2002, we go into that season, we kind of purged our roster. We let six of our top seven defensive lineman go that year. We replaced them with one draft pick. That was a little tough. Then Michael McCrary, who is one of our best players obviously, gets hurt the third week of the season. Nobody felt sorry for that group. We just had to work hard and eventually you got guys emerge: Kelly Gregg, Maake Kemoeatu, Marques Douglas. We're not near that bad of shape. I think we have some guys that can play, have played, but their roles are going to be more significant now.

On Pouha…

He's just a powerful guy. Anytime you come in and see us going through drills, hitting that buckboard, he is a powerful man. When his pads are down and he rolls off the football, he's a handful in his own right.

On if he knew anything about Pouha before he came to the Jets…

The only think I knew was Haloti [Ngata] was saying, "You got my guy there." I met him. I guess they're really close. He's got a chance to be a really good football player. He does. He plays hard. He's tough. He's got a great motor. I think he's going to do a lot of good things this year.

On if he finds it funny that some people say Pouha might not be big enough to be a nose tackle…

That's hilarious. What is he, 330 pounds? Compared to Kris, I guess he's undersized. That would be anybody in the league. Kris is a giant, but Sione's huge.

On if Pouha can be the penetrating force that Kris Jenkins is…

I think he can, I really do. I'm excited because you're going to see guys with more opportunities now. Let's see what they can do. Let's see what Mike DeVito can do. I've known Howard for a long time. I think Howard can do some of those things as well.

On if Pouha, Douglas, Green, DeVito and Ellis will play a big part in replacing Jenkins…

I think we're going to roll that whole group. Shaun will probably be the last guy you substitute. I feel confident with this group. I really do. I think we can still have an outstanding group. Obviously, you don't have the huge bell cow in Kris Jenkins, but we're certainly going to be good enough with this group of guys.

On cutting Green after the Miami game…

I had Howard before. Howard's a good football player, but I think in our case, you mentioned that we cut him. We basically cut him for a day. That was one of those, we cut him, we're not going to expose one of our young guys that you can claim. He's a vested veteran, so he can choose to go or not go. Clearly, we weren't going to cut Howard Green if he was looking to go somewhere else. We felt that he would want to stay here and we were able to get him back as soon as we could.

Howard's a good football player. I just think sometimes it takes big guys a little longer than it takes maybe a receiver or corner to make an impact. Howard is a guy that I knew about. We had him with the Ravens for a little bit. We tried to sneak him through the practice squad one time and he got picked up. You're right. He's bounced around quite a bit, but I'm glad we have them. He's a big man in his own right. He's 335-pounds.

On Damien Woody's injury status…

I think he'll play. Everybody gets tired of seeing him in that boot and not practicing so the guys have been all over him. They're wearing stickers with his initials on their helmets [laughter]. He wants to be out there. He loves working. It's kind of hard to hit the practice field when you've got a boot on your foot. He's done a good job so far coming back from that. He's been there every Sunday for us.

On Woody's false starts…

I noticed the one last week and Brick [D'Brickashaw Ferguson] had one last week. I'm not sure how many he's had.

On what leads to a false start in regards to Woody…

There are a lot of things. Sometimes it's the cadences. Obviously, you get more of those on the road than you do at home, but we've been the exact opposite. Whether it's a focus thing, whether it's maybe not hearing the whole call, I'm not real sure. On the practice field, we're taking guys out of drills. We're doing everything we can to make sure that that focus is there. You have to ask him that. I'm not sure how many he's had.

On if an injured player has a tendency to jump in order to get an advantage…

You always try to gain an advantage. You never want to be late off a football. I don't know if that's making up for an injury or not, but certainly you never want to be late off a ball. In this league, the talent is pretty significant. I remember D'Brickashaw was late off a snap, we gave up a sack in the end zone. I think that's the only sack he's given up that I can remember. You always want to get off the mark. Is there a fine line on getting off on the football or being too early? You definitely want to lean the other way. You've just got to get off on that ball. You don't want to be too early on offense.

On if Danny Woodhead is up to speed at WR to be able to play Sunday…

I don't think he's up to speed with the other guys. I think he's definitely learning the position. He's a quick guy, quick learner. It's a brand new position. He's always been a back, so he's doing a good job. Would I say he's up to speed? I would say no, not right now. If the other two guys can't go, then clearly he's going for us.

On if David Clowney is where he wants him to be…

He's been doing a great job on the practice field. He's been working hard. He had the best block I've ever seen a wideout have in that game. I know it doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but he literally took a corner and drove him past the first-down marker, kept driving him and actually drove him into a cameraman. It was the best block I've ever seen a receiver have.

On Edwards' injury…

Braylon was great out there today. He's going to go.

On Marques Murrell and James Ihedigbo not playing this week…

Quite honestly, that's not the way we're going to play football. We want to be the most physical team in the National Football League within the confinements of the rules. What they did was selfish I thought. You don't do those things on a football field. They got carried away. Both of them took a swing at a guy. The guy was swinging was hitting our guys at the same time, but still there's no excuse to throw a punch at somebody. I'm just not going to have that on our team and that's it. This is a tough lesson for our team, but it's one I think we have to do.

On if the Buffalo player, Derek Fine, was fined…

I have no idea.

On if Fine should have been fined…

I don't think so. I think at the time his helmet had come off. He hits one of our players in the face, but I think he's making sure he doesn't get hit. That's what it looked like to me. I have no idea. Once I got hit in the face, sometimes you have the tendency to want to punch back, but we have to guard against that. Both of those guys I feel good about. I don't think they'll do that again.

On if he had to think hard about their penalty…

I did think about it. I wanted to do what I thought was fair. It's a punishment not going to a game, but it also hurts our team. The same thing with David [Clowney], sometimes you have to weigh what's best for the team. This is best for our team that these two understand that we're not going to tolerate it and our football team understands that's not how we play football. That's not being tough. That's not being physical, the kind of physical play that I want. There's no excuse for it and the two young men know that.

On if they have done anything this week to address avoiding penalties…

We're taking them all out of practice, anybody that had a penalty. We've got a crew that does a great job. They come in here all the time and they officiate every single practice. We try to simulate game conditions as best we can with the noise and we take them out. The first day we had to take two players out in a row for jumping off the ball too quick. Some run, some do up-downs. I think the offense is running gassers or half-gassers and the defense is doing up-downs.

Those are things we feel strongly about. Nobody wants to make a penalty, but you've got to focus. The thing that kills me is we had six penalties in the overtime period. It's tough enough beating an opponent. You don't have to provide them any ammunition.

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