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Rex's Thursday News Conference


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

Let's knock off the injuries real quick. Jerricho [Cotchery] never practiced with the hamstring, Shaun Ellis with the knee, Brad Smith with the quad, Damien Woody with the foot. That's actually the exact same as yesterday.

Good day to practice. Anytime you get a chance to work in the elements [cold and rain], it's good to get out there. I will admit this, it's colder than I thought it was out there [laughter]. I did have to go in a couple of times after the walkthrough. I was trying to be cool — "Oh, I have to go talk to Mr. Johnson" — and come out with extra stuff on [laughing]. The guys pushed through it. It was good. Tomorrow we'll be inside, though. I'm telling you that right now. It's not the elements, but just so we can get on that turf.

On who he is concerned won't be able to play Sunday…

Yeah, I think Jerricho. I'm not sure. It doesn't look very good. We'll see how he is. Even last week, we questioned whether he could go. You never know. Some of these guys really know their bodies, and the fact that he finished the game, he had almost 30 reps, I think is a positive thing. He's just sore. Same thing with Brad, so we'll see. I feel confident that Shaun will go. Damien Woody never practiced last week, played the whole game, so we'll see how he does.

On if David Clowney will fill in if Cotchery and Smith cannot play…

Right, and then Wallace [Wright]. Hopefully, we'll get at least one of those guys for the game.

On if Donald Strickland will be able to play this week…

We'll see. I'm not real sure. He was a little sore the first day, but I think he's feeling better. We were hoping he'd be ready to go last week. It's kind of a similar situation with Lito [Sheppard]. He really thought at the end that "Hey, I think I can go," but we just felt it was probably better to give him a little more time.

We'll see how Strickland is. If he's really ready, then we'll put him out there. If not, we'll wait another week. I definitely feel that Sheppard will definitely go this week.

On Dustin Keller not having any catches at Miami…

He's certainly a threat, but I think some games there are going to be more opportunities for David Clowney, for Braylon [Edwards], for whoever and that sometimes it swings back around for Dustin Keller or your running backs. You don't want to force the issue, though. That's when you get into trouble. If for whatever reason they're playing a certain type of coverage where they're doubling Dustin, then you've got to look at different spots.

He's got to keep working to get open. He's a great athlete. To me, he's one of the premier receiving tight ends in the game. Hopefully we can get him on track and get him some passes. That will be another great weapon. I just think that now when you look at our team, this is a tough team to defend versus the pass. We do have a lot of big-time threats out there.

On how well he's gotten to know Jay Feely…

I think he's an independent as far as his political views. I thought he was Republican, but no, no, no, but that's him. He's like that. He's got a strong personality. He's a tough guy. We've said that right when we got here. That's what I knew about him, that he'd run down. "Hey, we've got the kicker who will run down and tackle somebody." He's really an interesting guy. I think he's got a great pulse of the team. They don't look at him as a kicker or like a traditional kicker. They look at him almost as a football player [laughter].

You can see it in his eyes. He wanted the [Miami] game to come down to him. He told me, "I can make a 63-yarder today." That's how he felt, so it was really interesting. He came by and told me that. The look in his eyes, he's dead serious. I always check with [Mike] Westhoff and check with him and he's say, "Hey, listen, I can make it from 63. I'm good." He's got tons of confidence in himself. Right now his kickoffs are good. He's doing a great job.

On if Feely being so outspoken bothers him…

Oh, yeah, I really mind [laughter]. I don't at all. The thing is, he won't just stand up for himself, he'll stand up for his teammates. Sometimes, maybe that rubs people the wrong way, but he's really a good teammate.

On Danny Woodhead being moved to wide receiver…

When we were looking at him, I think it might give us a better option right now. If our receivers are down, because there's a chance that Jerricho and Brad won't play, he could be a slot receiver. Sometime you stumble into it, but he did a great job of being Wes Welker when we were preparing for New England. We put him in the slot and he was tough, he really was. With our running back situation, we've got three really, really good tailbacks. I think when you look at that, his better shot might be to learn receiver. He could be one of those jack-of-all-trades guys. He becomes really valuable that way.

On if there will be more of an opportunity to get to the quarterback since there are injuries on Buffalo's offensive line…

They remind me of the old Green Bay Packers, Fuzzy Thurston, Jerry Kramer and Forrest Gregg. That's how we're looking at this team right now. We haven't gotten to the passer the last two weeks, so it's not about the teams that we're playing. It's about us. We've got to do a great job on the practice field working our pass rush techniques. We've got to be able to stop the run better than we have. That will hopefully open up some opportunities to get to the passer.

On if it is demoralizing to blitz the quarterback and not get any sacks…

No, that's not it at all. When you blitz, you don't expect to get sacks. You expect to get the ball out of their hand quickly. A lot of times what that leads to is mistakes by the quarterback — incompletions, interceptions and things like that. If a team doesn't want to get sacked, they're not going to. If they'd rather just get it out of their hands, we'll live with that.

What happened last week was they had tons of time back there to throw because we had to play zone to play the run. When they're protecting with six or seven guys primarily, it's hard for your four to get there. That's when you've got to rely on the X-factor. That X-factor is you've got to beat at least one and you've got to keep working to that quarterback and we've got to tighten our coverage up. You never get a sack in this league without great coverage and you never get an interception without great pressure. It works hand in hand, and hopefully we can get it going in both those areas.

On Bart Scott saying he wants to take the pain and embarrassment from Miami and use it as a positive for Buffalo…

Well, maybe that's true, but this is a completely different opponent. You've got to make sure you're dialed in to your responsibilities. You'll never got that pain back until you play that team again. I'm not disagreeing with Bart completely, but we just want to get out and play again. I think that's the biggest thing, regardless of who the opponent is.

Will it be special playing against Miami again in a few weeks? Yes, absolutely. This one here, playing Buffalo, we need a win. We think this is important. We need to get us a win and we're in front of our home crowd. We know how Buffalo is. This is a dangerous opponent to play because Buffalo will give everything they have. That's their M.O. I know the season hasn't gone the way they wanted it to, but we don't need them to get well against us. We need to make sure that doesn't happen.

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