Rex's Thursday News Conference

Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following Thursday's afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

We'll start with the injury report. Calvin Pace is obviously out. He did not practice. He's out. Brodney Pool did not practice, but he's doing better. We'll see how he is tomorrow, but that's with his ankle. Shaun Ellis is listed as limited in practice with a knee. He'll always be listed the same way as we get going with the rest of the season. That's it. We're ready to roll.

On if Darrelle Revis was full participation in practice today…

We took him out of a couple of snaps, but he looked good.

On Ray Lewis' comments…

That's fine. He does know me. We're fortunate I'm not in pads. We'll definitely agree to that. By speaking what I believe the truth, I don't think it's anything to get fired up about. If you need to put it up in your locker room, go for it. The good thing is we get to play the game on Monday. We'll get to see. Obviously, if you're going to choose an opponent to open up your new stadium and start your season, you wouldn't choose Baltimore. I certainly didn't choose them, but that's who's on the schedule and we'll line up and play. The great thing is we get to compete and we'll see it. I know they're going to be ready and popping out of their skin. I got news for you, so are we. This is going to be a great game. It's going to be a physical contest and I think it's going to be a game that people are going to remember.

On why he wouldn't choose Baltimore to be their opponent for the first game…

That's a good football team right there. [They're] one of the top teams in the AFC. I think you'd probably choose a lesser opponent, but the fact is they're on the schedule and that's who we'll line up and play.

On Lewis being a trash talker…

Ray was the most inspirational player I've ever had the honor of coaching. The guy is an amazing guy. He's all in. It's team and his team only. That's all he cares about. That's the way it should be. He's going up against a team this week that, trust me, we don't care about them either. It's going to be a no holds barred match and let's see what happens.

On Lewis saying Mark Sanchez struggles if he has to throw the ball a lot…

I have a lot of faith in Mark. I think if you look at it, the bigger the game, the better he played last year. In the AFC Championship game, he played pretty well I think. When you get down to it, I have a lot more confidence in Mark than Ray does apparently.

On if his brash talk puts added pressure on the players…

My players haven't made those comments. I've made those comments. The pressure is on me and not on our players. I would disagree. It's on me. If it doesn't work out the way I think it will work out, then who is it going to be on? It's going to be on one person and that's going to be on me, not on our team. I would disagree there. If you want to win, you ought to be man enough to stand up there and say we expect to win. I've got news for you, we expect to win this week, next week and every week. Now, does it happen? No, it doesn't happen all the time, but we expect to win. That's how we approach every game.

On the atmosphere for this game compared to the first preseason game…

Times 25. This is a huge game. It's the first game in our stadium. You're playing against the Baltimore Ravens, an outstanding football team. It's going to be good. I can't wait to have a butt in every seat going crazy. We know when you have two equal teams, a lot of times it comes down to that home field advantage. I'm counting on it. The team is counting on it. The effort by our players is going to be great and the effort by our fans is going to be great as well.

On playing in five primetime games this season...

I think people expect us to be a good football team. Nobody wants to put a bad team on five primetime games and we're not a bad team. We're an excellent team. Everybody expects us to be a great team and we expect to be a great team ourselves. There's a reason we're on primetime.

On if Eric Smith will start if Pool can't play…

We'll have a combo platter, but Eric will be the guy getting the majority of the reps.

On who will start at left guard…

Matt Slauson will start.

On if he believes Slauson is up to the pressure of starting…

I do. That's why he's in there. We can move Rob Turner over, he's a backup center guard. We can do different things, but we have confidence that Slauson will do a great job for him.

On the Baltimore defense will blitz more with a new left guard in the starting line-up…

I think so. It's the way you game plan. They have one of the best inside pass rusher in the game in Trevor Pryce. It's not going to be easy. We'll challenge them. I think this young man is up to the challenge.

On what his emotions are like going against his former team…

My team is right here. That part really isn't a factor. I've moved on. I think a great deal of that organization. I was there for 10 years. Without those players, I wouldn't have gotten this opportunity. Without the help of a lot of people in that organization, I would have never been given this opportunity. Make no mistake about it, this is my football team now. They're just another opponent, just like playing against my twin brother [Cleveland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan]. I've got some brothers over there, but I still want to beat them.

On feeling snubbed when Baltimore passed him up for their head coaching position…

I've moved on. I'll tell you what it did, it really helped me. The one year when I was under John [Harbaugh] really helped me. Not just his leadership, but being around Cam Cameron, Wilbert Montgomery, some of the other coaches. I got their perspective and I think that was huge for me. John was great. All the decisions that he had to make, he had me beside him. He brought me into it. It almost felt like we were going through it together and that's something I'm never going to forget about him.

On John Harbaugh…

We were together at the University of Cincinnati. I actually recommended John for the job. I thought he'd do an outstanding job, so I'm pretty smart there. We're close, there's no question about it, but we're still going to try to beat each other's brains in on Monday. That's just the way it is. It's part of the business.

On if he's surprised Lewis made such strong comments against the Jets…

No way. I'm not surprised at all. He'd say the same thing about Marvin Lewis, Jack Del Rio or anybody else. There's a lot of things, but he was certainly the best linebacker I've ever coached and Ed Reed was the best safety that's ever played. I've coached some great ones and Darrelle Revis is the best corner I've ever coached. I've got a lot of respect for Ray. It doesn't matter what he says in a negative light. I still respect him, but we are going to try to smash him. I can tell you that much.

On if he gave Lewis trash talking lessons…

You know what's funny? I'll say this, Baltimore's strong believers in our own teams and could really care less about any one else's team. I think we are very similar that way.

On whether he will watch tonight's game…

I am not even concerned with that right now.

On whether Jeff Cumberland is a wide receiver option…

He could be a tight end, receiver, all kinds of things. He has that kind of athleticism. Same thing in college as well.

On whether Cumberland will be active on Monday…

We'll see. He has a chance to be, for sure.

On whether Danny Woodhead will be a wide receiver or running back…

He could play receiver, running back, that's what's so good about Woodhead, you can put him in a lot of different roles. He can do both, receiver and running back and we did a little of that last year with him, so we have a lot of confidence in him at both those spots.

On why Kevin O'Connell was re-signed…

Really, what it is when you look at your situation, we really like Kevin. We kept four quarterbacks last year. It's not like we want to give up on him. He's a young man we feel pretty good about. You never know what could happen. The way your team looks now, might be different next year. Could he compete for the third job next year, we think he can, so that's the reason you want to keep him.

On Eric Smith playing more defense and how it may affect his special teams responsibilities…

He and Brad [Smith] are probably your two best special teams players, not probably, they are your two best special teams players. They are really the captains of those teams. You've got to spread the wealth a little bit with them and I think it is easier to take plays off on defense than it would be on special teams because he is so valuable on special teams for us.

On whether Brodney Pool will practice tomorrow…

We'll see. I think he will practice tomorrow.

On what Matt Slauson did to put himself ahead of Vladimir Ducasse…

Anytime you change positions and you are stepping up and it's a brand new system, Vlad couldn't make that kind of ground up. Matt, had been around all last year. He was actually recruited by Bill Callahan at Nebraska, so he is familiar with him and he earned the job.

On if there is an amount of practice time Pool needs to be able to play on Monday…

We need to be smart with this. We don't need him to have a nagging injury longer. If it is a chance where we feel like he is 100% or he's close to it or ready to go, then we'll play him.

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