Rex's Thursday News Conference

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

Out [today], Logan Payne. Did not practice: Nick Mangold, ankle, Isaiah Trufant, hamstring. Guys that were limited today: [Antonio] Cromartie with his groin, [Mike] DeVito, knee, Ropati [Pitoitua], knee. Then all the other guys were full, which was Marquice Cole, hamstring, Marcus Dixon, knee, Joe McKnight, knee, Tanner Purdum, low back, [Donald] Strickland, concussion, LaDainian [Tomlinson] and then Muhammad Wilkerson.

Apparently, we never asked the right question in here yesterday, but I guess something happened. [smiling] Just another reason to question our media policy [smiling]. I'm kidding. It's me. Here we go. It's all on me. I'm guilty, absolutely. It was unintentional. I did call Norv [Turner]. I won't get into that conversation, but it was unintentional. I think we're even because he did get me with a good shot, there's no question, so I think we're even. I do think I'll be able to get my relationship back with Norv. I think we'll be OK. The one I do worry about is [Mike] Tannenbaum, obviously, because he won't speak to me or anything else now. [joking] With that, maybe some of you guys will speak to me. I'll open it up for questions.

On if he expects any situation to occur like the one last weekend with Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz…

Well, I did ask Norv if I need to wear a helmet for the game [laughter]. He assured me I never did.

On if he likes the controversies that always seem to be around him…

I appreciate you bringing that up [smiling]. Obviously, I wish this one never happened. It was just clearly unintentional. I don't know what other word to use. When the question came to me, I don't know what to even say. I was praising the heck out of them because I think they've got a great organization. I talked about [San Diego general manager] A.J. Smith, he really did, I thought, put me on the map. I don't think I was being considered a head coach until A.J. brought me in. It led to me getting three interviews the next year and landing this job. I really thank him for doing that, thinking enough of me that he would consider me a head coach. I really did mean those things, sincerely. The other things, it just happens.

On how soon he realized his comments might be taken the wrong way…

I realized right when I said it. I was just answering a question, not even necessarily thinking about really my response. Then I was like, "Oh, man, I'd better call Norv." I'm sure he knows it's unintentional, but I wanted to make sure he heard it from me.

On if he was surprised that Coach Turner said something regarding his comment after the phone call…

No, not at all. It was a good one. [joking] There's no doubt.

On if he talked to his players about his comments because some people saw it as a remark against his own team…

You know, I'm not confident with this team at all [joking]. I wouldn't trade this team for anybody's. I've said that forever. That's why I said the joking thing about Tannenbaum, because that's the most ridiculous thing. That's more ridiculous than my comment.

On if he understands how his comment could have been taken the way it was by Norv Turner…

I could. I think that's why I wanted to make sure I called and he heard it from me. Really, if you read all the other comments I had in there, I did talk about how much I respect that organization and respect Norv and what they've accomplished. This is a team that year-in [and] year-out are in the playoffs. That's why I think we get away from this game, which is two teams that are in the playoffs year-in [and] year-out, and obviously, every year is different. We're fighting like crazy. They're fighting like crazy. It should be a heck of a game. I think that's the biggest thing. It was unintentional and I hope it doesn't take away from this game.

On if he thinks the Jets defense is still an elite defense…

I don't think there is any doubt. I think we're an elite defense. We're number one on third-down defense in the league. I think we're even up there in sacks this year. See, I told you. [joking] Something has to give. We got you more sacks. But seriously, without question, we're an elite defense. There is no doubt about that. I think we're 11th in total defense, but we're turning the ball over on defense, which is great. We're scoring when we get them, which is good. Then we're playing great on third down.

Obviously, we'd like our scoring defense to be better. The run defense is the one that doesn't fit our profile, but we'll be tested this week, too. This is a team that can really run the football, one of the best offenses in the league.

On if he thinks a strong defensive performance against San Diego would help re-establish the defense…

I just want to win. All [I] say [is], [if] we win 50 to 49, I'd be happy. As far as everybody knows, I'd be extremely happy with that. [joking] The numbers, we'll let them shake out throughout the season. I have a pretty good idea where we'll end up.

On San Diego possibly having the emotional edge because they lost to the Jets in the playoffs two years ago…

I think that's the biggest thing going into it. Of course, this team, we were able to beat them in the playoffs when they had a great regular season, so there's probably going to be a little more added thing there. I like the fact we're playing at home in front of our crowd. I think that's going to give us a big edge.

On if Tomlinson playing against his old team will impact his playing time…

No, I think maybe the first snap of the game, you want to be respectful of LT [Tomlinson]. Other than that, we just want to win the game. Whoever we think gives us the best opportunity to win, we'll put those people on the field.

On if he will start Tomlinson for ceremonial purposes…

Yes, we'll definitely start him.

On if he expects to see more fire out of Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie since they are facing their former team or if he thinks it will come naturally…

I think that is natural. I don't think there's any doubt. I think any competitor, what do you say to them? Let's not say anything to them. Let's let them kind of feel it themselves. Everybody is different. I know one thing, I had an old football coach that coached me in college. By the way, I was a Hall of Famer [smiling]. Anyway, he used to always, if a kid transferred from a school or whatever, he would play a guy.

I remember we had a running back. He hardly even played. When we played this other team he transferred from, he started him. The kid had like 160 yards. It's something that has always stuck with me. I think those are special moments for guys. It's not that it's a bad thing, like, "I'm going to show that team." I think getting to play in front of his former teammates is the biggest thing.

On if he would keep Tomlinson in the game if he performs well…

Yes, well, that would be a good problem to have.

On if he feels his comments will provide any extra motivation to San Diego…

I don't think it does. I think it's more the playoff game when you go back there. Just like we were driven that way when we would play Indianapolis or whoever beat us, that's something that always drives you a little bit. If it does, we'll see. I think everybody knows it was unintentional, but we'll see.

On if Tomlinson has been what they envisioned when they signed him…

He's everything I thought he'd be. He really is. I thought we were getting a guy that could really help us. The thing that he probably is, even more so, the kind of person he is. He's a former NFL Man of the Year. You would assume he would be the kind of guy that he is. But wow, when you see it through your locker room, how he picks his teammates up, all that, builds them up, he's been fantastic that way.

Then as a player, he's been great. Last year, he was just shy of 1,000 yards rushing in the regular season. [He] did a great job in the passing [game]. [We] never played him in that last game where he would have gone over a thousand yards. I think that was impressive. This year, he's had some huge moments for us already.

On what he thinks Tomlinson and Cromartie are feeling this week…

You kind of want to show off to your old team. I think that's probably the biggest thing. Obviously, those guys had great, productive seasons in San Diego. I think that's part of it, just showing your friends, former teammates that, "Hey, wow, watch me play."

On if any of the players that were limited in practice may not play on Sunday…

No, I feel pretty good about them. I think all of them will play. We'll see as it goes. Ropati, I think we still want to see him. I think, for the most part, we should be fine.

On how Mangold is progressing…

He never practiced again today. I think tomorrow, hopefully, he'll get out there and be limited. Being that we kind of played on a Monday kind of knocked us back a day, but I'm definitely hopeful he plays.

On the focus this week after last week's focus was stopping the losing streak and getting a win…

The same. We're playing against an outstanding opponent, a team that's a playoff-caliber team. We're playing at home. We want to keep our win streak at home, playing in front of our fans, knowing we have the bye week next week to recharge our batteries. We have to put everything we have into this one. Obviously, we'll see if that's good enough. We think it will be, but we know it's going to be a heck of a challenge. The team is 4-1, great combination of playing great on offense, great on defense. Their punter has punted 12 times this season. It's going to be a big challenge.

On if Darrelle Revis will shadow Vincent Jackson or Malcom Floyd…

You know how we do things. If Lance Alworth was out there, maybe, but we don't know. We don't give away who we put him on.

On if he is ever concerned about his personality detracting from his on-field accomplishments…

I'm not really concerned about that. I just don't want to take away from our team, our team's preparation and things like that. I think that's the biggest thing. I want to be myself. I want to be true to myself. The on-field accomplishments, I just want to win and at the end of the day, sure, I'd loved to be respected by my peers and things like that, but I just want to win. I'll be happy if that's the case.

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