Rex's Thursday News Conference

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

What I would like to start with today, because this closes out the OTAs and all that kind of stuff, it really closes that out, all of the voluntary workouts. This is where when I talked about this team coming together, how hungry this team is, here is an example of that: Of the 2,211 possible workouts, so all the individuals that you have all that kind of stuff, for the entire offseason program, this football team had 2,178 in attendance at voluntary workouts. That is 99 percent. That just shows you about this team and how much this team is looking forward to this season. I don't care if people are motivated through the negative things that we hear, the fact that we missed the playoffs, whatever the driving force is, 99 percent of those workouts were attended in a voluntary setting. I think that is impressive. I know that is impressive.

On if LaRon Landry was the only player to miss all voluntary workouts…

He was actually in attendance for a few of them, yes, he was. There were players where there were a couple of things that came up that caused them to miss a workout. There were some, they actually even came back and tried to make up things. I know one player missed one workout. These are all of the things and we still had 99 percent attendance.

Again, I am confident that Landry is going to be ready to roll. I think he is doing what he thinks is in his best interest for him, I am confident of that. Again, these are voluntary. The fact that 99 percent of these workouts were attended by our team here, I would challenge any other team to have these numbers. I don't believe that happened anywhere else in the league. I think that is a real positive that the Jets are heading back in a good direction. Again, how many games this is going to affect us on the field? We will find out.

I like to quote a guy that I really think a lot of, Channing Crowder [laughter], he crowned us, and I do like Channing, but he crowned us the OTA champs. Going into this, I wanted to be the OTA champs. Clearly, our goal I want to be Super Bowl champs like the Giants were, no doubt. But this is a step in the right direction, all we can affect in the offseason is to win this. The facts are whatever. You guys can dig them up on any other team in the league, I have a funny feeling that no team will approach this.

Again, these are voluntary type things and I am proud of this, there is no doubt. When we say this is going to be a close football team, I think these are strides that you make that way, guys working out in the offseason together, all that. When you get up to Cortland, these are all things that I think will bring this team closer. Now will it give us more wins on the field? We will find out when the season kicks off. I feel good about this right now.

On how 2012 participation compares to 2009 and 2010 participation…

This one is higher. This is the highest that I have ever been around. Again, those years were pretty darn good. I would be shocked if we didn't win it those years also. Those numbers are over the top. You know, we have improved in our strength. We had a lot of guys make strength improvements. All the things that come with this I think is good. Learning the offense, defense, I think less mental mistakes, all those type of things, I think we have been successful so far.

On practice today…

Obviously, I think the defense was pretty impressive, there is no doubt. Do we need to fix a few things? Probably. We missed a high throw, guys come in and it looks like a sack. There are some things like that. We have had some hamstring issues at wideout. That is really the only spot that we have had some. Tone [Santonio Holmes] just getting back was a little limited when put in those situations in that team period.

But again, I think this defense, I know Mr. Johnson talked about this defense, he thinks it is going to be special and so do I. I always think this defense is going to be special. We believe that. I think we have so much depth on defense right now. This might be the deepest that we have been. We can stack up a lot of good football players. The depth we have at linebacker is crazy. We have five or six inside 'backers that can play. We have got guys, our young D-Line looks impressive. Some of the young guys are really making strides, so I really like the depth of our defense in particular.

On the change in Bart Scott's demeanor since last season…

You guys see it. Bart is back. Bart is back to being the guy that we brought in here. I had somebody say "Can we turn Bart down?" and I am like, "No, this is exactly the guy we brought in." That is what we want as a football team. We want guys to be themselves, enjoy practice with better tempo and all that kind of stuff, and Bart brings that to the table. It is hard to have a bad practice when Bart Scott is on the field because he is just energized like that and he stays that way. That is when you know he is really playing.

I have said it before, I don't know if this isn't the best Bart Scott we have had since I have been here with the Jets. I think he is better now than the first year we brought him in here. He is running great, he is in super shape, he is smart, he is really leading. I think that was what we needed. Last year, for whatever reason, I think part of it was our plan for Bart wasn't what it should have been, maybe like "Hit this number," "I am going to be a little bigger," "Well, no, let's be faster." and I think he has taken it upon himself to get in unbelievable shape and he looks great.

He ran with a wheel route the other day by Joe McKnight and he was staying on top. It was a veteran move. He saw the thing and started heading deep. There are very few linebackers in the league that can run with Joe McKnight. I am not saying Bart can, but he did.

On Holmes leaving practice early because he felt he had taken too many reps…

That was what he thought. He wanted to cut down a little on some of the reps. He did miss some time. He was in Germany. He is a veteran guy, he knows his body and certainly you are going to lean on that.

On if Stephen Hill will miss minicamp…

We'll see. Whatever Mellody [head athletic trainer John Mellody] says, what he thinks is best. He was off on the side working. I will tell you, he has had some tremendous practices and then he gets the hamstring which is unfortunate. It doesn't sound like it was that major of a hamstring so that's a good thing. Obviously, we will be cautious with it but when John says he is ready to go, obviously he will be.

On how Holmes came off the field…

The thing about him is that he is a competitive guy. I guess you would have to ask him because I never saw it. I thought he was in great spirits. He told me I looked great so I felt good about that. [laughter]

On Holmes telling the coaches to take away some of his reps…

I know he was scheduled for X amount of reps and I know he wanted to take some of those off. Anytime a player tells you that, like Brandon Moore, I remember last year he finally just said, "I can't go today." Well, Brandon, all you have to do is tell us. He knows. You lean on your guys. They know their bodies. Anytime a player has tightness or whatever, then we are not here to push you over, "Oh, you can do that." These are professional athletes. They know their bodies. Santonio knows his body better than anybody, obviously. So if he thinks he would be stretching it to give another five, 10 snaps, then you have to be smart about that and that's really with any of those veteran players.

On Holmes sitting out…

I don't know when he even approached the coaches on it. I just knew that he had made those comments. When I talked to him and Sanjay that he was pulling himself out of that team period, I thought it was smart. If a guy thinks he is tight or whatever it may be, we don't want a guy pulling. He knows his body better than anybody.

On Tim Tebow's intangibles…

Let me give you a little story about Tim. I saw this in the weightroom. A player had challenged him, holding these big huge sledgehammers. They held them doing this big iron-cross kind of deal. The big lineman went first. He [Tebow] said you want to go first or second? The big lineman said he'd go first. He went for about a 1:04, shaking. Tim went for 1:18.

This guy is crazy with how strong he is and the kind of focus [he has]. I see that from him. He's super competitive. You can be in a team deal, he sees cover-5, which is 2-man, he's back there and you'd like to see him throw the football, he's going to run it. If he sees 2-man, guess what? He's going to run it anyway. You see some of that in him. He's done some things in some previous practices, where it's like, wow, that's a football player.

On Tebow's play at quarterback…

The defense will start chirping about him, "Come on, throw the ball, stand back and throw the ball." Why? If he sees 2-man, he's running with it. Someone better go out there and make a tackle. I think everyone sees Tim for what he is. He's a super competitive guy and a good teammate. I've noticed he's always building guys up. By the way, he's a talented kid, or young man.

On Jets West…

I'm not going to comment on it because I don't know what they do and I have nothing to do with it. That's the way it's going to stay.

On benefits of players bonding off the field…

I always think it's good when the guys get together in the offseason. When they're away from the facility, I always think that's a real positive thing.

On if Landry will be at minicamp…

Yes.

On if Bryan Thomas and Matt Slauson will participate in minicamp…

I expect them to be able to do some things. They'll probably still be limited. Both of them are coming off of surgeries. They're both itching to go. We probably won't use them a whole lot. They will be limited.

On if Landry will participate at minicamp…

We'll see what John [Mellody] tells me. I know for a fact Bryan Thomas and Slauson will be limited. I haven't seen the updated injury list and probably won't until Monday.

On Vladimir Ducasse being utilized at guard during today's OTA…

Early, he was at right tackle. Now, he's been at left guard with Slauson out. We've put him there and he has looked really good. He has really improved. Even his body, the way he moves. He is one of those guys that has made huge strides in the weightroom. From conditioning and everything else, he has really stepped it up. I expect him to have the opportunity to compete for some playing time. I'm excited where he's at.

On who the backup center is…

Right now, we have [Caleb] Schlauderaff. I don't know what Guge [OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo] calls him. It's something completely different than that. Right now he's running as the backup center. We have Matt Kroul competing there as well. We'll see how that goes.

On if team will consider acquiring a veteran receiver…

Mike [Tannenbaum] is going to look at everything out there. If we are going to make our team better with a wideout, guard, tackle or whoever, he'll be open to anything. I feel good with this group. It's a hard-working group.

I think Chaz Schilens has done a nice job coming over here. He's familiar with Sanjay [Lal, WRs coach] and I think that helps because he knows the tempo and everything. My brother asked me how Chaz was doing and I said he's doing really well. He said the thing about him is he'll get better when the pads come on because the best thing he does is block and he's physical. He thought he was right there with the Braylon Edwards of the world as far as blocking. That's impressive.

I think [Jeremy] Kerley had a good practice today and he needed to. Quite honestly, I've been waiting for him to show up a little bit. He's had some issues, minor things. It was good to see him pick it up. I like Jeremy as a slot receiver and Patrick Turner. I like our group. We have young receivers. Hill was really impressive until he had that hamstring. He was really starting to come around.

On his critique of himself in the Adam Sandler film "That's my Boy"…

All I wanted to be was not terrible, and I think I wasn't terrible. My wife and son said it was OK, so that was good.

On Tony Sparano's coaching style…

I love it. I'm in there. Trust me, I've been in a lot of offensive meetings as well. He gets all of their attention, I'll say that. A great coach can coach any position and he'll challenge anyone in that room at any time. He'll threaten a coach. He'll say, "If I see anyone nodding, I'll throw you out. I don't care if you're a player or a coach." That's a typical Tony thing. He is an intense guy, a very competitive guy and tough. He's organized beyond belief. He's a great football coach. He really is something.

I love this group of coaches that we have. The other day, we had two offensive coaches almost going at it with each other. I thought that was beautiful. You can understand if a guy wanted to punch out DT [DBs coach Dennis Thurman] or someone like that if you're an offensive guy. Everyone is so competitive and believes so much in their unit that they take so much pride in it. Then they all walk off the field arm in arm. Everyone is so into their group that they're coaching their tails off.

That's a first though. I've seen an offensive guy versus a defensive guy or vice versa. I think I remember a glancing blow on one [laughter]. It was kind of funny seeing it, and it just passes. Guys are like that and it's fun. It kind of speaks to the personalities of the group. Everybody says, "Who would have won?" I don't know who would have won, but I think it would have lasted no more than 10 seconds. The older guys, please, you take one shot, sit back and go, "OK, I'm done."

On if he plans on using more 46 defense…

We think we can use it. There's no doubt we can use it. I think we're built for it. That was a specific period of the offense going against a 46 look. That's where there was some kind of version it every snap, whether it was 46 or something very similar to it. It's obviously a defense I think we can play more of based on the personnel we have.

On if Tebow has taken any snaps in the Wildcat formation…

As far as you guys know we have not done anything [laughter].

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