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Rex's Tuesday Conference Call


2009 Week 5 Jets At Miami

Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon:    

On if he got any sleep and got home after the game…

No, I stayed here. I watched the game on the plane. We got in about 5 o'clock or 5:15. We've got to evaluate what we did and then what went right, what went wrong. There's a lot of what went wrong and then try to move on as fast as we can to Buffalo. That's what we're doing.

On if he saw anything different on the video of the Jets-Dolphins game…

We're a lot better football team and a lot better defensive team than how we played. Again, that's got to be proven. We had given up three touchdowns the whole season on defense and gave up three in the fourth quarter after we got leads. That's our time to go for the jugular and we just never responded.

You've got to give the opponent a lot of credit. We knew they had had two outstanding backs. They plowed for extra yardage. The thing I never knew of and never gave enough credit to was [Chad] Henne. He made some great throws during the game. He was on fire. He made some big third down calls as well. All we had he to do was make one play and we end up winning that game. To his credit, he made those plays.

On if he saw anything encouraging on film…

I'm really encouraged by our offense. Obviously, Braylon [Edwards] was a great pick up. I mean, what a performance he had. Mark [Sanchez] looked great. I thought the protection was good, so I was really encouraged by the way we played offensively.

On defense, I'm mad still. That's unacceptable. Even like last year, this reminds me of when [Baltimore] lost to the Giants. They had 200-some yards rushing against us and it was a horrendous performance. To me, it's funny because I talked with Ray [Lewis] after the game. It's how you respond. This is a step back, but we can make a huge leap forward. We've just got to learn from this and we've got to practice better.

You don't get better as a football team unless you practice better. Really, that's on me. I thought our scout teams were horrible last year week. We can't practice to the tempo of our scout team. We have to practice to the tempo of our defense and the standards we want to set. That shows up on Monday that don't know how your teammate's going to play if you're not going 100% and flying around. That's what we've got to get better at, whatever that takes. I'm not allowing this to happen. As a coach, I'm not going to allow this to happen again. We've got to get back and sharpen up what we do defensively. I know we have the talent, we've just got to play better.

On if there is a pressure to living up to the standards he's set for the team…

Well, we've got to expect to win. I think that's the biggest thing we've talked about as far as the culture of the team is that we've got to expect to win. I'm sick of that 'same old Jets' thing, because it's not the same old Jets. We're competitive. I think we've got a chance to have an outstanding team. We make no excuses. Never have, never will. We need to line up and play better.

To me, I'm making those statements because I believe in this football team. I believe in our coaching staff and I believe in this organization. I truly believe we'll bounce back. I know we will. Just as confident as I was last week that the offense would bounce back, I feel the same way about our defense. The ideal thing is that our football team, week in, week out, performs at a high level. Right now, one week it's the offense that's really dominating. One week it's the defense. One week it's the special teams. We've got to put this thing together. When we do, we're going to be a handful for anybody in this league, and I truly believe that.

On not having any sacks in the past two games…

We've got to get in a situation where it allows you to pin your ears back and rush the passer. Most sacks in this league occur in the fourth quarter of games when you get leads. The other thing is, when you're facing second-and-two or second-and-three and third-and-ones and third-and-fours, it's hard to get sacks. We haven't put ourselves in a situation where we can take advantage of that lately. I think to get sacks you've got to do a great job on first down. It is amazing that we've gone two games without a sack. I don't think that's ever happened, but hopefully this week we'll get our opportunities. You've got to look at it from every end of it, from a schematic standpoint. The number one thing is to do a better job on first down, which will allow you to get an opportunity to rush the passer more on second and third down.

On the gaps on defense…

People make mistakes. You've got to look at it from a scheme standpoint. You've got to ask yourself why this is happening. You've got to go out and have a commitment from everybody that we're going to get the thing fixed. I think we'll get that. I said I don't remember a game ever happening like that because I truly don't, where we take the lead back and forth three different times. We had leads in the fourth quarter, and that's the thing that really just burns me a little bit. I've been there where we've never played well.

Last year I go back two times. We played the Colts, and they lit us up and we played the Giants. Both times, that unit responded. I'm expecting our unit to really respond. I know we have the talent. I know we have the pride and the character of this unit that we're embarrassed by the way we played. I know we truly won't get it back until we play Miami again. This week right now presents its own problems.

This team has got a lot of weapons. Buffalo's got two outstanding backs, again. You've got T.O. [Terrell Owens]. You've got Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish. You've got a lot of weapons. We've got to get it done right now. We're not looking past anybody. This is a must-win for us. I think we have to respond. I think playing at home in front of our fans is going to be huge for us. From an organizational standpoint, from our entire organization, this week has got to be huge. Some of our best players make mistakes. Well, yeah, that's going to happen but they just got magnified in that kind of situation.

On the two fake punts…

Mike [Westhoff] does a great job of studying the opponent. He thought we had a couple available. The second one in particular, we kept our offensive line out there. We thought we might be able to catch them off guard and we did. The first one, we actually dropped the punt, too. We dropped the snap, but that was a designed fake. To Mike's credit, he saw the opportunity. He knows he's got the green light from me any time and he made those calls.

On Miami's running game…

That team's been averaging 185 yards a game rushing. So I don't think it was that we were much different than the other team that's they had played. Normally it's a thing when somebody runs the ball we're able to smash it. But the last three weeks we haven't performed that way. So we've got to do a better job in the running game.

We knew going in it was single wing football, 11-on-11. Normally when you have running plays, you'll have a free guy. That's just the way the math works out. But in this situation somebody has to beat a guy, it's 1-on-1. You've got to make the tackle in the hole. You've got to get off blocks to make an extra man on the ballcarrier. And those guys you have to give them credit. They're hard runners. We knew we were going to be challenged. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams is a pretty good combination.

On how much of a difference Braylon Edwards is going to make…

I think we saw last night. That's the kind of impact he can have on this football team. We know he's a big time receiver. I had to go against him all the time in Baltimore, so this is the guy I expected to get. He was tremendous. Once we get J-Co back full speed and David Clowney, I was proud of the way David played. He was the intended receiver four times and he caught four passes. He also had his guy burned another couple of times, but we couldn't get him the ball.

This could be an outstanding group. When you see Dustin Keller and all that, we could have an explosive passing attack, as well as an explosive running game. I like our offense. The thing that I like about it is we challenged them all week, and they really responded. And Braylon Edwards, for being with us four or five days, I think showed you why we jumped at the opportunity to get him.

On if he should have taken a timeout at the end of the game…

When you look back on it, I would have handled it differently. I really was shocked. I think you hit it on the head. I do have a lot of confidence in that group. I just thought it was going to go into overtime or we were going to stop them. I just assumed we'd stop them. But again, it's my responsibility. I've got nobody talking in my ear. That is something that I've got to control. I think I just looked at it, and that's a mistake that I came by honestly. If I had that opportunity again, I should have been more mindful of it. I just knew that we could stop them.

On if Monday night's game will affect the confidence of the defense…

You've got to play better. That is something that happens. Last year, you can even take a look at this last year, what I'm familiar with. We got crushed by Indianapolis. We got crushed by the Giants, but we responded every time. Sometimes you take a step back and you really analyze what you're doing. Every man steps his game up another notch.

I'm talking about scout teams as well. I wasn't happy with our scout teams last week. When we got in the game part of those things, you don't know exactly where to fit. You don't know how a guy's going to play it because you've got to go full speed. That gives you an idea of how you guys are going to play it. Sometimes I know Bart [Scott] looked like he overran some because he saw a man one way, then the guy crossed his face, and now he's trying to make a tackle with one arm. Not just Bart, but that happened over and over where they were able to push the pile back. So we've got to do a much better job of really our show teams getting after it, and our guys playing full speed or you're never going to have a great defense. That is the only way to get it done.

I'm confident in this group. I know our guys are confident. I know they're confident in each other with the abilities that they have and the scheme. This is a setback. I think we take one step back and make a giant leap forward. The proof will be in the pudding to see how we perform in the next several weeks.

On if the game was a humbling experience in his first year as head coach…

It absolutely was a humbling experience. The competitor in me, I'm mad. I've had bad games in the past, but I've never surrendered three leads in the fourth quarter to anybody. Actually, one time, I think we were playing Cincinnati once. That's all I can remember. But I've been down that road before where you don't play great on D and we've always responded.

Now this is a different group of guys, and I've got confidence in this group. When I'm back in the corner, I'm going to come out swinging. That's what I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to getting this thing going again and having our guys play the way I know we're capable of playing. We've got to improve. The way you improve on game day is you improve on the practice field, and that's what we have to do.

On Jerricho Cotchery's status…

I think J-Co is fine. I'm not aware of him tweaking the injury. I think he's going to be fine. We'll know more later today, but I think he came out of the game fine.

On Brad Smith's foot injury…

I think the trainers are going to have him looked at and things like that. But I really don't know anything right now about Brad.

On how to improve on the practice field…

We had a decent mental week last week. We never got beat mentally. We had a couple of mental gaffes. You can't be a consistent defense if you don't know where your guy's going to be. They've got to play off each other. The only way to do that is to go full speed in practice. If I'm going to play a block a certain way, then I need to show that on the practice field. I think there was some indecision in some of the things. Maybe it looked a little different on the practice field than it looked on the game field.

Until we get that consistency, I don't think you'll ever be a dominant defense. We really have to pump our scout teams up, our show teams. As a defense, you can't go at the pace of your scout team. If they're slow, you've still got to come off 100 miles an hour. Sometimes we dictated that last week. You're either coaching it or allowing it to happen. I'm not going to allow it to happen.

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