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Rex's Tuesday News Conference


Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference Tuesday afternoon:    

It was great. We open these things up to the public and, of course, we had storms rolling in so we had to be inside. Well, that's the way it goes.

You look at the energy that the guys are playing with. They're competing. I challenged the team today to finish. Finish this camp out, enjoy the process and enjoy the competition with each other. That's how we're going to make each other better and we talk about it all the time in here about how the offense will make the defense better and vice versa. It's that competition. You see all kinds of smiles on their faces. The energy is up and everything else. That's what I'm talking about. Our guys are understanding that. Everything is going great.

I don't know this Channing Crowder, but all I know is that he's all tatted up so I guess I need to be nervous about him. He's right about one thing. I am a first-time head-coach, but I've been around the game all my life. I'm no different now than I've ever been. It's just that more people are listening.

The other thing is, I think he's wrong. I think you do win in June. You win with your preparation and all that kind of stuff. If I was younger, I would handle him myself [laughing]. He's a good player. It's fun to ruffle some feathers. I have no problem doing that. Again, I'm confident in my football team. I'm confident in myself. I'm confident in our players, coaches and this entire organization. That's why I say the things that I say. Again, I'll always be honest with myself and this is how I feel and that's why they get what they get. I make no apologies for those statements that I say.

I know one thing: Our football team is going to be prepared. We're going to play our tails off and we're going to give everything we've got. That's one thing I can promise our fans and anybody else listening. If people have trouble with it, live with it because it's going to happen.

On giving teams extra incentive with comments…

If that is motivation, if that's going to give them an edge or something like that, if they need that, that's fine. They're going to get 100 percent of what we have so we'll see if that's good enough or not.

Again, the thing with [Bill] Belichick, my comment about him is that realistically I'm not going to concede anything. Do I recognize the fact that Belichick is a heck of a coach? Absolutely. My thing is that I'm not intimidated by him or anyone else in this business, period. And I don't care who it is. Our football team certainly isn't going to be intimidated either. If there are some issues with that, then so be it.

On being intimidated by his father, Buddy Ryan…

Nope. That's my dad. I love him. Maybe a little bit [laughter].

On his confidence in the team…

My confidence is not just in my ability. I have confidence in my ability, but again, my confidence comes from the coaches I'm with, the great coaching staff that we have here and I'm fortunate enough to have them here, and the organization itself from Mike Tannenbaum, the general manager, all the way down. Obviously, our players get it. They understand what we want. We're getting what they have. We'll see at the end of the day if that's good enough.

On if there are any East Carolinas on the schedule, a reference to something Buddy used to say…

No, I don't think so. Not in this league. But, they're certainly not going to play an East Carolina when they face us, either. That's how I feel about it.

On the quarterback competition…

You've got Kellen [Clemens], obviously his fourth season in the system so he looks sharp out there. And then you've got this young rifleman [Mark Sanchez], this kid throwing things all over the place. He looks great. Is he going to improve? There are some things in Mark's game that he can really improve on. One of them is his voice, I think the way he can try to draw people offsides. I think Kellen does a super job of that. Is that a big thing? Well, it really is because it's easier for the defense to tee off on people when you don't have that threat of jumping offsides and things like that. I think he can get better that way.

There are the little things. He's seen a lot of different coverages, a lot of different blitzes and so has Kellen, quite honestly. It's great because both of them have had their moments. They had them today as well. We've got two really good quarterbacks and the competition is going to be fierce. At training camp, it's going to be a great battle. I'm sure the guy that's going to lead this football team on opening day is going to have to earn that job.

On the importance of LB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard and DE Marques Douglas, players that already know the system…

I think it's huge. It's no coincidence that we brought a front, middle and back in because automatically the guys are coming in here and they're going to look to them. Let's see how they do it. Let's see how their tempo is in practice. Sometimes, you don't want to be in that role because you know that everybody is watching you. Those are three guys that I knew exactly what I was getting from those guys. They know the tempo we want. They know the communication we want. They know how to build each other up. They're going to be great in the locker room.

That's why those guys are here. They are team guys. They are not selfish-type players. They are team guys. They build the team up and that's what we're all about here. You watch the practice tempo and all that kind of stuff. I'm proud to coach this bunch out here. These guys understand what we want and they're working their tails off to get better each day.

On the release of DL Brian Schaefering and LB Nate Harris…

If I feel that somebody doesn't have a chance to make this football team, then there is no sense in him being here, quite honestly. It's probably to their benefit that they get released now so that they have opportunities to play somewhere else. I have a statement here. I've told the players that when I released those two guys, it's not that I'm saying they can't play in the National Football League. I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying they can't play for the Jets. So I'll just leave it at that.

On former Rutgers players LB Brandon Renkart and DE Jamaal Westerman…

Those guys are good football players. The fact that they're home-grown, local, is even better. That's great. Both those guys have the kind of characteristics that we look for. That's just physical, tough kids that are smart, passionate and just love to play. That fits both of them. Both of them are free agents, Renkart and what's his name, Westerman [laughing].

It's funny because I kid about him. You guys know that I've talked about him from day one here. He's making strides. We actually are moving him to inside linebacker to give him that kind of flexibility where he can play inside and outside. We're doing that for a purpose. We think this young man has got a future for us. The way he's playing, it might be sooner than later.

On the motivation he gets from his father winning a Super Bowl here with the Jets…

I'm not going to go on a limb and say that I'm going to do exactly what he did because he did win it his first year. I just want to win one and then we'll worry about it. The fact that this is Dad's team, this was my team growing up, Dad was here for eight years, I want our guys to understand the history of the New York Jets. We put up in the locker room all the jersey numbers and all the former players that used to wear those jersey numbers, just for a pride thing. It's a thing like "Hey, this is your football team. This will always be your football team. Once you're a Jet, you're always a Jet. That should be a prideful thing."

Today we had Gerry Philbin, Emerson Boozer, Randy Rasmussen, John Schmitt and Randy Beverly here. I might have missed one or two but I'm not sure if I did. It's great. Those names mean something to me and I want those names to mean something to our current players as well, for them to take pride in the fact that those guys are here.

On the perception of a lack of history with the Jets…

Surely, everyone knows the Jets have a great history. They might have had as much to do with the merger of the AFL and the NFL as any team. They ended up beating the Colts in Super Bowl III. Since that point it's been 40 years since they've won a Super Bowl. When Sal [Paolantonio of ESPN] asked "Does it mean something?", well, yeah. I want to win here. If you win a Super Bowl here, there's no place like it. It's so good anyway. I don't care where you're at. Once you do win, it's even better than you thought.

It's funny because you've seen guys have that drive when they've never won a Super Bowl. But the drive is even more so after you've tasted it and know what a Super Bowl is like. It's so awesome. It's so good that that even pushes you more. That's what is driving me.

On the possibility of signing WR Plaxico Burress…

We've done our due diligence on Burress. We've had conversations. I know Mike [Tannenbaum] had a conversation with his agent, [Drew] Rosenhaus. With any good football player, we're going to try to get as much information as we possibly can.

One thing to know for sure is that if he is here or any other player is here that we decide to pick up, understand we would have done our homework on that particular player in that we think the guy could help us and we think that he would be our kind of player and person.

With that, am I saying that we're going to pick up that particular player? I'm not going to tell you that. It's not like we've gone out and done more and had more conversations with them. We've had one conversation with his agent.

On the importance of having both Pro Bowl RBs, Leon Washington and Thomas Jones, at minicamp…

I think their frustration comes from off-the-field things. We know that. There is no frustration on the field with Leon and Thomas. These guys love playing the game. They are our kind of players. They're passionate guys. They love playing. They may love playing the game as much as anybody we have. That part has been great. There's a business side and there is a football side. On the football side of things, these guys have been terrific. With all the distractions off the field, you don't see that on the field at all.

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