Rex's Tuesday News Conference

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference before the Jets' midday full-squad minicamp practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center:

This is a little different, but we're going to see how it works. I plan on doing this schedule even during the season just so I have more time to watch tape afterwards. We'll see how that works.

It does seem unusual, we always talk about the injuries. I'll give you an update here. This is a whole list of guys that I've got. You'll see, this time of year you have a lot of hamstring issues and we've had a lot of hamstring issues in the past. We have a bunch of them now, but it's not that concerning. One year, I forgot the number that we actually had but it was crazy. The good news is we had none during the regular season. We'll see if that's the case. We've been pushing these guys hard in the weightroom and on the field as well.

We'll have Jeff Cumberland — he will be limited. You'll see him out there. He's going to practice, but he's listed as limited. I'll read all the limited guys first, but they are going to practice. Jeremy Kerley with a hamstring, Brandon Moore with his hips — it's really not an injury but I'm just going to list him as limited. He will also be late out to practice, he's got a daughter that's graduating. He went through meetings today and it's something we talked about and I told him to go and then come back when he can.

Number 18, Royce Pollard. He actually looks pretty good. He's a little limited with the hamstring. He has to learn that every time he throws his head one way he's going the other direction. But other than that he's doing all right. Matt Slauson, we're actually going to watch him go a little bit today. He's going to be limited. He hasn't done anything up until this point coming off the shoulder. He's been rehabbing his shoulder like a madman. He's benching with one arm what I would squat with my legs, so he's doing good. So he is getting a few of those reps. Today, we'll see how he does.

Patrick Turner had a hamstring, again he's going to be limited. But those limited means they're going to practice as you guys know.

Guys that are listed as out. Now, Santonio Holmes has some tightness in a hamstring and our trainers are going to make sure they are on top of him and monitor him, how he's doing. I don't want to say that he's out or limited, but we'll see how he does. Stephen Hill is definitely out with a hamstring. This Ganaway, DeMarcus Ganaway, number 87, he is in the same boat that Santonio's in. The trainers are going to monitor him, he's kind of had a hip thing. We'll see how he does. Brian Linthicum, a tight end, I haven't seen him practice all year, I don't believe. He's out with a quad, it must be a real bad one. I haven't seen him do a whole lot.

[Bilal] Powell's out with a hamstring. Jordan White obviously will be inside for treatment. I tell you, we're excited about him. He works his tail off. It's unfortunate that he had that break of a foot, but he's training hard. Matt Berning is also a guy that will be inside. He's got a knee, looks like a pretty serious knee injury. So he'll be out. And then the only other guys that will be monitored are Chaz Schilens and Nick Folk.

On Cumberland's prior Achilles injury…

No, I mean he's fine. It says Achilles, but he's fine.

On if Bryan Thomas is still with Matt Slauson…

Bryan Thomas will not, that's a good point. He's is in blue here, I missed that category, that's not team drills. But what's good about Bryan, he's going to get out there and start doing some individual work. He's not as far along as Slauson is. They've had the same kind of surgery. Slauson seems to be ahead of Bryan. But Bryan has been here every day rehabbing and I think he's just itching to get out there.

On if everyone that's supposed to be here is here…

Yeah, everybody's here.

On LaRon Landry's Achilles injuries…

He will not practice. He'll be out there, be working hard with the trainers and things. He will not be out there, I apologize for not mentioning him.

On Landry's progress recovering…

You know what, I really don't have the right answer on that. I mean, we knew that he wasn't. I guess the answer would be, yes he is because we never expected him to be able to participate right now. In this camp, he's not going to be able to do that. Is he as good or worse or whatever? I'm really not sure. I just know he's not ready to go right now, but it's not something that we didn't expect. He's here, he's in meetings today, and you know guys are giving him the business a little bit.

But I will say this to his credit, he's doing what he thinks is going to give him the best opportunity to be successful in the fall. So I know his heart is in the right place, I know he wants to be healthy, and for us he knows that it's a critical year for him, a critical year for us and we need him out there. But I'm excited to have him around right now.

On the expectations for Landry…

Well, the main thing is to obviously get him ready for the season. When you look at his history, he hasn't been full speed in a lot of the training camps every day, and watching him, I hope that he can get to that point. I certainly don't want to say that he definitely won't be or he will be. We'll just have to wait and see, see how it plays out. Obviously we want him ready for the season.

On if Holmes incurred his hamstring injury last week…

Yes, that was it. He just knew it was tight and like I mentioned before, veteran players know their bodies better than anybody. When they sense that, "Hey, you know, I'm tight, I'm getting ready to pull," it's obviously better to pull yourself out of the drill than sustain an injury. I think that's where Santonio was last week. When he came to me about that, we knew that's why he was pulling himself out of the drills.

On what the goals are for this week…

I think it's very similar to our OTAs. You know you want to see on offense in particular get the grasp of the system. The tempo that Tony [Sparano]'s got them going at right now, I want to see that continue. The concentration on getting away from the self-inflicted wounds, the mental mistakes, the penalties, things like that. So that's something we're really looking at.

And then defensively, we always talk about in the back end it's the communication. In the front end, we're doing so much and interchanging guys and nailing down the mental part of it, young players working with different guys, those are the things we want to look at. I like to see our linebackers improving our man coverage. They have a great grasp of the system, they're doing everything that way, but you know, work individually on that and see if we can't see improvements in these next three practices.

On if Tim Tebow will be playing with the first team the first three days…

No, he will be running with the twos and that's where he'll be running.

On if minicamp is a test run for Ryan's changes…

It's exactly why we did it. I wanted to do it just to get a sense of what it would be like. It is a little unusual like right now before we go to a practice to come in here and be talking about injuries and talking about different things. We hadn't even had a practice. But to me I think it's the best for myself. It might not be the best for us, for all of us, and for you guys in particular. I think it will work better for me. It will help me get a chance to meet with [Mike] Pettine and DT [Dennis Thurman] and all the defensive coaches in particular and watch practice. Instead of trying to catch up all the practice tape on my own, it'll give me an opportunity to be with my coaches and watch the tape together.

On if there are any starting positions that will be a competition…

I think you never want to limit a player. Obviously, you've got an idea of who's going to be your starters and all that, but again I've been surprised before. I remember when Bart Scott ended up being a starter in Baltimore and I don't think anybody thought that, that year. You certainly don't ever want to limit your players. I think competition, as everybody says, brings out the best in everybody. And so you like to have that.

Is there a sense of "Hey, this spot is pretty much nailed down"? Yeah. But even Nick Mangold, "Hey you're a Pro Bowl center," I have a pretty good idea he's going to start. Same thing with David [Harris] and all these types of guys. But you still like that kind of uneasy feeling like guys still have to earn that starting spot. And whether that is realistic or not, you know, let them figure it out.

On being so firm about who the starting quarterback is going to be…

Mark [Sanchez]'s our starter. We can say Darrelle Revis is our starting corner and [Antonio] Cromartie. I think that's pretty safe to say.

On where the offense has made the most progress…

I'm really pleased with the type of tempo our guys are getting on that practice field. I think that they're starting to grasp the system. They have kind of the nuts and bolts of it. But now you see improvement each day on things that we're getting better at. I like the way we're running our routes, I think we're crisp in the way we're running routes.

The communication, has there been some errors and things like that? Absolutely. But I still think we're ahead of where I thought we would be and I think that's a real compliment to our players, number one in the habit of being here picking up the system but to the teachers and our coaches in particular.

On if Revis is at minicamp…

Yes. At least he was in the meeting today and he looked good.

On the biggest improvement he's seen defensively…

It's our fourth season. I think the communication has been terrific. Obviously you always want it to get better but it's the verbal and non-verbal communication. So the hand signals, all these type of things we're really working on. Really been impressed with how Yeremiah Bell from day one stepped in, and obviously Eric [Smith]'s been a huge help there, but he stepped in and you would think he's been running this defense for years. So that's really been impressive.

I like the way the young guys, you see them flying around now, we've got some guys full energy, they're competing. Kenrick Ellis has made great strides. I think that D-line, Karl Dunbar has done a tremendous job working with these guys. I think we're already running our pass-rush games better than we ever have since I've been here. So those are real positives.

On if there has been any change in Shonn Greene's demeanor…

I think he carries himself about the same. But he's really learning the pass protections. I think that's the biggest change. You'll see him on third down a lot back there. You know, big body, knows where he's going. The only thing I sense now is that he's been there and done it. So you see that confidence, he's still that laid-back type guy, but you can tell he's very confident in himself.

On if minicamp is the time to deal with some of the chemistry issues…

I think every day is the time to build on it. Like I said, we've got a great start. I think a lot of our chemistry issues were kind of actually over the top. I think the fact that I admitted some things and all that probably helped drive it this offseason. Unfortunately, that's all they ever talked about. But if teams are thinking that internally that will be our biggest problem, then I hope they think that way. I hope people think that way.

I will say this, and we talked about it last week and it really never got the play that I wanted it to so I'll say it over and over [laugher] is 99 percent attendance in a voluntary situation, 99 percent of it and somebody corrected it, 98.5 percent attendance already tells you that this team is heading in the right direction.

On the impact of Holmes not being able to participate in minicamp…

Well, we'll see about how much he can go today, hopefully he can do more than we anticipate. But when he went to Germany, I thought that was a real positive thing. Anytime one of our players, coaches, whatever has a chance to do something great for our country, then go for it. And I thought that was a great opportunity for him.

When he came back, obviously he had missed about a week's training and things and that was why he felt a little tight. He hadn't been able to work out like the rest of the guys were. I don't know if it was totally expected but you certainly can understand it. But there's a big weapon out there. With this list of receivers, that's kind of what we've been dealing with at all the OTAs. We go to third down and we have regular personnel out there, we have a bunch of tight ends all over the place.

So to me, I really appreciate the type of guy that Tony [Sparano] is. It's like, "Hey, we'll make do." It doesn't matter how many guys, he'll put in a million tight ends out there. He'll do whatever it takes and we're just going to keep running our offense and no excuse, it's just the way it is. And he's able to make those kind of adjustments.

On what prominent player has impressed him most this spring…

I think Bart Scott. I think Bart Scott and Muhammad Wilkerson on defense. Obviously the play of Revis is no surprise. Cromartie, I like the way Cro's using his hands and everything else. I think he looks really good.

But those two, Bart Scott, the way he came back, the kind of shape he's in, the way he's running around and leading — that's the Bart Scott I know. Muhammad Wilkerson I think is a guy that just keeps going like this. Kenrick Ellis, there's a lot of guys like that.

Offensively, I like the way Vladimir Ducasse to me looks like a different guy. I'm not criticizing a scheme or coach or whatever, but some guys do better in different schemes. I think Vlad is very confident. The thing that was interesting about Vlad was we started him at right tackle, we kept him at right tackle, kept him there, and then all of a sudden at OTAs we moved him to guard when [Matt] Slauson was out. We moved him to guard and he really looks good there. That's something that we knew when we drafted him, when we took Vlad in the second round, we knew that it was going to be kind of a work in progress. And I think now he's getting better and you see the confidence growing and he's able to showcase his ability and certainly he's a talent. He's also done a great job in the weightroom.

I like the way Mark has come back. I think Sanchez has really been impressive. Obviously you see it on the field but I think it's the other things that maybe we don't see which is in the classroom that I think he's been absolutely tremendous.

On if it was a mistake to push Holmes in practice…

Well, I think it wasn't just pushing him on the practice field, it's pushing him in the weightroom. To the credit of Bill Hughan, I've been telling our guys, I want to look the part, I want to be the strongest team we can be, I want them to be getting after it in the weightroom. Make us back down on them in training camp, but I want to push these guys and that's exactly what we've done.

Obviously I think I've probably pushed the wideout group in particular a little too hard. Now that's what we call an after-action report and that will certainly be in there. But that's a mistake that I made but to the credit of our strength coaches, some of the guys we brought in in Justus [Galac] and [Paul] Smith, we're driving them and that's exactly what I asked for. The hamstrings, obviously we'll have to make some adjustments to that.

On the young guys like Josh Bush having a chance to fly under the radar and open some eyes…

He has really looked good. He's taken off running some of the second and third groups. He's been impressive. Nobody ever questioned his mental ability, his range as a top safety and all that. What we have got to see from Josh is when he comes back into training camp how physical he can be. Those were the questions about him because certainly he's been everything we thought he would be and he has been impressive.

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