Skip to main content

Rex's Wedneday News Conference


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

First off, Channing Crowder had a rebuttal [laughter]. I love it. The only thing I can say is, let's see if he can top this one: I've walked over tougher guys going to a fight than Channing Crowder [laughter]. The dude's going to kill me. We'll make that trade. Throw us both out, we'll make that trade. I don't think it would hurt that much anyway. You can't hit what you can't see. Trust me, he can send himself and his father after me. I don't think I've ever lost a fight, so we'll see. And I'm going to get some tats and stuff like that, so I'll be ready for him.

Anyway, it's going great. I think the energy is great. I certainly don't want this to take away from our players, because obviously they're the guys we ought to be focused on. With that said, it is fun to spar with someone else. But anyways, I think its going good here. We put our guys in different situations and they've responded. We've got guys making plays.

Eric Smith had the three interceptions yesterday. I think that was pretty darn impressive. He's really taken off for us. He's really improving. Here's a veteran player who came in, I don't know if he was little disgruntled where he was initially on the depth chart, but he just keeps getting better. That first minicamp I think maybe he wasn't putting out his best, but ever since that time you see him taking off. That's exciting. You see that with a lot of the guys. They're getting more familiar with the defense. I told them, 'now you know the system, but now you try to master it.' That's what we're trying to do, master the little things of both systems, offense and defense. Really, that's our focus for this camp.

Both the quarterbacks had their moments today, good and bad. It's exciting to see. It's great competition. When you hear them, it's not a "I hope he does bad" thing. It's just the opposite. I'll hear them getting on the receivers that are running routes for the other quarterback when he's in there. I don't think I've ever seen that before. They really are pulling for each other. They also understand that competition will make them both better. That's been really good and is encouraging to see.

I'll just open it up. I think we covered a million things yesterday, but I'll just open it up for questions.

On adding P Reggie Hodges and waiving P Eric Wilbur…

There were several things. We think Wilbur has the chance to be a decent punter. We really do. We had some issues with his hands and consistency. And that's not a good thing. If you're a punter, you better work on your hands and you certainly don't need someone dropping a ball back there, because that absolutely kills you. And placements, the kind of holder you are as well. There is a lot that goes into that position. Your punter generally is your holder on placements as well. Obviously, he gets another chance and Hodges gets another chance as well.

On running the wildcat…

Well, since our entire focus is on Miami right now [laughter]. We've got to get ready for the Dolphins and be ready for Crowder playing running back in case they put him back there. Those are things we're going to take a look at. I think that took the league by storm, a few opponents anyway. I do know they had no success in that last year where I was at before [Baltimore], when we were 2-0 against them. If you have those kind of athletes, you have a Leon Washington, you have Brad Smith, I think that's going to be a great thing. And really with the Dolphins you can expect them, with the young quarterback they drafted, to put him back there.

That's going to be a new thing I think you're going to see around the league as well. It's a great opportunity for the defense to get a look at that stuff and it's a great changeup for our offense. I know we've had that with Brian [Schottenheimer] here before. He's done things like that in the past. It is good. It's a body blow. Sometimes you can pull some preparation time from the other things that you run if you're focused on all that. We can do it one play or we can do it 60 plays and I think sometimes, as a coordinator, you need to make sure that everything is covered.

On his ability last year to defend against the Wildcat…

I had a lot of college experience as a coordinator as well, so I was used to seeing some kind of single-wing plays. And there are some teams that will run that. I'm used to seeing the option and some of the other things as well. I think that's what's going to be some other plays that are coming. I think you're going to see some option and all kinds of stuff as well. I have had that experience, so it wasn't that huge a difference. I think if you're just a coordinator in the National Football League and that's it, I'm sure it was a huge difference. You never see the single wing. You never see option. Maybe some of the older coordinators probably struggled more so than I did.

On moving training camp to Cortland, N.Y., and its impact on New Jersey fans…

I can certainly understand where they would be disappointed. I'm just trying to look out for what is in the best interest of our football team. The vision I had for our team was that we would go up and get away. Get away from all the comforts, the comforts of where your family is, the comforts of this building, which is incredible, and go out where all we have is each other. It's just the football team. All the other distractions, everything else, you're not dealing with. We're focusing on getting this team ready to roll and then by the time we get through training camp, we're putting ourselves in a situation where we really have a football team. We've got guys who know each other, care about each other, and that's what we're trying to build.

I never knew all the situations, all the circumstances that were here. But when I mentioned to Woody [Johnson] how important I thought that was in building a team, then he was like "OK, we're going to try and handle everything else and let me do this. My coach wants this." And that's what we accomplished. I think we're trying to do things in the community here. We certainly don't want to upset our fan base here in New Jersey.

We're probably the only team in the league who has our mandatory minicamp open to the public. We're trying to make ourselves available as best we can in our community here. I know I was the most wanted guy in New Jersey. I don't know what's up with that [laughter]. I'm most wanted in Miami now. Most wanted in New England. I never even brought the Miami dude up. I'm just happy they never said it was that big left tackle they've got [Jake Long]. Then I might be nervous [laughter]. So I don't know, I'm in trouble, it sounds like. This is great. I'm glad I got this job.

On Miami players feeling disrespected by comments saying that the division goes through New England…

I never said that. I never said that at all. I was asked a specific question about Bill Belichick and New England. If you look back at the question that was asked of me, it was not that I just threw it out there about New England. It was a question about Belichick and the Patriots and if I have to do anything special and all that. And I'm like "Hell, no, we've just got to be ourselves." Shoot, our football team, we're going to be ready to play. I don't care who you are.

Do I understand that they [Miami] feel disrespected? I would understand if things were made in that light. Again, they have a good football team and all that. We'll see what happens. We're not going to be a team that's going to be intimidated by them [Miami], New England, if you want to add them, Buffalo, because we don't want to tick them off either [laughing]. You know, all these other guys, Houston, they're our first opponent.

Realistically, the focus is on our football team. I just want everyone to know how confident I am with this football team, the coaching staff we have, the players we have and with the entire organization. That's my point. If people want to take a shot at me or whatever, "He's crazy, he's all that," fine. We'll see how crazy I am when we play you. I've been crazy for a lot of years because I've felt like that. I knew in Baltimore that we had a defense. Guess what? I went into every game thinking that I was going to kick somebody's tail, and for the most part we did, including some of those teams we mentioned.

We'll see. I'm happy with the players we have. I think we got the right kind of guys here. Should people in this league be like "Uh-oh, he's feeling good about it"? Yes, absolutely. I'm feeling good about this football team.

On if LB Vernon Gholston is improving because he is getting more time during the off-season and the graduation rule is no longer a factor…

Yes. I think so. When you look over the long haul, maybe not. On the short haul, I think so. I think since he's missing so much time [prior to last season]: the football schools, the minicamps, all that kind of stuff. I would think that all that obviously would affect you. He was changing positions and all those type of things so I would think that would have been a big factor to maybe being slow developing.

On DT Howard Green…

He's a good player. I had him in Baltimore a little bit with me. He's had an amazing type career. He did a great job in Seattle last year. But, Howard is a huge guy. He's a nose tackle. He's probably been 340 pounds since I can remember him. It's not like you're getting a guy that's 290-pounds. This is a 340-pound man plus some right now [laughter]. He's working hard. He's working with [Head Strength and Conditioning] Sal [Alosi]. He get's extra conditioning. I think he's really going to help us this year.

On what Green does well…

He's a big man that can not just control his body, he can control other people's as well. To be a good defensive lineman, you almost always have to be a good wrestler. Howard's that kind of guy. It's not just about your body. You've got to be able to hit through people and be able to take on 700 pounds when it's coming at you. There are very few people in this world that are walking the planet that can do those things. Howard is one of those guys.

On wide receivers coach Henry Ellard…

A fantastic coach. He really is a fantastic coach. The little guy, go-getter in individual drills. He really is good. Henry is maybe recognized as one of the best route runners in the history of the game. The expertise that he's given our guys is tremendous. There are very few coaches in the League that can make that kind of difference. When we brought him in, I knew he was special. We did some background checks with some people that I knew. Wilbert Montgomery is a guy that I really respect and is the running backs coach at Baltimore right now. He told me, "Man if you've got to get one guy, you've got to get Henry Ellard." He was right. We brought him in. [He and] Brian [Schottenheimer] hit it off immediately. We are fortunate enough to get Henry. He was available and we were fortunate enough to get him.

On any difference in the WRs since Ellard became the position coach…

I don't think it's really fair to say. I just see what he's bringing to everybody. A lot of times defensive backs will play the man, but he's really playing your eyes. So, when you're coming back in and your eyes are looking back, they think that they can look back because the ball is coming. But, he [Ellard] will fake some of that and re-route you, different ways of stemming you. He knows all the tricks. He was impossible to cover as a player it seemed like. We hope he brings that to our guys as well. But, I know one thing, he's working hard. He's as good a guy as you'll ever be around.

On TE Kareem Brown having a big day today…

He had a great day. I think Jim [Leonhard] was looking for somebody else to help him on that play without dropping any names [laughter]. Kareem has taken off so you see those things. It's going to take some time for him to get everything down. It's a brand new position. He's dropped a ton of weight to be able to give himself an opportunity to play tight end. You just see him making strides. Today he had a great day. I agree with you. He really did have a big day today.

On DT Kris Jenkins playing some at DE…

Yes, we definitely see him playing there some. We did the same thing with Haloti [Ngata] at Baltimore. If you get an exceptional guy like Kris, we know he can play nose tackle. I also want to challenge him mentally to where he can know all the spots. And then that way if we think that we have a certain mismatch with our guy then we'll put him in those spots. They just can't zero in on them. But when it's all said and done, he's probably going to spend most of his time inside over the center. It's definitely something we plan on doing as well.

On being patient with TE J'Nathan Bullock because he hasn't played football since high school…

We don't have to be. I think we're going to choose to be. He made a great catch yesterday afternoon, a one-handed catch. His hands are about this long. It was funny because the ball went up there, it's like "Oh, he's got it, one-handed catch." I don't think he thought that it was that big of a deal. The rest of us were like "Wow, that's what I'm talking about."

The blocking, all those kinds of things like that, is totally new to him. He is progressing, though, he really is. How quickly he can flip that switch from being a basketball player to an NFL tight end, we'll find out. He's certainly earned his right to be here. We'll see where it goes. We've had others, [Antonio] Gates is the first guy that jumps out at you. That's an unusual guy. Tony Gonzalez was a great basketball player but he was also a football player.

I think you're right. I think it will take some time. We'll see how things move along especially when we go through training camp.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content