Rex's Wednesday News Conference

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Transcript of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference following Wednesday's midday practice:

I think the most important thing that came out of today's deal was the new sweattop I have on. See, that's the New York Titans and a new cap. I'm pretty proud of this. I was hoping I'd get an extra X on the sweat top, but they only have three. So that's been a little bit of a problem.

Speaking of problems, our injury report: Lito Sheppard and [Donald] Strickland. We held them out of practice today. They did not practice. Their availability for Sunday is "We'll see." They're both working to get back. We're certainly hopeful that they play, but I'm not 100 percent convinced that both of them will play. I'm not sure. We'll see how that plays out during the week here. Other than that, [Kris] Jenkins practiced full. Everybody's ready to roll. We should be in good shape.

On the Titans' secondary…

That's the dreaded combo platter. Maybe they're No. 1 against the run but 32nd against the pass. They're playing excellent run defense, and if you can't run the ball, then you've got to throw it. Sometimes if a team throws it 60 times on you or 50 times, they're going to get yardage. Clearly they had some mistakes in the secondary. That was obvious with Andre Johnson on that one pass in particular. But they're an outstanding football team, we know that. I know, of course, Jeff Fisher, and Chuck Cecil is the new coordinator there. I'm sure they're going to be trying to get everything fixed. Hopefully they make mistakes against us. We'll see. We're not anticipating that, though.

On coaching against Titans QB Kerry Collins for Baltimore…

I remember in the playoff game we had to unload everybody we had on our bench. We had a tight end playing defensive end. We had all kinds of things, but we found a way to win. They outplayed us that game, but our guys scrapped and found a way to get it done. I think the first time we played them, we clearly outplayed them when I was in Baltimore, yet they won the game. Collins drove the length of the field on us with the last drive and threw a touchdown pass to [Alge] Crumpler.

And then the Jets had a huge win against Tennessee when they were 10-0 at their place. I know somebody said is that added spark for them or added motivation? Well, they're going to try everything. Whatever motivates them, that's fine. We're going to be motivated ourselves. I know that right now they're 0-2. They very easily could be 2-0. We're 2-0. We feel good about that. We're going to give everything we have to go 3-0.

On if he considers Kerry Collins to be a mobile quarterback…

No.

On if he thinks the Jets defense can get to Collins…

I don't know about that. If he drops back there and waits long enough, we can get to any of them. We've got to stop the run first. That's going to be our No. 1 priority. They do a good job of play action and the running back's a dangerous threat as a receiver as well as a runner. They certainly have weapons. But if we can get them in third-and-long, that favors us.

On defending Chris Johnson…

I think it's a lot easier to get him early than it is late. There are very few guys that we have that can run with this kid. I'd as soon hit him in the backfield if we can.

On comparing Collins to Tom Brady…

Kerry Collins is a good quarterback but Tom Brady is a great one.

On how Mark Sanchez is progressing…

I think he's right there with where we thought he would be. I will say this, the first game I think he exceeded our expectations in converting all those third downs. You don't see that very often in any quarterback, let alone a rookie quarterback. He was tremendous. He's doing a good job for us. He's just having fun playing the position.

We know [the Titans] have an outstanding pass rush. That's the thing they do the best. They really play hard up front. Jim Washburn is a friend of mine. He does a heck of a job with their defensive line. They've always played with a great deal of energy and a great deal of passion to get to that quarterback. We've got to do a great job. Mark's got to make good, accurate decisions, quick decisions, and then deliver the ball with accuracy. This is going to be a big test for him.

On if there is a temptation to let Sanchez throw the ball more…

I don't think we have been holding him back too much. I think we started the game with a pass and we got sacked on that first play, so that wasn't a good deal. We were kind of backed up. I think we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit in the first half of last week's game. That wasn't our intentions in just reeling him in, so to speak. We want him to play the position. We have a lot of confidence in him, and we have a lot of confidence in our offensive line to protect him as well. We know it's going to be a good challenge this week, but we think Tennessee will be challenged as well.

On Tennessee's defense without Albert Haynesworth…

That guy's going to be hard to replace. Those are rare guys with his kind of size and athleticism. The young man from Eastern Michigan, [Jason] Jones, I believe, is his name, has gotten after it pretty good as well. I think he got kicked out of the game last week for getting after it in a different way. But he's a good football player in his own right. They believe in developing players and like I say, Washburn does a good job with developing those guys. They're fun to watch, usually. Now, it's not fun for me this week to watch. But normally that's a good group. I enjoy watching them play.

On Chris Johnson's performance Sunday against Houston…

Well, one of them I think I might have had to jump out there and cover the dude myself [laughter]. I mean, nobody covered him [laughter]. I hope we don't put that coverage in. So that one was pretty easy. He has a 90-yard run in there on a third-and-long, they pop a run with him. There's always that threat with them. They're backed up and they give him the ball on third down and there he goes.

Clearly you need a good game. In the playoff game he had a good game against us. He got hurt early in the game, which I wasn't disappointed about. He never finished that game. People thought it would have been a different game had he stayed healthy. Well, we'll see. This is a new year. I think our defense will be up to the task. We're facing a good offensive line. They work well together. That back is an explosive runner. They've got a good quarterback, a veteran quarterback and a good receiving corps. So it's going to be a good challenge.

On if Tennessee is a trap game as it comes after New England and before New Orleans…

This team won 13 games last year, something like that. They were the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year. So if they think we're overlooking them, that's good because we're not. They've got another thing coming when they come in here. I don't understand it. Now, the first week we play Houston, that's a pretty good football team, at their place. We win the game like we expected to. We played a pretty good team last week in the New England Patriots. We expected to win. And we never prepared any different than those two. We prepared against New England just like any other opponent.

I don't know why this would be a trap game. This is just our next opponent. We know they're an outstanding football team. If they beat us, it has nothing to do with it being a trap game or us not putting forth the effort. We're going to give everything we've got this week. If they're going to beat us, they're going to have to earn it.

On if the Jets or Giants win the New York market's TV ratings…

Are we playing in the same stadium? [laughter] I have no idea. No, I'm just getting ready to play a team, a good football team that's well-coached. Our whole focus is getting to 3-0 and Tennessee stands in our way.

On the message to his team about keeping the same intensity…

We're going to play football. That's a special win because it's a divisional game. That's not the only divisional game we plan on winning. This opponent that we're playing right now, if we give anything but our best, whether it's preparation or the intensity and the passion that we play with, this football team will beat us, there's no question about that.

But that's not going to happen. We're going to give everything we've got, just like we do always every week. That's the thing that we told our fans. That's who the Jets are. We're not just some team that shows up every now and then. We're going to show up every week. And for somebody to beat us, they're going to have to earn it.

On his feelings about the running game and not being pleased about the offensive line's performance Sunday…

I said I wasn't pleased like I normally am. Our best unit, I think, is our offensive line. So early I wasn't real happy with the way we were playing. I thought New England was taking it to us pretty good early. We put ourselves in some bad situations. We kept going backwards. We couldn't get a first down there for a while. That's to New England's credit as well.

But I know we're better than that up front, and I think our guys can't wait to play this game. Plus, let's face it, we came out in that second half and we relied on our offensive line. Obviously, they were a huge contributor to that win for us. But again, that's a prideful group and that's an outstanding group. So we expect them to be at their best every week.

On the progress of the running game…

I think we're pretty good. I don't know what the rankings are rushing-wise, but I think we're pretty good. We've gone against two teams. We clearly were much more physical than Houston. We dominated Houston at the line of scrimmage. The second week we're playing the New England Patriots and they're a good football team. It was tough sledding there for a while. But then I think we opened things up. So I'm happy with our run game.

On Woody Johnson throwing a few balls at practice today…

We're always looking for guys out there and we only have four quarterbacks on the roster [laughter]. He's got a good arm. We've got to work on that movement outside of the pocket, but he has a good arm.

On if Johnson needed a redo at practice today…

I blamed that on his protection [laughter].

On what it means for a team in this day and age to have the same coach for 15 years…

I think we should sign up for that right now [laughter]. I just tell you the way I feel. Obviously, Jeff Fisher has done an outstanding job there. Sometimes they say, well, after 10 years you've got to get rid of a coach because everything's stale. I don't believe that's true. If you've got the right coach, he keeps it fresh for his team.

He's a smart guy, he's a competitive guy and just really one of the top coaches in the league. Again, I'm proud of the fact that my dad got him in the league. He played for my father. My dad gave him his first coordinating job. He was the youngest coordinator in the league at the time. I take a little pride.

Now it still doesn't mean we're not going to line up there and try to beat their tails. That's what we're going to try to do. But I respect the job he's done and clearly he's done a tremendous job there.

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