Rex's Wednesday News Conference

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

We're going to start with the injury report. [Peyton] Manning, [Dallas] Clark, [Joseph] Addai, Reggie Wayne, [Dwight] Freeney, [Robert] Mathis, [Gary] Brackett, all those guys will not play [smiling]. Tom Moore, Howard Mudd and JT [John Teerlink] should get more extended Christmas break, it says here. Oh, hold up. That was my wish list for Santa Claus [laughter]. Here it is right here, guys. All right, Tony Richardson and Thomas Jones: Coach's decision to hold them out of practice today. That was my decision. None of them practiced. I just want to get them fresh and ready to roll. Shaun Ellis, limited participation in practice because I said from Week 2 that he'd be on it, so that's with the knee. Guys that were full were Jim Leonhard, Dwight Lowery, Mark Sanchez, Robert Turner and Marquice Cole.

Obviously, we're playing the Colts. Oh, boy, 23 straight wins and they definitely deserve those wins. This is an outstanding football team. They're well-coached. They kind of have a little machine going there on offense. Their defense, I don't think gets as much credit as they deserve.

When I look at them, the difference between them and us right now, even though I think our defense stacks up with anybody's in the league, this team finishes. You can move the ball on them, but they find ways to finish. It's probably helpful that you have Peyton Manning and company on the other side, but they do a good job. Freeney and Mathis and all those ends, they might be as good as I've ever seen at knocking the ball out of the quarterback's hands, not just getting the sacks, but getting the strip sacks. We have to be aware of those guys. This is going to be one heck of a challenge. I know, personally, I haven't fared too well against the Colts in the last several years. This is going to be a heck of a challenge. They're going to get everything we have.

On if he really hopes the Colts don't play a lot of their starters…

That's my list [laughter]. That is my wish list. I'd just as soon play those guys in the playoffs, then we'll find out. I want to get in. I want you at your best. You're exactly right, the competitor in you absolutely wants to see that, but I'd just as soon not see it. I just want to win. It's obviously going to be a challenge whoever's out there. These are some of the premier players in this game.

On if he's talked to Mark Sanchez about taking care of the football this week…

Yeah, that is a huge priority for us. You've got to eliminate the possessions that the Colts have. If you turn the ball over, this is not an outfit you can afford to do that against. We're definitely mindful of that. We have to do a great job protecting the football, and not just Mark, but the entire team.

On if he thinks Miami had the ideal game plan when they played the Colts…

Yeah, I would think so. They did a great job. Going back, we played Miami the week after, and they converted a lot of third downs in that game and kept drives alive. The time of possession was unbelievably tilted in their favor. Now, it's good news, bad news for Miami. They controlled the football, but they couldn't stop the Colts. It was a quick death, so to speak. It was two plays, touchdown, three plays, touchdown, one of those type of deals. That's not one way I want to control the time of possession, I can tell you that much [laughing]. I think you're exactly right as far as offensively what you have to do to control the football.

On if the Ravens played the Colts in the 2006 playoffs when the Colts won the Super Bowl…

Yes.

On if the Ravens were the home team…

We were.

On if he remembers that game on Jan. 13, 2007 vs. the Colts…

Yeah. [Adam Vinatieri] kicked five field goals on us. They never scored a touchdown, but they had five field goals in the game. We turned the ball over a few times, costly turnovers. That was really the difference in the game. I think statistically, it was a poor game from Peyton Manning's standpoint [15-for-30, 170 yards, two interceptions], but they did enough to win the game. We had a couple of opportunities. We dropped two interceptions. I think we had two. That was a tough one.

That defense right there in '06, had that team won the Super Bowl, might have gone down as maybe one of the best defenses in the history of the game. Actually led the NFL in more categories than any other defensive unit ever. I don't think people realize that, but that was the case with that group.

On how difficult it is to sack Peyton Manning considering he's only been sacked 10 times…

He gets rid of it. You can have a free runner on him, but he's still going to get rid of the football. You want to get a hit on him. You want to disrupt him some. You want to get him off his spot, but he knows exactly where he's going with the ball. I love the guy as a quarterback, but I hate him. When you play him, you have such great admiration and respect for him, but golly, stay back there, take a hit, one of those types of deals. It's very frustrating to play against a guy like this. In that game that we talked about, we lost the game, he converted a third-and-long. Literally, he had to put it in a window like this [holds fingers apart], and he did. You can't cover a guy any better than he did. Dallas Clark made a great catch to really seal that game and made it a two-score game. There's one guy that can make that throw and it's Peyton Manning.

On the importance of the defense not showing the coverage pre-snap with Peyton Manning coming to the line…

Well, that's it. The other thing is he can snap it quick. He can take it all the way down to one second. I don't think it's entertaining football. That's just me [smiling]. That's how I feel about it. Another reason he shouldn't play, [it's a] national game, nobody wants to see Peyton Manning [smiling].

On Sanchez's turnovers…

It's funny because you look back in that game — not funny — but you look back in the game, he had one of his better games, albeit those two plays that he forced the issue on. He was good at picking up his reads [and] threw the ball well. We've got to find a way. We're going to focus in. We're going to get this thing right.

On if the offense will be able to score enough points to keep up with the Colts…

We're going to have to, there's no question about that. We're going to need to score touchdowns, As confident as I am in our defense, this team is the premiere offense in the league. They've got weapons all over the place. Peyton orchestrating it. They're well-coached, too. I don't think Tom Moore gets enough credit. He and Howard Mudd have been there for 100 years. All right, 50 years [smiling]. They do an unbelievable job. They're going to score on us. There's no question. I think we'll move the ball. When we get in their red zone, we've got to find a way to get it in the end zone.

On Braylon Edwards' comments on Monday…

I don't think he was the only one who made mistakes after the game, obviously with my comments [smiling]. I think the whole locker room was hurt. You put so much into it. If you don't put anything into it, you don't feel this way. You put so much in it, it's like, "Golly, we've got to find a way to get it done." To have that game end the way it did, trust me, he wasn't the only guy frustrated. I think there's confidence in our offense. I'm excited about watching us play this week. I know it's going to be a great challenge. How we get those ends blocked will be interesting. When we're simulating third down, we're lining guys up off sides on purpose just to simulate that speed off the edge. Hopefully, that can help us make a difference, so you're not shocked when those two guys are flying off of there. We're trying to do anything that we can. The Colts know we're going to let it fly. We have no choice. We're a desperate team. We're desperate to make the playoffs. There are a lot easier opponents to play than the Indianapolis Colts, but so be it. We're going to have to find a way to beat them.

On if the code that was in place on Sanchez's first interception…

I probably should have put him in a different code than I had him in that situation, especially to start the game. I'll take responsibility for that. I probably did have him in the wrong mindset.

On the problems that Dallas Clark poses…

Do you want me to lie to you or just tell you the truth [laughing]? This guy's really good. Hopefully, one day Dustin Keller can be like Dallas Clark. He's a matchup nightmare. The quarterback is so accurate that when he breaks, he's got such great timing with him, he'll throw Dallas Clark the ball before he's ever looking for it or coming out of his break. He knows exactly when he's going to release. That's the tough thing. Those two are in sync. There's no question about it. I don't know if there's another tight end in the league with better receiving skills than him.

On the Reggie Wayne's touchdown in the back of the end zone…

Unfortunately, you can't stop a perfectly thrown ball. You can have great coverage. They have so much talent. It's going to be an interesting matchup. We're going to see Revis against Reggie Wayne. Peyton's going to take some shots, so we'll see. Hopefully, we can get Peyton off his spot a little bit enough to maybe hurry a throw. Maybe his feet don't get set. He's got the ability to make the perfect throw. Reggie Wayne is about as talented as it gets. Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, TO [Terrell Owens], Steve Smith. Now here comes this guy. It's going to be a fun one to watch right there, that competition between those two.

On if Revis will get more consideration for Defensive Player of the Year if he covers Reggie Wayne well…

I would think so with it being on the national stage. I think the whole country's going to get to see what kind of player Darrelle Revis is.

On if he has a game plan for Colts backup quarterback Curtis Painter…

We watched all the preseason games of him. He's got a big arm. It's almost like he's trying to get the same kind of mannerisms [as] Peyton Manning. He's got mobility. He'll break the pocket on you a little more. He looks to throw. He doesn't look to just run. He's got quite a bit of mobility, as well. He's got a big arm, big-time arm. Again, there's only one Peyton Manning.

On if Kellen Clemens will be the holder this Sunday…

Yes, he still will be.

On if he feels good about Kerry Rhodes matching up against Clark…

He's got the length and everything else. I agree with you. We're going to do multiple things on him, so we'll change it up. I don't want him to just know that, "Hey, it's this player." We're going to have different ways. We're going to have to hit him at the line of scrimmage, mix our coverages, mix our blitzes and just try to upset the timing a little bit.

On if he looks back to the New Orleans game when trying to give his defense confidence about playing the Colts…

We'll have confidence. I think we're playing pretty good on defense, especially the last four or five games. I feel it coming on. Again, we'll know a lot more about our football team if we can stop this offense because nobody's really stopped it. That's going be our challenge. There's no doubt. When you look at who we've played, and I know it's been pointed out that maybe we haven't played the best offenses, but I would disagree. We've played New Orleans. We've played New England twice. We've played Houston. We played Tennessee. We played a bunch of teams that have some pretty good offenses. This is just another challenge, albeit a huge challenge.

On if this is a statement game for the defense…

You don't get to number one by accident. Here's something on scoring defense. I think we've given up [172] points on defense this year. The next nearest team is the Ravens, which has given up [211] points on defense. I think this defense is pretty good. Like I said, we've played them all. We've lined up against almost all the top offenses in the league. If you're able to stop this team, then we can go from good to great. The other thing that's frustrating, the thing that's frustrating to me is finishing. We talked about finishing. It's ironic. In a two-minute situation [in the first half] this year, offenses have gone against our defense 13 times and have kicked one field goal. At the end of the game, we've given up, I forget the exact number, but maybe 17 points, but three times we've given up the lead and lost. That's definitely the challenge for us defensively.

On if the Ravens are a threat to sign players like Keith Fitzhugh from the practice squad because they play a similar defense…

I think they are. They're going to know that they're well-coached. You've got Dennis Thurman and Mike Pettine coaching that defense, so that's always a possibility. The thing that Ozzie Newsome did [is] he gave us the courtesy, let us know that that was a definite possibility, that if we wanted to make a different move on our roster, we could have. That's a professional courtesy from Ozzie and John Harbaugh. Again, I wish him [Keith Fitzhugh] well. He's a great kid. Fitzy is a great kid. You've got to look at your roster. We're blessed to have four really good safeties.

On if Chris Perry was brought in for a workout…

Yes. We brought in Chris Perry and some other guys. I don't really know their names [laughter]. We did work them out. We're always going to do the old due diligence. We're going to bring some guys in. We're looking for the possible future. Would we sign a guy like Chris Perry? I know he did have an impressive workout.

On the team's motivation to beat the undefeated Colts…

You really do want to mark yourself against the best. There is no question about that. The part about them being undefeated, I think some of our players say, "Hey, that's great." To me, it's like we're trying to make the playoffs, so it doesn't get any bigger than that. I think the competitiveness in you says, "Hey, look, this team is undefeated." They're 14-0, and they deserve to be 14-0. You're playing against the best team in the National Football League. That ought to be just great motivation. I don't think it's about, well, let's try to ruin their perfect season. I think it's more the fact that you get to compete against that quality of a football team. Like I said with the '72 Dolphins, they can think that, "Hey, it's great. We're happy for you guys." That's not it at all. We're just trying to keep our playoff chances alive here.

On when he learned that the team still had a chance to make the playoffs…

It was like the day after. It was really when I was reading the clips. I'm like "Wow" [laughter]. I'm not kidding. I'm like, "Oh, boy." I never really had the scenarios until Mike Tannenbaum said, "Here are our scenarios." I'm like, "Wow. We can do this. We can still do this. It's alive." When you really stop and look at it, we have a better chance now than we did last week, which is just the way it worked. We lost to an NFC team where others lost to AFC teams.

Quite honestly, for six weeks, really the thing was we have to win out. That was our mentality, that we had to win out or we were done. We had to get help anyway, but there's no way we can get more help than that, that we could actually make it with a loss. I think that was certainly my mindset. I never realized it until I was reading those clips.

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