Rex's Wednesday News Conference

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

Brad Smith was voted the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, so we all know what that means. It means he won't be getting the game ball. Take that away from him. That's an outstanding award. He's definitely deserving of it. I really thought that he could break the record. Remember we talked about that. I thought he would've broken the record if he wouldn't have caught the ball up here on kickoff, backed up a few more steps, catch it, maybe go for the record next time. Anyway, that was outstanding. He's been tremendous, especially of late. We're really featuring him in some of that Wildcat, Seminole or Mizzou package we call it. Everybody's got their own names. He's doing a great job on that as well.

Let's talk about the injury front. We had Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson, that was not injury-related, I just kept them out of practice again. Worked last week, so we figure we'll give it another shot this week. Darrelle Revis was out with illness. [Donald] Strickland with that quad, no surprise here, we thought he might miss today. The last play of the game where we got a sack, he bruised a quad, so we'll see how he is tomorrow, but he did not practice. Shaun Ellis is limited with the knee, like we said he would be the rest of the year. Then the guys that were full: Shonn Greene with the shoulder, Mark Sanchez with the knee, and Robert Turner, knee.

On if Sanchez was limited in practice…

No. Full. Sanchez, Green and Turner were full. Limited was Shaun Ellis.

On Revis' illness…

I'm no doctor. Want to take a stab at it, Bruce [Speight]? He came in this morning and then we sent him home.

On if Revis was hanging out in the offensive line meeting room…

Probably. It's his turn, I think.

On if Revis has "Ochocinco fever"..

I doubt that. That's going to be a great one. Chad [Ochocinco] is doing his normal stuff with the tweeting. I like him. I like the way he plays. I hope he doesn't play this week. Any time we play him, he's always got comments. I think it's good. I think it's good for the game. He usually says he's going to knock somebody out before we play games. I'm just waiting on that one. He's going to knock Bart [Scott] out.

On Ochocinco saying he wanted to hit Scott in the face…

That's normally what he says [laughter]. I'm not surprised by that comment at all.

On who would win a debate between Scott and Ochocinco…

That would be a tough one right there. Bart would be pretty good, but Chad, he might have him.

On the opportunity this week…

Every goal of any team is to get in the playoffs, see where it takes you. It's right there in front of us. We control our own destiny. If we win, we all know it now, we're in the playoffs [smiling]. Obviously, we're excited about that opportunity. To do it in front of our fans, we think that's going to be a huge bonus. I understand that there's going to be a butt in every seat and hope they're all Jet fans and ready to go. Our fans are eager for this football team to make the playoffs. We're doing everything we can not to disappoint them. We had an excellent practice today. Cincinnati's definitely going to get our best shot, no doubt about it.

On what he told his team on how to approach criticism that they got lucky the Colts pulled their starters…

Hey, I don't care. Our guys don't care. Say we got lucky, this, that, the other. There's been a lot of times this year we've had anything but luck. You stay in it long enough, it'll come back around. I just think we're just excited to be in this position. We lost a bunch of games in a row, but right now it doesn't matter because we win this one, we're in the playoffs and that was our goal going into the season. It's right there in front of us. It's very attainable. We'll see how we do. We're not taking anything for granted. We're preparing. Our guys are doing a great job, getting their rest and doing all those things you need to do to put forth the best effort we can. We'll see what happens.

On if it is challenging to prepare for a team when you don't know who will be playing…

No. We're preparing like the starters are going for them. If that doesn't happen, then so be it. We'll look at film of the other quarterbacks, but they're going to have 11 over there in Bengal uniforms, and that's all that matters to us.

On if it has been a bumpier than expected ride with Mark Sanchez…

I think just the opposite. We have had some bumpy rides as a football team, not just Mark. He's obviously going to get more blame than he should and, you know that old saying, more credit when we win. But shoot, we're in this position. There's very few rookie quarterbacks that have come down the road that have helped put their teams in this situation. I'm excited about it. I think he's getting better. I think he understands what we need out of him. We need him to play the quarterback position efficiently. I think Mark understands that.

On how much he's talked to Sanchez about managing the game and not making mistakes…

Well, I think that's it. It's a tough thing because you don't want him to play tight and be fearful of making mistakes. At the same time, our football team is 8-0 when we win the turnover battle. Obviously, we have to protect the football first and then if you have a chance and you know you can make that throw, go ahead and make it. If there's a risk involved, we need to weigh that risk/reward. I think he's doing a better job of it. I know he had the three interceptions against Atlanta, obviously the third one was you had to take your shot in there. I hope he's learned from it, and I think he has. This football team, we were playing the Colts last week, you can't turn the ball over against that bunch, and we did a good job. We got two turnovers and never had any. That was good for us.

On how Sanchez will handle the pressure this weekend…

I think he's going to do just fine. We're fortunate. He played some huge games, at USC. He's played some good big games up to this point. Really, you go back five weeks. We thought we had to win out, so those were some pressure games as well. I think he knows the formula for our team's success. He's confident. He's ready to go. If we had to play tomorrow, he'd be ready to roll.

On if Sanchez will struggle playing in the cold weather…

I don't see that happening. The first game against Buffalo, he threw like five of them. Whether it was cold, I don't think it's a factor at all. He felt good. In the Atlanta game he felt great. He just made two poor choices. He did some really good things in that game. He just made some big mistakes, but the weather has nothing to do with it.

On his first season as a head coach…

It's been great really. I talk about it all the time, but I'm really fortunate to be surrounded with the people I'm surrounded with, from the top of our organization, Woody Johnson, all the way down. We've got a great coaching staff. They've been a huge help for me going through things, the organizational part of it. Bruce [Speight] has been a blessing for me, really everybody. Mike Tannenbaum, we're a team. I always say this: I'm set up to succeed here, so I'm going to have a tough time failing.' I truly believe that. It's not because of me. Maybe the little ability that I have, but it's the ability of all the other people in this organization. That's why I think we'll succeed. I know we'll succeed.

On Chad Ochocinco…

First off, I'll say this: I'm glad we're not playing Chad Johnson again. You can go back and look. We never, never covered Chad Johnson. He destroyed us, but Chad Ochocinco, he can't be as good as that other guy [laughter]. No, we mix a lot of things up on him. He's a guy you don't like to get started, that's for sure. We put linebackers to hit him. You need to get hands on him early in a down. Any time we put a man-to-man cover guy, he beat it. If we're going to go man this week, it's only because we have Darrelle Revis because nobody else in the League is going to cover Chad one-on-one. There will be times when obviously we'll see what happens. Usually the plan is that everybody has to double him.

On the matchup between Ochocinco and Darrelle Revis…

I think it's going to be a great one. I don't think people understand how good Chad is. I mean, this guy, like I say, you have to double him. He and Randy Moss, in my opinion, are the two best vertical receivers in the game. I mention that. He can catch underneath things. Where he kills you is the go routes, the fade-eight routes, post routes, comebacks, deep outs. That's where this guy kills you. He has unbelievable body control. He's a big guy. I've always been a big fan of his.

On Cedric Benson…

He's had an unbelievable year, great year. He missed a few games with injuries, but he's had a phenomenal year. They do a lot of different things. They're going unbalanced lines, putting an extra tackle in, tackle-overs. They've been really running the ball efficiently this year.

On the Bengals' rush defense…

That's a big challenge. You've got to tip your hat to Marvin and his staff. I know Jeff Fitzgerald is doing a great job over there coaching the linebackers. Fitzy was with us for a long time and I know the kind of coach he is and obviously Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer. That's a well-coached unit. They added Tank Johnson. I think they've got some big guys inside, that's obviously where it starts when you're trying to stop the run. You've got to have those big guys inside. Then they got a very active and aggressive linebacker crew.

On if he was disappointed Thomas Jones was not selected to the Pro Bowl…

Yes, I can understand certainly the guys that were selected had outstanding years. The young man from Tennessee [Chris Johnson] had a phenomenal year — really all the backs. I thought Thomas deserved to go. I thought D'Brickashaw [Ferguson] deserved to go. I guess every coach is sitting in a similar situation. You always think your guy should go.

I thought it was interesting that some teams had two linebackers go, and we had the No. 1 defense in the league, and some of our linebackers played pretty darn good this year, and we never had any go, which is unfortunate. Hopefully I think if we get into the playoffs, we'll get some national exposure, I think people will realize how good some of our players are.

On Marvin Lewis…

He's a great guy, number one, obviously really a smart guy, an attention-to-detail guy, passionate — just a great coach. He's a special coach. I also think some of the things that maybe I do coaching-wise, the faith that you have in your assistants, Marvin let us coach. He believed in you. I appreciated that coming in as a defensive line coach. I never felt Marvin was breathing down my neck. I think he trusted the fact he put together an excellent defensive staff. You felt that it was our defense and not just his defense. I always appreciated that as a coach, coaching under Marvin. There were several things I learned from Marvin schematically. I was never a big believer in stunts and line stunts until I was under Marvin. I see the success we had obviously in Baltimore with it, some of the coverages. I took a ton of things from Marvin.

On this year's defense in comparison to some of his other ones…

I don't know. Hopefully we'll find out. We got to get in first and then the great thing is about playoffs, you better be able to run the football and you better be able to stop people. I think we're built for it. So we'll see. We've got to earn our right in there first. I know this is the best defense the NFL has to offer right now. You can look at it from a statistical standpoint, any way you want. The thing that jumps out at me, this is the No. 1 scoring defense in the league, and we've given up seven or eight touchdowns and the defense hasn't even been on the field. I think our points allowed would still be under 200 had those points not be scored against them. That would be quite an accomplishment. Being the first year of a system, again, I've got to credit Mike Pettine, Dennis Thurman, Bob Sutton, Jeff Weeks and all those guys. They do an outstanding job of teaching. Our players have done a great job of humbling themselves, coming in and embracing a brand new system. It's paid off for us, I think.

On the era of negativity from fans throughout the years…

I don't feel that from our fans. It's going to be a cold night and everything else. We got a butt in every seat. Our fans want to see this team win. They expect to see our team win. We expect it of ourselves as well, so I don't feel any negative thing. If anything, I've said it the day I came here, I think I have good karma here. My dad, his first year coaching the Jets, they won the Super Bowl, so I think that's good karma.

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