Rex's Wednesday News Conference

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

After yesterday's practice, you guys saw it, this is kind of a strange format where I am revisiting yesterdays practice. It was really an efficient practice for our offense, I thought. We put them in some situations. I thought we did a lot of good things, had a lot of positive plays in there. Obviously, Dustin Keller had a huge day and you see [Chaz] Schilens. [Darrelle] Revis is human, so I made that note. He actually caught a great touchdown catch over Revis, which I felt like stopping practice for, but really I thought it was a positive day. We'll see how it works today. Can we come back and follow it up?

I would like to see us more enthusiastic. On defense, if a guy makes a play, 50 guys are running in from the sideline going crazy. I want the same kind of enthusiasm, and Tony talked about it today to the offense. Chaz Schilens had an unbelievable catch and one guy goes over and gives him a high-five. This is a game and it's football and it's fun. Let's enjoy it and competing is great but also have fun and get after it and celebrate with each other. I would like to see more of that. Maybe it's just Chaz and nobody likes Chaz [laughter] and we all know that's not true. He's a nice young man. That was great to see yesterday.

I got a good piece of news yesterday with [LaRon] Landry. He is way ahead of where our trainers thought he would be. He thought it was best that he work out where people are very familiar with him and you kind of worry about that a little bit but it was a real positive. He has come back. he has obviously done a lot of work there so that was some good news. You saw him running in the back of the end zone, which was encouraging. We just have to be smart these next couple of days that he doesn't overdo things. He's on the right track and we feel good about it.

Let's talk about guys that won't practice today. We'll start with Brian Linthicum, I know you guys were asking about him. He's out with that quad injury. Patrick Turner won't practice with a hamstring, Jordan White obviously with a broken foot, Marcus Dixon is out with a calf, and obviously LaRon Landry will be out as well.

Guys that are limited today: Jeff Cumberland, Brandon Moore — we always keep Brandon on there but he'll be in there — DaMarcus Ganaway is moved to limited. He actually did some work yesterday with the team as well. Matt Slauson got in there and he is chomping at the bit, as you can tell, but he will be limited. Bryan Thomas, pass drills only. He took a couple snaps with the team as well, actually looked good running around so that was encouraging. Stephen Hill will do individual drills as will Powell. And then Santonio [Holmes], we will reevaluate him as he starts off going through some possible individual things with Bill [Hughan] again and we'll do the same thing with Quinton Coples. He had a little bit of a low back so we'll evaluate him to see the extent of what he can practice with.

Other guys we are monitoring, we are going to be looking at but we feel good, though: Royce Pollard, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens. So those are the monitor guys and same thing with Nick Folk — every one of them with a hamstring. They are wideouts so they've got a hamstring. Nick Folk even had a hamstring, our kicker. He thought he was a wideout so he got a hamstring.

On any worries about Landry's conditioning...

I think you know that in this league you have to work. There is no way of playing anymore. I know it was different in the Seventies. Today's game, these guys will take a week off here and there but they are working the whole year. That is really what it takes to play at this level. We mentioned you have to be in world-class shape especially to be a receiver, corner, pass rushers. That's what we always talk about. You have to be in world class-shape, so these guys don't really get out of shape anymore.

On how he expects the public to respond to practice…

Business as usual for us so it will be good. I think it's great that fans get to come out and watch and things. I think it adds some energy to your practices and guys like to make plays, they like to make plays anyways, especially when the fans are out there. You kind of feed off of that energy a little bit. We will see. We will have a team signing at the end so that will be interesting, see how many guys will go over those fences or something like that. Other than that it is just business as usual.

On how he can gage the progress of Mark Sanchez when two receivers are not able to practice…

The thing is he is using other guys. There are going to be more than those two receivers that make your team so I think it gives an opportunity for other guys to step up. It is unfortunate with both of those guys, Stephen Hill he was looking fantastic, he might have had his best practice and then he has a little bit of a hamstring deal but man was he coming. It was too bad the fans can't see him with his speed and size and everything else that he has is pretty spectacular.

On if it would be beneficial to Sanchez if Santonio were able to practice…

Oh, yeah, I think anytime you have a chance to work with guys like that, that would be a good thing. Again, we are in the beginning stages, well, actually not the beginning. We've learned the offense; now let's pick up the little things. Now let's see what the defense is doing, just even ratchet up even more. I think we have a good grasp of our offense right now, but we are going to put them in different situations, no-huddle situations, what we call "speedball." We're going to do some of that today so we'll see how we handle it. But to have a guy specifically there, of course you wish your guys were out there but if they're not, then somebody has to step up in the season as well.

On the learning curve for Stephen Hill…

The offense that he comes from is producing good receivers. Anytime you have a chance to get on a field, that will help you. This young man has done a great job in the classroom and even on the field where you see the things he's working on. As he told me, "Man, I'm working against two of the best that this league has, obviously, in Revis and [Antonio] Cromartie, getting to work against those two guys every day, that really helps. It's not going to get any worse than that." You're seeing the best this league has to offer and that's been good for him.

I mentioned before, the thing that you know he's going to do in the offense, you know he's going to block. He's definitely going to do that. So when the pads come on, I think he's already answered that question in college. The thing I've been really impressed with is his ability to get off press coverage. I think [WRs coach] Sanjay Lal has done a great job of working these guys with their route-running and all that kind of stuff. For a lot of times, a young receiver coming in this league, let's face it, Jerry Rice never started his rookie year, it's sometimes tough to do that. But I think this guy, without question, Stephen Hill is further along than I thought he would be.

On if the officials during practice are instructed to be strict on certain penalties…

A lot of times what you'll do is you'll study the crew that is assigned to you. And just like there's tendencies or something like that, that you will find in an opponent, a lot of times you will see that with officials. Some guys are looser on this call or that call. Not every crew is going to see it the exact same way. So we're really mindful of when we have to call this really tight on any formation. So we'll have our officials looking for anything. Illegal contact down field, they're standing right there downfield waiting to make those calls. So we emphasize it during the course of each particular game as well based on that crew. And obviously a fouls a foul, but there are some crews that'll call things maybe a little tighter than other crews.

On if Tebow is fulfilling what was expected of him…

I think we were the only people who ever had a problem with it, it seemed like. We look at it as we're adding a good football player, which we did. Is he behind Sanchez on the depth chart? Yes, just like every team has a guy behind their starting quarterback, but he brings so much more to the table. Obviously we talked about the Wildcat deal, we talked about the personal protector. He's replacing a guy that I loved with Brad Smith and everybody knows that. We were very effective running the Wildcat and he's basically replacing Brad in that role.

He's also your backup quarterback and he's also your personal protector, as was Brad Smith. So there's a lot of things that you can get, not just being the number two quarterback, that I thought was great for us. We know this guys a football player. He's won a lot of games as a quarterback in this league already so we feel great about that, having depth at the quarterback position. The young [Greg] McElroy kid is looking pretty good as well.

On Tebow bringing enthusiasm to the offense…

Oh, yeah. And there's some guys I see over there. I kind of like the banter, that goes without saying. Sanchez barking back at Bart [Scott], I thought was good. When a guy makes a play, let's get it on there. Let's go over there and celebrate if a guy makes a great play. So many times you look, it's not just like okay now let's move on to the next one he made a play, no, wait a second, we're going to get on you when you miss a play or you have a poor play. Let's celebrate the fact that your teammate made a great play. I think those are things that Tony [Sparano] talked about today specifically with the offense and that's something that we talk about all the time.

On Tedy Bruschi's comments about Tebow…

Well, first off, I have a great deal of respect for Tedy Bruschi. My brother has two Super Bowl rings, which he was a big factor in. I think with us, we're going to be ourselves. Tim is a very popular player, obviously, a popular person, and I think that's a good thing. Everybody wants to focus on the negative. I think it's a real positive. I look at him and he's a good football player and a heck of a person. I don't know where that's a problem for any team, especially for us. We like the fact that he's on our team.

On Tebow's play at quarterback…

I think had we done a whole lot of Wildcat plays or anything else, no, we're primarily focusing right now on getting the base offense in. So I think that's probably what we're talking about. Some of the specialty plays that you would have in a Wildcat, we really haven't focused on that yet.

On Tebow's mechanics and the assessment of him as a quarterback…

I would say this, when you look at it from a statistical standpoint, both Mark and Tim have had a higher percentage of completed passes through this camp than obviously it was during the regular season. I think both guys are more accurate than they were last year.

On if Tebow will play with the first string during training camp and preseason…

Well, we'll see. There may be times when he does that, but right now he'll be with the twos.

On if Sanchez and Tebow have co-existed well…

They're fine. I had thought that these guys would get along great because I know both of them and they both want the same thing, they both want to win. They're both competitive guys and they're good teammates. I think they're both accepting people, they accept other people, and they don't have to be exactly like each other but I think they get along the way I anticipated that they would get along.

On if he would like to see the Revis contract issue addressed before training camp…

I'm not going to get into the contract issue. I'll say this, everybody knows how I feel about Darrelle. Any contract talk, that's going to be Mike Tannenbaum's deal. I'm going to focus more on coaching this football team.

On the improvement of Muhammad Wilkerson this offseason…

You guys know what I've said about him before. I expect him to be here, he's going to be hard to ignore. That's for sure. The thing that you always look for is a young man, a rookie coming into the league, a lot of times he'll hit that wall and they'll do just the opposite, he actually got better as the season went on, he was playing at a super high level by the end of the season and he's actually gotten better. I think he's taking practice as an opportunity to get better, kind of like a Darrelle Revis, where Darrelle hits the field everyday trying to compete and get better, that's the way Muhammad's been.

On having young guys like Wilkerson and Coples on the defensive line…

I'll also throw in Kenrick Ellis, who's another guy that's improved by leaps and bounds. So those will give you three really young guys to go with two excellent veterans in Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito and then you have Marcus Dixon. This is a young group, we're going to be really good up front for a long time. I hope I stay as long as they can play because it's going to be a great run with those guys.

On if he's happy with where the defense is right now…

Absolutely. I think the communication is so much better now and it should be it's your fourth year. We do have some new guys in there, Yeremiah Bell has stepped in and done a tremendous job, I think you see more from Eric Smith being more of a vocal leader, where Jimmy Leonhard used to run it, I think Eric has stepped in that role for us. Bart Scott, David Harris, now being in their fourth year there together. DeVito, Bo [Sione Pouha], all these guys, it's where we want it to be. The corners, when I first got here, would always look at the safeties, would look at Jim Leonhard, and Jim would set the whole defense. Now, they're looking at the safeties and letting them know what they want to do. And I think that's where this defense has progressed to.

On having safeties that aren't known for being coverage guys…

Well I think these guys can do a lot more than just go in there and blast you on the running game. Landry obviously is a force. When he's healthy he's a 4.3-something-in-the-40 type guy, he's got tons of God-given ability. Yeremiah Bell gets it done. Yeremiah is as fast as he needs to be. There were times when I talked to Tony about Yeremiah, we wanted to put him back there but because of their situation they decided it was best for them to put him down in the box and it's hard to argue with that one when you see the impact plays that he makes and the type of plays he makes. With us, we were looking for all around safeties and I think we have three right now that I feel really good about.

On if this defense will be better than the 2009 defense…

It has a chance to be. Now again, that defense really came together, but I don't see any reason why it can't be that good.

On why the defense is showing more four-man fronts…

First off, when you put a defense together, when [Mike] Pettine and I look at our defense, we're going to try to put our best 11 out there. Then there's what can we do effectively? I think now you're going to have an ideal situation where you're going to be able to rush the passer with four guys, a straight 4-3 type pass rush, which a lot of teams in this league do. I think we have the ability to do that and also mix in everything else we've got.

Because when you look at them, when we talk about our safeties, in an ideal world, you want similar type guys, where it's not just this guy's up, this guy's down, or vice versa. You want guys that can do both. We'll have three of those guys that can do that right now. Our corners can play man, they can play zone. We feel good about the linebackers that we have.

This defense, the top four defenses in the league last year played with two inside linebackers every snap. That was San Francisco, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Houston. Obviously, that's where we expect to be. When this defense is really humming, that's what you want. I think the way Bart has come back, I think we're ready to do that. Demario Davis is a young man that can fly, I think he can do that. So we have no excuses whatsoever on defense. We think this is as deep a group as we've had. 2009 was interesting because you had [Kris] Jenkins and guys like that and Shaun Ellis. We don't have those guys anymore, different body types, but I feel great about the depth that we have.

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