Rex's Wednesday Press Conference

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

Opening statement…

First off, I guess everybody likes our new schedule (smiling), so we're changing that tomorrow. We'll see how it works. Hopefully we can finally get this thing going at the right time.

Injury-wise, looks like our guys are pretty healthy. (Mike) DeVito, you know, wasn't a full participant, but he did participate in individual drills.  We did give him a couple of team reps. So we're hoping that he's going to be ready to roll. Other than that, everybody participated so we should be in pretty good shape.

I can give you a couple stats on the Houston Texans. Last year one of the best first down offenses. On offense I think they led the league. I think it was over six and a half yards per play on first down. So that's something that obviously when you look at them statistically, they were third overall in offense last year, but on first down, they're able to move the chains, bringing up second-and-short. Obviously, that's a position we can't give up. We got to do a great job on first down against them. That's going to be a big challenge.

The quarterback, [Matt] Schaub averaged nine yards a pass attempt on first down last year. So, that's pretty good. I hope they run it more on first down (smiling). I'm just kidding. You know, really some amazing stats, but it also shows you that this is a very talented team, and we know that. We think we're going to be up to the challenge and we're going to find out.

Okay, let 'er rip...

On the challenge the defense will have against a Houston team that has play callers that keep teams off balance…

I think it will be a fun challenge. It is going to be a challenge. Again, that's part of this league. Every week you go up against an outstanding coordinator or play caller. [Gary] Kubiak certainly is that. So was [Mike] Shanahan. If he's like his dad, he'll probably run it more if he's in charge of it.

No, I mean, it's also a testament to the type of players they have. I mean, that shows me right there you probably have to play eight-man spacing to slow down Steve Slaton and that running attack of theirs. Then you got Andre Johnson over there. Most of the time you better have two guys on him. So it's a tough situation.

They got a good receiving tight end (Owen Daniels). They have the other young man at wideout (Kevin Walter), a big, physical target that I understand has a bit of a hamstring. Hopefully he'll get better next week, maybe he might miss this week.  That would be fine with me. But he's a good football player.

On where the defense is right now and the challenge of facing Houston's offense…

We're going to find out real quick. They averaged 383 yards a game or something on offense, so third overall in the NFL on offense. They're even better than that at home. We're going to find out. I think I know where it is. I think everybody will find out next week, on Sunday, just how good this defense is.

On Darrelle Revis matching up against Andre Johnson…

It's Darrelle or Lito or Lowery. We're not going to just put one guy on him, as far as I know (smiling). So we'll see. But, no, I mean, this guy is a great receiver, things like that. I certainly have a lot of confidence in our corners, as well. It's going to be a good matchup.

On Texans DE Mario Williams' progression as a player…

It's frightening. He's got 26 sacks the last two years. I think they should cut him, and we may claim him. Let him punt if he wanted to (laughter). But the guy is a stud, there's no question about it. I think you can ask Ozzie (Newsome) what I thought about him draft day. I think that's when Reggie Bush came out and a lot of those quarterbacks.

This guy got that one right because I could have taken Mario with a first pick. That's tough to say. I mean, I would have. A guy like that comes out once every 20 years. He's a special guy, special athlete. He's worked at his craft. He's a tremendous player.

On if he will be overwhelmed by calling the defense…

I think there's some truth to that, but I think it might be tougher if I called offense. It doesn't seem to be that tough right now. We'll see. I got some great guys. If Mike Pettine had to call defenses, he certainly could. Again, I'm going to blame Mike if it doesn't go well. But, no, I have confidence in Mike. I have confidence in Shotty (Brian Schottenheimer). These guys are outstanding coaches. I got (Mike) Westhoff over there, and he'll be standing side-by-side. We'll be calling things together. I got Bill Callahan beside me.

At the end of the day, I got to make those decisions, and I'll definitely be ready for it. There will be a lot of times when I'll be over there with the defense, and if the offense is going on, I'll have to use my eyes upstairs, Mike Pettine, in particular, and the guys up top if we need to make a challenge or whatever it is.

I'm not going to call any offensive plays except for that nine route to Clowney. That's the only play I've ever called on offense. So I think that's pretty well it.

I think if there's a decision to be made, obviously that time of the game, I'll be right there.

On Mark Sanchez's vibe this week…

You guys know. You guys have seen him. He's the same guy. And that's a good thing. Be yourself. Be consistent. He's going to do just fine.

On if Mike Westhoff is helpful during game days…

I've only seen everything once. I think he's seen everything twice, so he'll let you know it, too (smiling). But he's great. He really is. Him and Callahan, in particular, those guys, Bob Sutton, these guys have seen a lot of huddles broke in their day. It's great to have that experience with you.

On what it's going to be like for him in his coaching debut…

I'm ready to roll. I mean, it's going to be great. Like I said yesterday, there's a lot easier places to open than at Houston. I'm very fortunate to be in this position. I realize that. But I also think I'm here for a reason. I'm fortunate to have a lot of great people around me, and that's why I think I'm going to be successful.

It's not just me. I think I'm decent, but I think I got a lot of great coaches around me, a lot of great support staff around me and I got a great football team. I think it's going to be hard not to be successful.

On why he's confident about the defense with two starters not playing this Sunday…

I think that's my experience. I expect to play well. There's no excuses. We're down a couple guys. We've been down a couple guys before. It's not always going to be an ideal situation. I think we have a lot of talent on defense. I think we're well-coached. That's a credit to Mike Pettine and Sutton and DT (Dennis Thurman). (They've) done a great job there. I think this group is getting better with their communication. You know, I understand it's not where it's gonna be come week 10 or something, but I think it's good enough. You know, I think we're going to play to the strengths of our guys. I think our guys are ready to get after it. This is a good offense that we're going against. We know that. But they only got 11 over there, and we got 11 on our side, so let's see what happens.

On Steve Weatherford…

That guy looked good today. Weatherford (smiling). I just saw No. 9 out there. I never knew if we had swapped him out yet. No, he punted well today. We had him break down the team and everything. I was just so happy to see a guy out there. I mean, you know, we'll see what happens. But I feel pretty good about him.

On if Weatherford punted well today…

Yes, he did.

On Ray Guy not being available…

Ray Guy was not available last time I checked. But, anyway, I think Jerry Jones got him and they're punting, making sure that roof's high enough. But, no, this guy's pretty good. My good friend Jack Del Rio had him in Jacksonville. He was in a dogfight for that job. That could have gone either way, but they released him.

There's some guys that I respect in this league, and Jack is one of those people, and he recommended this young man to us. We picked up the guy from Tennessee (A.J. Trapasso). We let them punt off against each other and Weatherford won the job.

On if his dad will be at the game…

No, he'll be watching. He's got two teams to worry about, not just the Jets.

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