REX: That Opener, It's Something Special

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference after the Jets' Friday midday practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:

On injuries…

Sione [Po'uha] won't play and Eric Smith won't play. Other than that, everyone else should be up, ready to go.

On if this season feels different because of the struggles last year.…

No, that's way behind us. Right now, this is a brand new season and it's just like every other one. They're so special. Any time you kick off, there's something about that first game, you think you know how it's going to go, but you're still anxious to get out there and compete and watch that level of play pick up from everybody. I love the fact we're playing at home. I think that gives us a huge energy boost. Man, it's so special. Any game in this league is special, it really is, but that opener, there's something about it. Literally, I can go back almost my entire career and think about every opener. I might not have the specific day, but I can think about that feeling. You can't buy it. You stand on the sideline and you're a part of it. It really is special.

On what people will say about the Wildcat on Monday…

I have no idea. I'm not going to speak for anybody else, I just hope that ours was productive and there's wasn't. That will be good. I'll sign up for that one.

On how excited he is to see the Wildcat…

I'm eager to see it to. I'm a fan of football. I'm excited to see it. There's no doubt. Really, I want to see the adjustments teams try to make on it. How are they going to try to defend it? But we'll see. I'm excited to see this whole group play. Offense, defense, special teams, it's for real in front of our fans. It's going to be a beautiful day. It doesn't get much better than this.

On Dustin Keller's hamstring injury…

He looked good. I think he's ready to roll, so we'll see. How much it will limit him, I'm not sure, but he practiced today.

On the percentage of plays Sanchez will run in the game…

We are not going to put a percentage on it, at least I'm not going to.

On the percentage of plays Sanchez will run this season…

We'll see. The beauty of it is [that] you don't know and the opponent doesn't know. That's kind of the way I like it.

On Po'uha's injury…

He's close. He really is close. He's begging us to play, but I think we're just going to be smart and give him a little time. This is really the first week he practiced and he was limited the first couple of days, but he was out there today. We'll see. I feel better about him going next week.

On Eric Smith's status…

I feel good about him playing next week.

On Fred Jackson…

He reminds me a lot of Cookie Gilchrist. I think we said that the last time: "Lookie, lookie, here comes Cookie." Nobody remembers Cookie Gilchrist, but he was the man. He's a different type of runner than that obviously, but he was, I think, fourth in the NFL, until he got hurt, in yards from scrimmage. That tells you what kind of receiver he is, but it also tells you what kind of runner he is, averaged over 5 yards a carry, a super-talented guy. I like the way he pass-blocks, too. He's an all-around back, there's no doubt. A tremendous player.

On Woody Johnson calling his success unparalleled in franchise history…

I just hope I'm here a long time. That's what I plan on doing. I'm a confident person and I've said it all along, I'm confident in my abilities, but I'm more confident in the people we have in the building here. Sometimes the head coach can get let go because maybe he doesn't have the people around him. I have the people around me. If they let me go, it's not because of that reason. It's because I must have failed. I have a tough time believing that I'm going to fail with the men on this football team, the people in this building. I just have a tough time believing I won't be successful.

On if Eric Smith being out puts more pressure to make calls on Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie…

No, we just want them to line up and play their deal. You take your deal. We'll be all right. Yeremiah Bell is tremendous. LaRon Landry, this is the funny thing about LaRon, everybody sees that he walks out and "Ooof, who is that dude?" But he actually will study more tape on his own than anyone we have on the team. He's a sharp guy as well. For someone who has that look, and maybe the way he plays, "Is this guy all right?" But he is, he's tremendous, and Yeremiah Bell is similar to Eric Smith, very cerebral type guy. We'll be fine back there.

On his comfort with Bell and Landry making calls…

Yeah, I'm not going to lie to you, they're not at Eric's level right now, but they're still both pretty darn good.

On if he'll give any guarantees…

I guarantee that I won't give any guarantees. I'm not in that business. Again, we've gone over that, it never helped us. I knew it would blow up in my face, it would come down on me if it wasn't successful, but I did not plan on it being a burden on our football team, which it was. That's why I won't make them.

On if he regrets not naming captains…

No, it worked out well. We saved all that stuff, the stitching and all that stuff, we don't need those C's [joking], we don't. I never understood because if you are the guy that never got one, am I expecting anything less of that person? I'm not. Another mistake, tried that, next, somebody bring up another mistake I made last year because the list is long, there's no question it's long, but I hope I learned from them.

On if the players know who they can turn to anyway without captains…

I think you're right. I don't think there's any doubt about that.

On how confident he is in the offense…

I believe we'll be able to answer that as the season progresses. I think it won't just be me feeling confident, I think everybody will feel confident. I think our football team is confident and it doesn't matter who we play, we think we're going to be able to move the football.

On whether he thought it would be tough to replace Brad Smith…

No, we knew it would be tough. There's no doubt we knew it would be tough. We're talking about a guy that should have made the Pro Bowl that year. [He] was a great returner, led the NFL in kickoff return average, averaged eight yards a play carrying the football and always had the threat of the pass as well. We knew how valuable he was. I don't know the exact number, but I think it was around $3.5 million a year. You have to balance certain things, but clearly Brad's a guy I never wanted to see go in a different color jersey, especially in our division, but that was the case. I'm happy for him. He [was] able to take care of his family and that's important, but by no means did I want to see him leave.

On stopping Buffalo's Wildcat…

We know Brad pretty well. He's a tremendous player. The good thing is [we have been] going against each other, going against Tim and running our Wildcat, even Jeremy Kerley, what he brought to the table last year and this year, I'm just trying to throw that out there seeing if somebody will bite [joking]. We're ready for it. We think we are. They might have something up their sleeve for us with Brad as well.

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