REX: The Enemy Is Not in Green and White

Updated, Aug. 8, 8:45 a.m. ET

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's midday news conference following the Jets' Tuesday morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

I'm glad we're playing somebody else on Friday. It'll be good. It's that time of the year. You've already had your scrimmage and when you come back, it's not uncommon that guys are chippy, they still want to hit, and you see that. But my big thing is protecting your teammate and don't do anything selfish. I think sometimes you are trying to be physical, but being physical is one thing, going past that is something else, and that's what I didn't like. That's why we stopped and we had to remind guys that the enemy is not in green and white, so that's what we did.

Other than that, I think that practice was good. I think that Mark [Sanchez] threw the ball well. David Harris made a great play on him in the red zone for the interception, but I think Mark really threw the ball well at times and we had a backed-up situation. It was tough sledding initially for the offense but I like the way the offense responded later in the same drill. They came back and popped some first downs through there, so that was good to see. You have got to be able to run the ball and I've always said you have to be able to run the football when that other team knows you're running it. If you can and you're successful that way, it's going to be a long day for that other defense, so I saw a little of that today.

Bilal Powell is a guy that continues to impress. He made some great jump cuts, he did some different things and he has really been impressive to me.

On if he has ever stopped a practice to make a team run sprints…

No, I never have. The only time I've ever been in charge of a whole team is with the Jets and that's the first time we've done that.

On why he decided to stop practice…

Well, because you remind them of things. I'd already talked to them about taking care of one another. When I saw the situation where that was exactly what I was talking about, how that isn't taking care of one another, I'd seen enough and I just ran them.

On why he stopped practice once before he made the team run sprints…

Well, it was just a thing again about reminding each other that it's about being physical but also protecting your teammate. In that case, I saw a rookie run through a guy. It's a thud period, you thud off a guy. He tried to run through a guy and that is not what you're looking for. That's not being physical. That to me is being selfish. I told the guys about it, and sure enough, apparently somebody never got the message and I just felt that it was best to control the situation, which we did.

On if he gets worried when a veteran doesn't understand the message he is trying to send…

The tough thing is, it's a balancing act between being physical. If Cro [Antonio Cromartie] plays to his physical abilities and plays physical, he's about as good as it gets. Then, that fine line of protecting your teammate when that's the situation, I thought Cro should've backed off and not hit Dustin [Keller] and all of that. He's trying to be physical, trying to pick his play up. We always talk about developing habits, but in that situation, it's your teammate and you don't want to do it. I thought Cro was wrong in that situation. Again, we didn't just do it because of Cro. We've had some cases where there's been some chippiness and things and it was just time to do it and I think that will remind them.

On if he said anything to the team Monday…

No, I think yesterday was chippy but it was physical. Yesterday I thought was really physical. We had the one skirmish in front of everybody, but that was kind of the main thing. You always have a few things going on, but I think that was it. Every camp, don't think this is the only one. This is mild for what we've had in the past. The first year we were here was kind of like "Wow," but everybody again, the message you're getting is, we're going to be physical, and it's kind of a fine line. Once they figure it out, [I] can be physical but I can still take care of my teammate. It's just finding that.

Here we have a new offensive scheme and a coaching staff that's trying to do the same thing we did three years ago when we tried to put in a defense. So sometimes that's habit. You want to finish and be that guy that gets the last shove. Sometimes that leads to that. We just have to understand this is who we are, we're going to be physical, but we still have to take care of each other.

On what made him feel so strongly about the fighting…

I guess the big thing is I just felt it needed to be done, no question. The point I wanted them to understand is that I'm serious about it. I think a lot of times guys will fight and they'll do all that type of stuff, and as a coach, sometimes you want that out of your guys. You want them to be over the top, aggressive because you can always rein them in. Sometimes if they don't have that, then you kind of wonder. Clearly, I don't question the guys' toughness, I don't question the guys' courage. Now was the time to rein them in, and that's what we did.

On if he is afraid they won't be aggressive enough…

Well, that's what I mean. That's when you don't want to rein them in too much, but now I think is a time that we have to. We're getting ready, and it's going to be helpful that we're playing somebody else. They see their teammates competing against that other colored jersey, I think that helps.

On if he likes that Joe McKnight and Antonio Cromartie appear to have an edge…

I don't like the fact that in those two cases, and there's been others, I don't like that. I like the fact that guys are tough and they compete and they challenge each other. I don't need a guy throwing a football. We don't need that. That's going to hurt your team, because you just cost us 15 yards and you get thrown out of a football game. You're not helping us. We have to understand that and there are other things, too. When you correct guys, it's not a personal thing. You're trying to fix a problem, or trying to get people better. Sometimes guys take things personally, they take things on the field, and that's not appropriate.

On why he made them run sprints…

I just wanted them to know how serious I am about it. I also wanted to run them until I was tired.

On if making them run was a tough decision since he's never done it before.

No, I mean, I know what my job is. My job is to get this team ready to go and be the team that I envisioned having and we're going to, and that's it.

On if there are any updates on Dennis Landolt…

Yeah, I think he subluxed his knee, so I don't know how long he'll be out. Sometimes that's a three-week-type deal, from my understanding. I'm not 100 percent sure on that. I did not see it. All I know is they were doing 1-on-1, which is usually a safe drill, but I guess [Marcus Dixon] powered over him or threw him or something, and it was a bull rush and apparently Landolt, his leg gave. That's what my understanding was through Dennis.

On if he is saw leadership from Sanchez speaking to the team…

I am, and I see it not just there. I see the burning desire. He wants to win and that's great, him being the competitor he is. So I do see it, and I think players are more accepting of it, because when you're a young player, sometimes you haven't earned your stripes yet, but the reason I say they're so accepting of it is because they see how hard he's trying, how hard he's competing, what he's like in the classroom. I mean if no one has the answer, he has the answer. I think they appreciate that and they understand there's only one way to get there, and it's to do the work, and that's what Mark has done. So I think that goes a long way.

On Powell and if he is the second-team running back right now…

Well, it depends on the situation. We'll see what happens in these preseason games to declare roles for guys, but clearly he's been impressive.

On what situation would make Powell the second-team running back…

Probably that he's the best guy, or the second-best guy.

On if the team is bonding as well as he had hoped…

Yes, no question. I think they're getting a little too close though, punching each other [laughter]. Absolutely. You don't see it in the dorms like I see it. My room is down there on the first floor where they have the pool table, ping-pong and the TV. They're enjoying each other's company. You see it in the chow hall and when they're in the meetings. Quite honestly, there's very little free time that they have, but you definitely see it in them. Bart [Scott] is a guy that, as crazy as he is and as light as he makes practice, he's a guy that takes people to his home and all that type of stuff. That's the kind of culture we try to create here.

On if today was an example of taking control of the team after last year…

I know this is crazy, but I've tried to take control and be in control from the day I took the job and create a culture that I wanted here. I'm honestly tired of talking about last year, because I think it's a joke that I have to answer about it every single time, but my answer is the exact same. I said what I said about not having the pulse because, honestly, I never had it the way I thought. I thought that my team was close. I thought we were the same team I've always had, but it wasn't the case.

The reason I blame myself is because I wasn't in the situation I am, I wasn't in the meetings the way I had been in the past. I never knew there were some issues. If I thought there was an issue, I would address it head-on and do it immediately, like I've done since the day I took this job.

On if he is bothered by the perception that these fights were a carryover from last year...

Everybody has a right to their opinion, there is no question about that, no matter how wrong they are. To me, that's the case based on my personality. I always look at it this way, I think we're a little more disciplined than the general perception. You can't have the wins that we've had in the past and not be a disciplined football team. It hasn't been good enough, we haven't won the Super Bowl yet, but we're certainly aiming to.

On Boomer Esiason's comments about Tim Tebow and the Jets…

Hey, you know what? Boomer's got the right to his opinion. I totally disagree with it. I think Tim is an excellent football player. He's great for our team and the reason I say that is he's a tremendous teammate for the entire football team. I think it's a plus that Tim Tebow is on this football team.

On Darrelle Revis being on and off the field with an injury…

At the beginning of practice, he had to go back inside. He had some stiffness [in his lower back]. I'm not going to get into specifics. That happened earlier in camp as well. We tried to hold him back some, but he's a guy that you have to get in there and warm him up. Some guys are different. We don't want him to have the setbacks that he's had in a couple of other preseasons where he's actually pulled a hamstring. We don't need for Darrelle [Revis] to be set back two or three weeks when we can get him to fight through some things, and that's what we did.

I looked over there when we were running those gassers and you see Bart and Darrelle couldn't finish the gassers. So they're sitting back over there and at the end it's like, "OK, you missed your gassers, you have to make it up," and that's what they did at the end of practice. But they do it at their own pace. We're not there to try and get somebody to pull a hamstring or something. That doesn't help anybody.

On if he's surprised how much media attention the team has gotten…

I like how we did "Hard Knocks" a couple of years ago [laughing]. Every time you look up, it's like, hey, the Jets are on there. And you know what? That's fine. I'd rather have them talking about us than being a team that nobody cares about. I think it's really unusual that here we're just a football team that's coming off an 8-8 season, but it seems like people want to talk about us.

On if the fights in practice are similar to sibling fights…

That's a great point. The biggest fights I ever got into in my life, the worst ones, were with my brothers. I usually won — I always won. But that's an interesting take. Maybe that's it, because I see [Terrance] Ganaway and Demario [Davis] running into each other, and they seem to be very close off the field and everything else and they're kind of getting at it. I never thought about it that way, but I hope you're right.

On the fights the last two days…

I think if you've put us up to other teams, with their fights, we'd probably be way down there right now. We haven't had near the fights that we've had in the past and I'm sure other teams are having as well. That's almost a rite of passage and it seems like it always happens. It's hot and they're tired of hitting each other. Everybody needs to hit someone else, but those things happen.

Again, does it bring your team closer? I don't think so, I don't see that happening. But at the same time when you're trying to establish physical play, that's that fine line. At the end, it was interesting because at the end of practice when they're all tired after running, they practiced exactly the way I wanted them to practice.

On his experience with "Hard Knocks" and if he will watch this season's debut with Miami…

I'm not going to watch it, but I think it was good for us because we had a schedule that was all over the place. Monday night, Thursday night, Saturday night, whatever it was, and you deal with distractions. I think with "Hard Knocks" initially, we might have felt some of those distractions, but it was done so differently with the camera that you can't even see that at the end of the day.

I'm glad we did it and I think "Hard Knocks" does a great job and NFL Films does a great job. I think it's great for the league and I think it gives fans an interesting perspective on it. I think it's true what you see on there. There's nothing staged. It's the life of training camp in the NFL and I think it's great for the fans.

On Scott not finishing the sprints…

No, I don't know. I think he just pulled himself. I think he missed two gassers. He's just making sure he doesn't pull anything else. Obviously, he made up the gassers.

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