Rex: Tony Sparano vs. 'Fins Will Be Special

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's midday news conference before the Jets' Thursday afternoon practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center:**

Big news, I guess, is [Darrelle] Revis is cleared for contact, so that's a good thing. We'll see what that means later in the week, but he will practice full. Let me knock off these injuries. [Dennis] Landolt will be out, still with that knee injury. These other players, I'm going right off this list, they won't practice today — Bryan Thomas, hamstring, John Conner, knee. Ellis Lankster hurt his back. He has a low back issue, hurt it during practice yesterday, so we'll keep him out of practice, hopefully we'll get him back later in the week. Quinton Coples is out with an illness, so he won't practice.

Guys that will be limited today in practice will be Eric Smith with his hip and knee, Dustin Keller with his hamstring, so that's different from yesterday, both of those guys are now limited. Then all these other guys I list will be full practice guys. That's Revis with a concussion, Sione [Po'uha] low back, [Isaiah] Trufant, ankle, [Antonio] Cromartie, shoulder, Chaz Schilens, ankle, Nick Bellore, shoulder, LaRon Landry, heel, [Mark] Sanchez, low back, [Nick] Mangold, wrist, Calvin Pace, Achilles, Bart Scott, knee, Mike DeVito, calf, and Brandon Moore, hip. It sounds like a lot, but all those guys will be full in practice today.

Yesterday's practice, I thought we had an excellent practice. Really, the scout team did a tremendous job on both sides, but in particular our offensive scout team, because they have to try to simulate Miami's no-huddle offense and it's tough. The coaches did a good job. We tried to put some of their plays in our verbiage all that kind of stuff, so we were out there flying. We were actually quicker than Miami's offense, which is saying something. I think it's good, the communication has to be quick, the calls come in quick, communication has to be sharp and I thought our guys did a really nice job of that. I think practice was over in who knows how long, but we zipped through it.

Certainly, that's something that is hard. Unless you can do things like that or prepare your scout team like that, it's hard to simulate. We used to hold up a card and say, "OK, you guys do this, wait until they come out of the huddle, get lined up, then give your play to the defense," but I don't think that gets them ready just for how quick it is in a game. They can do the assignments on a card. So we decided to do that, and several times during training camp we've done that, but it wasn't an every-down deal like it was yesterday. It was kind of interesting, but I thought our guys did a good job of that.

On if Revis being cleared for contact is the final hurdle in regards to his injury…

Again, if it's not the final hurdle I don't want to be saying something that isn't true, so I'm going to lean on the doctors and the trainers still. Hopefully he'll play, but I guess we'll see.

On if he anticipates Revis playing on Sunday…

Again, I can say that I expect him to play, but again, I'm going to lean on the doctors and the trainers.

On if Revis passed all the tests with the neurologist…

I would say so, but I know he's cleared for contact, so obviously, if he hadn't passed the tests, he would not have been cleared.

On Keller being a limited participant in practice…

I think it's a positive sign, I don't think there's any question. We'll see how he goes through practice today, but it's much better than yesterday when he was out. Hopefully, that is a sign that he'll play this week.

On Tony Sparano facing his old team in Miami…

Yeah, different situation [than when Ryan faced Baltimore], but it will be special, there's no question. You know, he has a ton of respect and admiration for those players, in particular. There are probably a few coaches there that have coached with Tony that are still there, and that's a big thing, there's no question about it. It's weird because just like I always want the Ravens to do well and things, but that particular day, not so much. He takes a great deal of pride in those guys that play over there, so that's special going against guys, a lot of your players, your former players and things.

But again, you're going there to win, and that's it. It's always nice to see guys that you've coached, and I think that's a special thing. Especially before a game and after the game, you'll see the difference. But when it's time to play, it doesn't matter who's over there, whether it's your twin brother, whether it's guys you've coached for 10 years. They're in a different color jersey. You really don't care about them then. But as soon as that game's over, I think it's special.

On if it's a relief to know Revis is cleared for contact…

I'm definitely happy that he's cleared for contact, without question, I'm happy about that, for his sake. He loves to play, but if he's healthy, I think that's the big thing. As a coach, having probably, if he's not the premier defensive player in the league, he's certainly up there, so having him as a player, obviously, you're happy for that also.

On if he had to prepare as if Revis would not play…

Well, you certainly have to be ready for it. Even going into the game this past week, you weren't sure if he would play or not, so you were ready. One way or the other, you had to be ready. Whether it's Darrelle's playing, here's what we're going to do, or Darrelle's not playing, here's what we're going to do, you still have that plan.

On Kyle Wilson…

I thought Kyle did well. I thought Kyle played well, but it doesn't surprise me he's been doing that, he's been playing well. This is his third year, I think when you look at Kyle, even as a rookie, he carried himself as a pro. He kind of lost a little confidence his rookie year, which happens, but he has really bounced back. He understands how offenses are trying to attack him now, which I think it takes a year or two to figure that out, but he has that down. Obviously, he has a great physical skill set, he's always had that. I just think he's playing with more confidence now.

On Garrett McIntyre filling in for Thomas…

We're comfortable with how he plays. This is a hard playing guy, a very physical player, and we like Garrett. We were finding roles to play him before Bryan's injury, in some packages he's playing, so I'm very comfortable with him playing.

On if Revis being back affects the team's attitude…

Well, I think you feel good when you have the best player on the field, that can't hurt you. They have some great players over there at Miami, they have a great left tackle, Jake Long, they have an excellent guard beside him, they have Reggie Bush, a tremendous football player, but there's only one Darrelle Revis. I know I feel great about it. It's hard not to smile if he's out there, you feel great as a playcaller, Mike Pettine and all. You feel good having the best player.

On if he feels more to prepared for perimeter runs this year…

[Darren] McFadden lit us up a little bit, but this year [C.J.] Spiller did, too. Speed kills. It's hard to defend. I do think we're better equipped to play it, with some of the speed that we've added. Having LaRon Landry back there running a 4.3, I think helps. You know, we recognize it. Some of those things, our technique, we've really contributed to those runs. But again, he's a guy, with Reggie Bush, you kind of hold your breath a little bit until the game is over because he does have that game breaking speed.

On if he was worried when Shonn Greene took a big hit…

Well, yeah, when he was out, clearly, when I saw him come off I was like, OK. Back in the day, that was one of those "He had his bell rung" deals, but I think as a coaching community, you're more aware of it now with the head injuries. It's good to hear that he passed the test because he came right up to me and was like, "I'm ready to go, would you please get my helmet back?" I just looked at him and said, "Get over there. Go with the trainers and doctors, somebody that knows what they're doing." That's basically what we did.

On if Greene has made an effort to avoid big hits and be more elusive…

I think as a running back, you have your style. He's a guy that gets low and tries to get underneath guys and is a power runner. I think if he was trying to be like Reggie Bush or somebody like that, it's not going to work well for him. He has his style of running and I don't know if you can change that a whole lot.

On emphasizing tackling after the Buffalo game…

Yeah, we practice, we have a few drills that you do and things like that, but you're not really in pads but once a week, you're not taking guys to the ground. You have to talk about it, you have to emphasize it that way but it's hard to simulate on the practice field so you work your techniques, you're grabbing and all that. You have to get a lot of guys on them, and I think that's the big thing. We had several hits on Spiller in the back field, we just weren't bringing him down. I think that's, whatever it was, we were up 41-7, I think we lost some focus and intensity, I think, and he was able to make some big plays on us. We have to be prepared. That can't happen against a back like Reggie Bush.

On if there are certain limitations with Revis now that he has been cleared for contact…

There are different steps with the NFL's protocol. Again, I will just lean on the trainers and doctors. That's it. But football, I think it's important that you need to be cleared 100 percent because this is a contact sport. There's really only one way to play football and you have to play it aggressively. Certainly, if Darrelle or anybody else isn't cleared to do that, you really can't protect the player. This game is a very physical game. That's why I think it's great what the NFL has done in making sure the players are ready to go, ready for contact, being 100 percent. I think that's good.

On when he talks with John Mellody about injuries.…

He'll come around. Even during practice sometimes, we'll talk, after practice sometimes. Once he's done with the treatments, then I get an update that evening.

On if Revis going on a plane will adversely affect him…

I'm definitely leaning on the trainers and the doctors because I have no idea. That's something I'm sure they're the experts in.

On how fired up the team is to face Miami…

It's a divisional game, so you should be fired up about it because it's so important. For us to be off to a 2-0 start in our division would be huge. That's where our focus is.

On if officials might focus on LaRon Landry more…

What happens is sometimes when you get a reputation, there's back-to-back games where you get a personal foul penalty, it's human nature to say, "Let me track this guy." The thing with Landry is this is a physical football player, as we know. There's nothing he does when he hits a guy that is illegal. He lowers his target. He does everything the way you want. He's not out there to injure, but he's going to hit you. On the sideline, it's a fine line there because you have a job to do, and that's to get this guy out of bounds or get him down. Sometimes, is he inbounds? Is he out of bounds? Your job is to get him out of bounds. I think that's a fine line.

The last personal foul penalty that he had, when he pushed the guy out of bounds, he clearly was not trying to give him an extra hit, a physical hit, he was just trying to do his job. He put his hands on him and got flagged. Because as soon as you let up, that guy is inbounds and there he goes. We have to be mindful of it, and that's all players, not just Landry. But any player on that sideline, obviously the job of the officials is to protect the player as it should be, but sometimes you don't know if he's inbounds or not.

On if he likes Landry's style of play…

I love the fact he has a reputation as a huge hitter because he's clean. There isn't anybody saying he's not a clean player. He's a clean player. He's a hitter. Yeremiah Bell is a hitter. They're going to do it within the rules. Calvin Pace had three or four hits on Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first game, every one of them, he came clean. A lot of times a guy will lead with the helmet. It was text book. He put his head to the side, hit with his shoulder and made clean hits on the quarterback, but you can tell our players are mindful of that. Calvin Pace is very mindful of it. We're trying to be as physical of a team as we can within the confinements of the rules. We aren't trying to injure anybody, but we are trying to hit.

On if he has a separate game plan if Revis can't play…

A lot of times it could be matchup driven. Some of your coverages could be tweaked. Having a special player like Darrelle, we ask him to do a lot of different things. A lot of times we put him one-on-one with a guy, on a team's best receiver and roll coverage away from him. He's just that kind of guy, so sometimes you will have a different type of game plan.

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