REX: We're Staying on the Same Formula

Transcript of head coach Rex Ryan's news conference Friday afternoon following the Jets' first training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

The thing that I thought was interesting today was the 9-on-7 mentality. Now obviously we don't have pads on, so we weren't very physical and all of that. I want to make sure everybody is clear on that so we are still in a finable thing until we get the pads on, not physical at all. But just the mentality, I can't wait to see that drill every day.

And the reason for it is, on defense we have found the mentality that we can stop anybody running the football. And on offense we had the exact opposite mentality, that we could run the ball on anybody. That's kind of set through Tony [Sparano] and Guge [OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo], that's kind of the mindset we are trying to develop on offense and defense. So that's going to be an interesting period. So when you come here to practice, when you've got the pads on, that'll be one you'll want to watch for sure.

The other thing that liked today that kind of jumped out, two things that I noticed, No. 1 was the tempo of practice. I think the tempo of practice, to be able to get through the scripted plays, yet almost double the reps — in a couple of periods we actually doubled the reps. And that's good for the threes, you try to see what they can do and you add the reps onto those guys at the end. And Tony is always stressing tempo, tempo, get them in and out of the huddle all the time. And you see that on the practice field. And the thing I like the most about that is we will be a team that's in shape. There is no doubt we will be in shape, because that offense is going to force us that way.

The other thing you'll notice, we had a first- and second-down emphasis today, you see a lot of runs, play-action and the ball is going down the field. Even that first play when [Darrelle] Revis does a great job covering [Stephen] Hill, tips the ball up, Hill makes the catch, great play and things like that. But when you look at Tony's history wherever he's been, those receivers — I know you guys will do the research — I believe the receivers, from the tight end to the X, Z, all those guys averaged about 15 yards a catch or more. And I think that's where you get that from, you're starting to see it here, the ability to be in great shape, the tempo, and being able to attack a defense down the field. So you see that even from the first day, you start that kind of mindset and mentality that we have.

On if the left guard position has competition…

Yeah, absolutely. I think it will be a good competition. We're looking at Vlad who's had a tremendous offseason, and the fact that Matt had the surgery, allowed Vlad to get some work with the ones. We like what he did in the spring, so that's some competition right there which I think is good. The other thing, too, is we're looking at Matt to help even as a tackle, giving him some reps at right tackle and even center. So that's how we're looking at some things.

On if Rex saw any Tim Tebow plays on special teams…

No, I saw him a little bit, just as Westy [Mike Westhoff] said, we've got a thousand of them, so we've got some of those types of fakes in there. It will be interesting and I understand what people say, you don't want him back there. But you guys see what he looks like, the guy's 250 pounds. Go ahead and try to blast him if you want to, because he's going to hit you back, I promise you that. He's not just going to catch things over there, he is a football player. You have to think twice before you send them all out to rush because this guy can fake it, he can throw it, he can run inside, run outside, do a lot of different things, he's smart. I love his attitude about playing that position. Eric Smith's another great one over there. We certainly have some weapons there. I don't know if you want to rush the punter like you might other teams.

On if Rex was surprised how crisp the offense looked…

I think it's the work that was done through the mini camps and everything. The fact that we came in great shape was part of that as well. We go right back to day one installation, we feel comfortable with it. But yeah you're right, I think we have a better grasp of our offense than we probably thought we would at this stage, meaning that it is the first day of training camp. Defense has been together for four years so obviously they're going to be pretty sharp. But the offense was sharp. So that's really encouraging to me. It's not surprising. The kind of teacher we have with Tony heading the group, Gooch, same thing what we do defensively we do on offense, just repeat it. Who are we? Well if you ask our team, it's the running game, box power base, boom, done next. They'll all tell you the same answer or something close to it I hope. It's repetitive, excellent teachers in the classroom, and mental mistakes aren't going to be tolerated.

On Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez being on the same page…

Yeah, I noticed it a couple times. And the thing I was most impressed with was, I mean the one catch he made was tremendous, when Sanchez laid it out there, great throw, Tone [Santonio Holmes] makes a great catch. Had to put in the only spot because Revis was all over it, but those are the kind of players both of these guys are. You know Tone can make those catches, but the one that jumped out to me today, it was against Darrelle. Sanchez is saying OK, we're playing like we have this coverage. So he goes "Hey Tone, you got this." And I see Tone sell this hard outside route like he's going vertical, goes back in on the slant to get underneath, and the pass is delivered right there. I said, "See, these guys are on the same page." It's interesting.

On Stephen Hill…

Young and fast. That's what I thought of him. Now did anybody pick up the most impressive thing today? It was not the catch over Revis, even though Revis was in great coverage, catching the ball and all that stuff. I saw a block and I saw a corner go down. I never knew who it was. Oh, it was Revis? All right. I guess that Georgia Tech background, he probably played with a full-cage facemask. I'm not sure but he's impressive. You know how I felt, we drafted a wide out in the second round, traded up to get him, are you kidding me? But I definitely take credit for that second round pick. [Mike] Tannenbaum says "No you're not, that's his pick, and he's right." But so far so good and really he's been impressive.

On the offense's quick tempo…

I think you better know what you're doing. Because you're playing a quick tempo, sometimes the defense might not even be lined up because they have to get the communication and all that. You kind of put that defense on their heels. So as an offensive lineman you have to love it. But there's responsibility there as well. You better know what you're doing. And it is quick and that is what we talk about all the time. We're not waiting for the defense, we're going. And if we snap it before they're ready, that's great. It's kind of like the New York Islanders on the power play, you have to get it out there quick.

On competition at tackle and concerns about moving parts on the offensive line…

I challenge the guys to learn not just your position but learn other positions because in the NFL you need hidden depth. And we kind of saw that last year. You need a guy to play center, two, three guys to play center. You need the same thing. I need to be able to play guard. If I'm a guard I need to know center, maybe tackle, maybe tight end. All that kind of stuff is your hidden depth because you don't have the numbers. You have 53 guys on your roster, 45 are active, and you're sitting back going some games there has to be some crossover. Don't be surprised if [Antonio] Cromartie learns how to play some receiver, that's something we've talked about. You have to be ready for those types of things. You learn the system and that makes you more valuable.

On monitoring LaRon Landry…

We'll look at that as it is. We're going to have him go full speed every third practice, but we may alter that as we go. The thing about LaRon is that you have to protect him from himself a little bit. He's a full speed guy, you don't want him to be reckless at all right now. We have to make sure that we get him there on opening day to play Buffalo. With that being said, he has to make up some ground. He has to learn our defense and you have to go out there and compete with your teammates. So it's kind of a fine mix there but obviously if we're going air, we're going to air on the side of caution.

On Tim Tebow's performance as a quarterback…

I saw some good things. I think there's some times where Tim, he breaks contain one time, it was great. In the end I think it was [Marcus] Dixon, did a nice job of closing. When you have that ground it's okay to throw the ball out of bounds. You don't have to stand there, smack the guy away and then run. He's so competitive, that hey, that first guy, I'll shrug him off and then run. I like the way he's looking down the field. He's made some nice throws, and then there are times where he underthrew the big wide-out Hill. But that's going to happen, we all understand the kid runs a 4.2 something. Let it go early. The thing that's unusual is, the hardest thing to do is have touch on that deep ball. And he really does have it. That's why I am surprised that the ball doesn't come out a little quicker. But overall, I am impressed with Tim, the way he throws the ball down the field. Sometimes the touch on the shorter passes, he's working hard at getting better at those things as well.

On Santonio Holmes' comments about a two quarterback system…

If that's what he said. What we have to understand is that his job is to come in here and play. We're worried about all those situations. Tony and I will figure that out and that's it. Come in here and be the great player that you are.

On Keyshawn Johnson's question about Tony Sparano's impact getting Rex back to focusing on the defense and having less pressure on offense…

Absolutely, there's no doubt. We're staying on the same formula. This is what we had as a blueprint for our team. The first night I told the guys the blueprint I had for this organization when I took it over. So when you look at it, I've learned a lot of things. It's my fourth year as a head coach, fourth year here and I've learned a ton of things. But I am who I am, I'm going to be myself. There are some things I have spent my whole life, if I could take a team over, that I feel strongly about. I have everything in place right now. There is no question about it, no question. And Tony is a big part of that.

And I'm telling you, and I made sure the team knew that this is why we brought him in. When you look at it, he's sees things through, not just as an offensive coordinator but as a team. Not saying that Brian [Schottenheimer] didn't, but things are a little different. When you sit in that big chair, you understand that the No. 1 thing is that other side doesn't get a possession. Then it's "I'm going to score." That's how you do it, especially in situations where you seem to have the momentum on your side. We want that team at halftime being down and deflated, having 42 yards of offense. Those are things that you love as a coach. Let them go in at halftime being shut out with 42 yards. Because we know what's going to happen in that locker room. He does a great job and he really understands it.

On his confidence…

I just thought it was important to show that this is what we stand for. I want to play like a Jet. I want guys to understand what that means. I want great teammates. I want guys that are selfless, guys that care about each other. We're all going to succeed. The individual success is tied in with the team success, period. The only way you're going to have success individually is if the team succeeds, period and that's it. But even little messages like that I wanted them to see.

I also wanted them to understand that I will be more involved on defense. Now, I wasn't even in the defensive meeting last night, but I have complete faith and trust in the coaches we have. As I said, it's easy for me to say I'm the best defensive coach in football. Now that's saying something, because Dick LeBeau's pretty damn good, Bill Belichick is pretty good. But that's the way I've always believed. And you know what? I believe it because guys I coach with, there's no doubt about that, and the guys that I've coached. That's the truth, and that's how I feel.

I'm going to be more involved over there, calling games or whatever. Obviously Mike Pettine, my right-hand guy, he's always been my right-hand guy and that's the way it's always going to be.

On dialing back the guarantees…

Well, I think because the big thing is the arrows weren't just coming on me, they were coming on my players and that's not what I wanted. If we weren't going to succeed, I knew that the bullets would be coming my way, I understand that, but I never wanted to put the added pressure on the team. That wasn't it. I thought by making the guarantee that it was only going to come down on my shoulders, but that wasn't the case. And maybe you guys would have said, "Rex, didn't you figure that out?" No. [Laughter] All right, I never figured that out, but I certainly did at the end of the season.

On his language with the team…

I'd rather not get into that.

On if last year's result motivates him for this season…

Oh, I was sick. Because I knew that, and I told our guys that if we get in, that's the main thing. If you get in everybody forgets what happens but I still think that we could have done damage. It hurt me because I believed it. I almost felt like I was the only one that believed it. And that wasn't the case but I kind of felt that way.

But now, absolutely all the negative things, the fact that we're picked fourth in our own division by most publications, third in some, whatever. It's like, really? OK. Because that challenges me. Any competitor likes to be challenged or bet against. Bet against me. This isn't the first time that there's been people that don't believe in me for whatever it is. I'm going to come out and compete. I believe in myself. I believe in the men that I coach and I believe in the men that coach with me. That's why we're going to be successful. I don't care what you think. That's the case. If it was a spelling bee, I'd bet against me. Anything else, a fight, coaching football, I'm betting on me.

On TE Hayden Smith…

Probably about the distance from Australia to here. But you know what, he's come a million miles. How about that one? The reason that I say that is that you look at it, and I'm so encouraged by him. I can't tell you how far he's come mentally. He's studying, the way he prepares, everything else. That gives him a great opportunity. Because one thing he has, he's got athleticism. He can run, he can catch. It's just that you're trying to teach him the game as you go. Is it a work in progress? Absolutely. Is he way further along than I ever thought he would be? One hundred percent.

On being more involved on both sides of the ball…

Absolutely. I mean coming from a play-calling standpoint, I'm not going to call a play on offense. Unless we want to do my [John] Conner play that we go once a year with. But I'm in the meetings. The first meeting, I wasn't in a defensive meeting, I was in the offensive meeting. And that's it. ... They're my guys.

But I love the competitiveness, too. There's a winner or loser in every day of practice. That's something that the offense either wins on the practice field or they lose. But the competition is green vs. white right now. That's the only guys that we can compete with. I love it because Tony [Sparano] can't wait to compete. Neither can [Mike] Pettine, as you guys know. This is going to be great for our guys.

There was things I even said last night. Hey look, I can't worry about a guy going full speed on defense trying to get better and worry about an offensive lineman that is going to take offense to it and try to beat the guy up because of it. No, we have to do that against each other. We have to go full speed to make the tackle better and to make the pass rusher better, make our team better. We have to compete that way with each other and I think that's what you see with this group.

On being more involved with the entire team…

No question, because I'm going to be involved more in the meetings. I don't care if it's just my physical presence being in the offensive line room, being in the receiver room, being in the secondary, being wherever. That's what I plan on doing.

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