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REX: One of the Best Defenses We've Faced

Posted Nov 28, 2012

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

Guys that won’t practice today, two for sure that won’t practice, are Aaron Berry, quad, Clyde Gates, concussion. These players will be limited in practice, Sione Po‘uha, low back, Bart Scott, toe, Jeremy Kerley, heel/hamstring/illness, anything else you want to put on there, Chaz Schilens, concussion and hip. He may not practice but right now we’re thinking he will. Obviously, we’ll find out here in a few minutes. [Schilens was limited at today's practice]. Tim Tebow with his ribs [will also be limited].

Guys that will be full: Kenrick Ellis, knee, Joe McKnight, ankle, Bilal Powell, shoulder, Mark Sanchez, low back, Brandon Moore, hip, Matt Slauson, knee, Jeff Cumberland, wrist, Calvin Pace, shoulder, and LaRon Landry, heel. That’s the injuries.

I was hoping we would have played Arizona yesterday in the snowstorm but that’s not going to work out. It looks like during Sunday’s game it’s going to be 50 degrees, should be a beautiful day. It would have been interesting to see how Arizona would have performed in that. It would have been quite a difference in climate for them.

On if he thinks he has to win back the fans…

No, but I’ll say this, I think obviously the fans were as upset as we were. That was obviously a very disappointing performance. Like I said after the game, the fans deserve better, we all deserve better. Again, I don’t want to focus too much on last week. I just want to put that behind us.

I’m excited about the opportunity ahead of us. I believe we’ll play good football. We’re going against an outstanding defense in particular, a talented team, a team that beat New England earlier in the season. It seems like they’re getting a lot of their players back. I know they’ve dropped seven games in a row, but it’s Beanie Wells' second game back after scoring two touchdowns last week. Todd Heap should be back.

When you look at that defense, this is a really talented defense. Some of the guys up front, you have two Pro Bowl-type players in Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett. They really get after it. The Campbell kid is about 6'8" or something, and obviously Dockett has been a tremendous player for a number of years. Adrian Wilson back there at safety, I think he’s gone to about five Pro Bowls. You get this kid at corner, this [Patrick] Peterson — what a talent. You look at him, and he has four interceptions, I think, this year, but the athlete he is, whatever we do, don’t throw a pick over there. Somebody is going to have to tackle him and it isn’t going to be easy. When you look him, he scored four punt returns last year. He’s quite an athlete. They even use him sometimes by direct-snapping him the football as a quarterback and I’m like “Oh, OK, looks like New England has him stopped,” and then he outruns everyone and it’s like wow. There’s very few athletes like this in the league. He really is a tremendous player.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an inside linebacker have, I don’t know, nine sacks already, that [Daryl] Washington kid. That’s something you don’t see every day, a guy with that production, blitzing the quarterback. They’re a very talented defense, one of the best defensive units we’ve faced all year.

On if there is an update on Tebow’s ribs…

No, we’ll see how he progresses through the week. You guys have already received a timeline and everything else. I don’t know what else we can say to it. We’ll see how he progresses.

On if he thinks Tebow will be active on Sunday…

Again, he’s limited right now, so we’ll see. I guess the answer is yeah, I think he’ll be cleared to play like he was last week.

On if there are any similarities between the Jets and the Cardinals…

No, I think both teams record-wise, we feel we’re a better football team than our record indicates, and I’m sure they do as well. They should feel that way. Both teams are hungry for a win, and I think there probably are some similarities there. You want to play good defense and have the ability to run the football and add some weapons offensively. They have some weapons out there. Obviously, you have one of the premier receivers out there in [Larry] Fitzgerald. It’s going to be a good game, there’s not doubt.

On what Mark Sanchez can improve on…

I think you’d like to see strides by every player. Specifically for him, it falls more on the unit. More in particular, you want to see the unit improve. To say well he needs to throw more completions to this guy or that guy, I don’t really know. I just know we have to get better. Collectively as a unit, you have to try and improve some things. Is that quarterback rating?

I think our biggest thing that we need to do offensively is protect the football. I think there are other things we’re making strides in, but obviously, we have to protect the football. You turn it over five times, you’re not going to beat anybody. That’s clearly something that we’ve talked about. We’ve put together videos of how to protect the football. We have clips of every single player we have on how to hold it, what the opponent is seeing, everything. You name it, we’re trying to find answers and solutions to it.

On if the videos are a new concept…

No, we’ve always emphasized how to hold onto the football. Anthony Lynn, a couple of times a year will show how to do that, how our team grips the football. Specifically, we’ve always done it studying opponents, where we think we can attack individuals. We’re doing it basically as a self-scout, how we’re carrying the football. We have it there for our players to see. Is there something that they see specifically? We have notes, we have all that type of stuff, but we want them to see it with their own eyes as well.

On playing against Ken Whisenhunt…

He has Russ Grimm over there also, so we do go way back. We’ve gone against each other a number of times. Clearly, it’s a physical football team. With Russ Grimm, they want to impose their will on you up front. They have a big back and then they have a little fast guy. It’s similar to what it always used to be. It almost seemed like we had those knock down drag outs with Pittsburgh when I was in Baltimore and they were across the field. I think it’s a little bit of that chess match. You do know each other. It’s not like haven’t gone against each other before. We’re familiar with each other.

On if he’s facing the decision of whether to dress McElroy…

Again, we’ll see. I don’t want to get into the specific things. I just want to see how he progresses during the week and we’ll probably have a better clear cut thing as the week goes on. But right now, we’re going to limit him in practice and we’ll see how he goes during the week.

On if McElroy will get more reps today…

He’ll still get all the scout team reps and everything else like he normally does. Maybe take a few more of those because sometimes Tim plays, has some of those as well.

On how he will judge if Tebow can be used on Sunday…

Again, we’ll see how he progresses during the week and probably have a good idea of that as the week goes on.

On if the team took a hit to its confidence with the loss vs. New England…

No, I think it’s some of those things are hard to explain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it happen and we talked about it. But again, you have to put it behind you but you have to learn from it though. Take the opportunity to learn from mistakes but you have to put it past you. You can’t get beat by an opponent twice you have to learn from some of the mistakes that you made physically and mentally, quite honestly in that game, communication wise, everything, knowing that you’re going to have to see it again. Fix ourselves that way and then dial in on the opponent. We’re not playing New England this week, we have to get ready to play Arizona.

On if the interceptions in the red zone have to stop…

Yeah, absolutely. All of us have to learn from it.

On Sanchez is the only one who has to improve…

Again, it’s easy to say, if we could just say, “Stop, just don’t do it.” I think we’ve said that a bunch. I don’t think that’s going to fix it. Clearly, you have to, I think, you look more into why the mistakes were made or whatever. I think that’s something that you try to fix, you try to hone in on. We know how important it is to protect the football, and we just clearly have to get better in that area.

On if he’s hesitant to point out Sanchez’s errors…

I think when you look it, there are things that all of us can improve, and to saddle, to put that blame on one person, I don’t think that’s appropriate. I think if anything that would be it’s more directed at me than it is anybody else. I have to fix that myself. How am I as a coach, I have to get better and get this team to where we don’t turn the ball over, so I focus on those areas. But as a team we have to get better. You don’t just put that on one individual. If that was the answer, is it’s just one guy, then that’s easy – but it’s not. We have to protect the football as a football team.

On mistakes in the red zone…

We’ve made mistakes in the red zone and it hasn’t just been Mark Sanchez making a mistake, there’s been other mistakes as well. Is it a route, is it a dropped pass, a protection error. Sometimes a lot of it gets blamed on the quarterback, but sometimes there are other things involved as well.

On his critique of Kerry Rhodes in his book…

All that’s in the past, I’ll say this, and I’ve mentioned it today, I know one thing, he’s on a very impressive defense and its one of the best defenses in the league. They’re in the top five in almost every category, so that’s my concern.

On why he was so critical of Rhodes…

Again, that’s in the past, I’m not going to get into it.

On signing WR Mardy Gilyard and the state of his wideouts…

I think he’ll probably start — just kidding. I hope to have at least Chaz [Schilens] can come back, we’ll see as the week goes on about [Clyde] Gates and things. Again, we have enough guys. [Jeremy] Kerley obviously had the illness, but I think we feel good about him. Stephen Hill, I think this is a big week for Stephen to step up and I expect him to. I like the way he played. He was confident in that game. I saw him just by the way he was running routes, everything else. I think it’s now to the point where he’s wanting the football and we’ll see. I think he needs to step up big. Again, we’ll see how this young man [Gilyard], how he progresses and how Jordan White progresses during the week as well.

On if Schilens is further along than Gates…

Yeah, I would say he’s further along than Gates.

On if Schilens has been cleared for contact…

I don’t know about that. I have no idea about that.

On why the Jets haven’t put a claim on Jason Babin…

Again, everybody upstairs, they’re on top of everybody in this league, whether it’s this player or that player, so they’re on top of it. But again, we have to focus on rushing the passer from the guys that we have. We have to get better at rushing the passer and how we can help them and all that. Those are the things that I’m looking for right now instead of this player, that player. I think we absolutely notice that we have to get to the quarterback better than we have. Here’s a team that’s I think third in the league, they have 30 sacks. What do we have? Half of that? So it’s a point of emphasis and things. But I know we have the ability to rush the passer with this group of players we just have to get it done.

Preseason Live: New York Jets