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REX: A Good Performance Is Our Responsibility

Posted Dec 6, 2013

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

Every single player is probable — that’s a good thing. Man, I feel great about that. So there’s nobody doubtful, nobody questionable, nobody out. [Later we updated WR Stephen Hill's game status from probable to questionable.] We are as healthy as we have been in a month. I feel great about that.

We’ve had an outstanding week of practices. It better translate to the game, I understand that, but I’m confident it will. Guys are doing a great job in their preparations as far as their classroom time. I see it, I’ve been around here and I’ve been like, "Wow, this parking lot is packed." We have a family night that we have for coaches, all of the players were eating the food. That’s good though, that’s a good sign. They’re staying and guys are motivated.

I think the fact that we got beat the way we did in front of our fans, that was bad, it was brutal. We’re ready, we want to put on a good performance not just for ourselves but for our fans. We look at it as our responsibility. I think that’s how we have taken our preparation this week and we’re excited to play.

On how important Jeremy Kerley is…

I think Jeremy is a tremendous player and I think he is underrated as maybe in the public’s view. But he’s a difference maker for us. He’s a guy that can get separation against man coverage. He’s got great hands, precise with his route-running, he’s elusive. Even like last year when he averaged almost 15 yards a catch as a slot receiver. That doesn’t happen very often so it shows you he’s got that kind of ability and certainly he’s a difference maker for us.

On if Kerley and Santonio Holmes will be limited on Sunday…

I don’t think we’re going to be limited too much. I think both of them, this is as healthy as we’ve been in a long time. Jeremy’s obviously playing through pain with the elbow. And then Holmes with that hamstring seems to be doing much better. It looked great today.

On saying earlier in the week that Holmes would be limited Sunday…

He might not play every snap, but I see him out there, he looks pretty good. We don’t want to play him 60 snaps when all of a sudden now we’re worried about it. So we’ve got to be smart and we will be. But again, it’s not like it’s going to be last week where he played three plays. He’s going to play.

On if it is hard to figure when to play and rest Holmes…

I think you’ve got to really rely on the player, too. I think part of it is, maybe even last week when we thought that he couldn’t explode, he’s telling you that he’s really not ready. So we were smart that way as much as you want to play him. I think now he looks different to me on the practice field and I’m encouraged that way.

On why the team is more relaxed this week…

I don’t know. I think we’re confident. I think they feel good for the fact that we’ve put in a lot of good days and back-to-back-to-back days of where we’ve had great practices. And maybe not great, maybe that’s not the right word, but really good practices. I think that’s good. But you know what? We’re a team and guys feel good about that. The work that we’re putting in in the classroom, even, you know how I say, post-hours, I think’s been impressive.

On if having all the receivers healthy will provide a more accurate assessment of Geno Smith

I think so. And again, we don’t make excuses or anything else, but obviously having your top guys out there healthy, I think, makes a huge difference. We had those conversations and to me it’s like judge us moving forward. And look, you’re going to judge us anyways up until this point and you should and I understand it. But let’s see how we close this thing out when our guys are healthy.

On if having Kerley will help Smith get the ball out quicker…

Yeah, I would agree with that, absolutely. Jeremy is a guy who can get separation in a hurry. I’m not saying he’s Wes Welker, but similar like a slot receiver who can shake you, burst and get open just like that. He has some of that ability.

On Antonio Cromartie saying his hip has affected his ability to play press coverage…

It affects things because when he can get his hands on a guy and play from a press position and he’s healthy and he can get his hands on you, he can be a dominant player. It’s a shame he hasn’t been able to do that. You lose the length of his arms, his height and everything else that makes it so difficult. Hopefully he’s ready to do that this week.

On if playing two high safeties in coverage leaves them vulnerable to passes underneath…

Sometimes it may leave some vulnerabilities against the run and, depending on the specific coverage, there are a lot of different things you do out of a two-high look. Part of it could be that you’re playing for the vertical shot more than you’re playing the underneath things.

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