New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, 9.11

Opening Statement…

We knew this was going to be a dog fight, there’s no doubt. We told our team before the game ‘Whoever plays the hardest for the longest will win this game.’ You’ve always heard me talk about it, but they’re not in there ’til they’re in there, and we say that tonight. It looked bleak, there’s no question about it. That’s an explosive team both on offense and defense.

There is a stat about them being 241-0 when they have a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. It just shows you the resolve of our football team. You talk about a team effort – that was it. There is no doubt. From special teams getting the blocked punt to Nick Folk nailing a 50-yard field goal….all we needed was a little more time for our offense to throw the football. Mark (Sanchez) did a great job. Plax (Burress) was huge for us. You saw those captains. You saw how Sione (Pouha) got the fumble recovery around the goal line. You saw how Darrelle (Revis) got the pick. We leaned on our captains, and they did a great job for us. Obviously, we have a ton of work to do. That’s an excellent football team. You don’t win many games when you give up that kind of yardage, but it was an unbelievable team effort. That might have been the best team effort I can remember being a part of.

I will say this – we fed off of our fans. There’s is no doubt. Nobody left. They hung in with us the entire time. This one was also for our community. Believe me, we all felt it. We just hung in there and hung in there and believed we could get it done, and that’s exactly what happened. I couldn’t be more proud of our team. We have a lot of work to do, but we’ll take this kind of victory any day of the week.

On the emotions of the game…

This was amazing. It doesn’t get much better than this, especially the way we got it done. You saw the resolve this football team has. I spoke earlier in the week about the kind of pressure I felt, and I’m sure our players felt it as well. We played far from a perfect game – not even close, but you have to give the opponent credit. That is an excellent football team. I will sign up right now to play them in the Super Bowl, and I know they would. That’s a heck of a team and it was a great challenge for us. I tried to take all of the emotion we were feeling and turn it into passion, and it was frustrating. We made a lot of mental mistakes on defense, and they took advantage of it. When (Tony) Romo gets hot like that, he’s as good as there is.

I don’t know what to say. It was just a draining game. I’m so proud that we were able to pull this thing off, and for the town as well. I probably feel better about that than I do for our football team.

On Jets RB Joe McKnight…

I asked Joe for his five favorite plays, his five best plays. I gave them to Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer), and we didn’t call one of them today. I said ‘Son, if you keep making plays like that, you’re going to be a part of this offense.’ That was a huge, huge play. We all saw it. It was unbelievable. You have to tip your hat to Mike Westhoff. Obviously, Schotty did a good job. He and Rob (Ryan) go at it all the time, so it’s a championship fight seeing those two go at it.

I will say this – Mike Pettine might have had the call of the day. We have this play called ‘Jet Mike Mix’ that we call, and we’d been getting a lot of one-on-one’s on the outside. We wanted them to think it was one-on-one, but we actually had help on top. Revis was able to undercut it and get the interception. It was a huge call by Mike Pettine at the perfect time. Revis made a super play.

On playing on September 11…

I think we all felt it. It affected everybody in that locker room. You can see where the (Twin) Towers were from our stadium. There was a lot of pressure, but also a lot of excitement. We wanted to show our fans and everybody else ‘Hey, look – we’re your team’ and all that. It didn’t go the way we wanted early, but with the way we fought…very few teams will fight like that. Very few. That’s why I’m so proud of our team. When I say it was an unbelievable team effort, it really was.

On Jets offense…

I was proud of the way we responded. We were getting it handed to us pretty good in the first half by a good defense. At the end of the day, we would have signed up for Mark finishing with an 82.0 rating. We hit on 6-of-14 third downs, which is pretty good considering that defense. They have some guys who can rush the passer over there. We put up 360 yards. I think that defense over there is going to be really good.

On the Jets offensive game plan, throwing at a 2-to-1 ratio…

I think we evolved to it based on the flow of the game. You have to give them a lot of credit. We averaged 2.8 yards a rush. They were getting off blocks and they were blitzing the run. They did a good job up front. You have to give them credit.

On whether team was deflated after QB Mark Sanchez’s fumble…

Man, no chance. You’re down. I was down beyond belief when they returned that thing all the way to our three – when [Jason] Whitten made that great catch. You guys have been around this football team to know there’s no quit in this bunch. None. We just kept thinking momentum is coming our way and sure enough it did.

On Jets safety Jim Leonhard’s play to keep Dallas TE Jason Whitten out of the end zone…

We’ve seen it before. Obviously, some guys let a guy get in, but we don’t give up anything without a fight. Obviously, Whitten is a great player. He made some huge plays tonight, but Jimmy made a great stop on that.

On coaching against his brother, Rob Ryan…

It was rough, but I’ll say this: I’d much rather be on this end than on the other end. As much as I love him, I always want to beat him and that’s it. Like I said, hopefully we’ll meet again. I think both of these teams are good football teams, and hopefully that happens. We have a long way to go. We have to do a huge job. We have a lot of corrections to make, but I’ll take this anytime.

On throwing toward CB Darrelle Revis…

I’ll say this – Romo made one of the most amazing throws I’ve ever seen, and Dex Bryant made an unbelievable catch early in the game. Revis had perfect coverage and I’m like ‘He had to step out-of-bounds,’ but he didn’t. Sometimes it’s hard to stop the perfectly thrown ball. I think Romo was so hot that he thought he was Y.A. Tittle back there. He looked like it to me today.