Transcript: Head Coach Rex Ryan, 11.8

Opening remarks…

When you looked at tape, at the end of the day, we still won the game, so that was impressive.  Really there were a lot of great things on the tape.  You look at it, Mark (Sanchez) was at his best when we needed it the most.  That was really something.  I thought we made a lot of strides from the previous game.  We had fewer drops than we had the previous week.  We stayed with the run, probably a little bit too much.  That was from maybe Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) trying to appease me a little bit.  I really wanted to run the football and I think by some of the statements I made to our team and everything else, that that was hurting us a little bit.  I wanted to make sure that (Schottenheimer) knew, ‘Hey, look.  Be you.’  Like I said last night, I thought Schotty did a great job especially in those last three drives.  He was calling two plays in the huddle.  Our guys were ready to go, executed well and had so much confidence in our two-minute type offense.  That was the deal.  Going into overtime, when (Mark) Sanchez came up to me, he says, “Coach, can we stay in that two-minute mode?”  I’m like, ‘Heck yeah kid.  Go for it.  If that’s what you want, you go ahead.’  He was so confident and I thought that was a great change up for us.

On when Mark Sanchez came up to speak to him…

It was 20-20 and we go in, he’s like, “Rex, if we get the ball, can we stay in this two-minute offense?”  I’m like, ‘Absolutely.’  He was so confident.  Our team was excited.  We felt we kind of had them on the ropes a little bit and we just stayed with it.

On if Sanchez will ask to start the next game in the two-minute offense…

Yes, and I’ll say no and that’ll be easy and we can go on (smiling).  I think it’s something that we can look at to change things up.  We’ll see.  Certainly, we had to have it then, but I just thought the way we ran it, the way the calls came in, that Schotty knowing (how to) give yourself another chance (and) make another huddle call.  He even mixed in a couple of runs.  Ok, the (ball is) out of bounds.  He immediately made two calls in the huddle.  I thought that was impressive.  You’ll see a lot of guys will make one call then they’ll have to gather up and make another call where it was just ‘boom, boom, boom.’  (It) really looked good because we had no time to spare obviously having burned two timeouts.  We just had to execute and our guys were at their best when it counted the most.

On Sanchez leading the team to come-from-behind victories in two games this year…

I think you always judge quarterbacks the same way, and that’s wins.  After wins, it would be fourth quarter.  Can he lead his team back from being down in the fourth quarter?  He’s had two big ones already this year for us.  Last year, I don’t believe we came back in the fourth quarter.  Well we did, but we never won it and that was against Miami when we forgot to show up on defense that day.  It was really impressive what he’s done.  We said, we all see it coming, but you see that confidence.  The players have extreme confidence in him now and it’s great to watch.

On talking to his brother, Rob Ryan this week…

It’s going to be brutal, there is no doubt, it’s going to be bad.  I’m sure we’ll talk about each other’s children, wives, whatever.  So, yes, it’s going to get ugly.  I really want to address this on Wednesday I think moreso than today.  I’m really going to go after him on Wednesday.

On if he has material set up regarding his brother on Wednesday…

Well, I think so.  I think there might be something in the works right now.

On if Sanchez was on the bike in the fourth quarter…

I have no idea.  You’ll have to ask him.  I don’t know (laughing).  It beats me.  I was sitting there trying to get them (Detroit) stopped.

On team’s ability to come from behind in the fourth quarter this season…

We’ve actually closed out a couple of games in the fourth quarter as well.  That’s what you envision when you’re putting this team together.  When Mike (Tannenbaum) and I are together, (we’re thinking), ‘How can we improve this football team?’  You’ve got to be able to throw it when you have to be able to throw it.  If we can add a playmaker, like Santonio Holmes, let’s add him.  Well, we added him.  He’s not just a playmaker, he’s a great playmaker, along with Braylon (Edwards) (and) Dustin Keller.  That’s what you’ve got.  They can make one play that can win a game for you and I’ve seen it up close and personal.  I saw it with Braylon Edwards in Cleveland against me.  I saw it with Santonio Holmes when he beat me three straight times (in Baltimore).  As soon as he caught it, I’m like, ‘It’s over with.  They’re not going to catch him.’  Now, the fact that was a linebacker, he took the angle when you saw it on tape. Tone (Holmes) actually felt somebody closing.  I don’t think he knew where it was.  J-Co (Jerricho Cotchery) was over here to the right side and he ended up cutting back left and it just worked out where this kid (DeAndre Levy) was on a dead sprint and he kind of took that angle.  He was flying.  The thing that was really impressive was Tone was not giving that ball up.  He got ahead of it and he just protected it.  He had a natural feel that this guy was coming to try to strip the ball from him.  He did a great job, not like Kerry Rhodes (laughter).  He did an outstanding job.  That was a fun poke at Kerry.  He’s a great player.  He’s already scored twice.  He (Holmes) protected that football and that allowed us to kick.  It was interesting that Nick (Folk) did not realize we won the game with the field goal. I thought that was hilarious.  The fact that he looks at us like, “Why are we going to kick this field goal on third down if we’re not winning the game?”  He thought we were going to turn around and kick off.  I have a lot of confidence in our defense, but I think we’d go for the touchdown if that was the case.  I thought it was hilarious that he did not know.  He was already putting the overtime rules in the playoffs (into effect).  He thought those were the rules in the regular season.  Hey, he made the kick.  That’s all that matters.  We’ll explain the rule book to him later (smiling).

On if Folk told him yesterday that he didn’t know they had won…

No, I read it in the clips (laughter).  You guys asked him.

On  Folk not celebrating after the kick…

I just thought he was trying to be cool like, “Yeah, I made it, no biggie.  This is what you’re paying me to do.”  It was great, though.

On not being able to throw the ball when they needed to last season…

I don’t necessarily think that we couldn’t do it.  I just think there’s more belief in our team now that we can get it done (and) we’re not out of the game until it’s flat over.

On if they look at this game like they almost didn’t win it…

I don’t think you look at it that way.  We found a way to win and that’s what great teams do.  That’s what you do.  Every game in this league is close.  There are very few blowouts in this league.  Every one of them is a nail-biter that comes down to the end.   There’s so much that goes into it.  The teams that can close out games are the ones that generally win.  Whether you have the ball in your
hand trying to go for the winning score, or you’ve got to stop somebody.  Regardless of what that situation is, whether we’re on defense or on offense, I feel more confident about it this year than I did last year.

On Trevor Pryce’s roughing the kicker penalty…

He beat the guys so clean, that I think he was surprised that he got through so easily.  You never see a guy come that clean through there.  He’s got a knack and he just came through.  Then, the fact that he’s thinking, “I don’t want to run into the kicker,” and he goes for the block, I don’t know how he didn’t get it.  Then, he tries to adjust his body so he doesn’t run into the guy and sure enough he ends up doing it.  It’s unfortunate that the young man (Jason Hanson) was injured.  Hopefully, it was just for this game.

On if the staff has discussed the two timeouts taken because the defense had too many men on the field…

If I would have known they were scoring, I wouldn’t have called those timeouts.  I never want to concede that they’re in there.  There’s no way we’re going to do that. It’s tough getting personnel.  They’re running them on and off the field (if) you’ve got a goal-line defense and they have two-wide, you’re not going to stop them, there’s no chance.   You have to put a linebacker or a defensive end on a receiver.  That’s probably not a good matchup.  I never felt good with that, just like you don’t want to be in nickel or base defense when they’re in a goal-line offense.  They’re just going to run it in on you.  Those are the two things we ended up really talking about.  Our guys do a great job (in the coach’s booth), but we’re going to add more responsibility to some of the coaches that are up top.  We’re going to go in with the game plan for really being able to handle situations a little better.

On what defensive coaches will be getting more responsibility…

We have two guys that do a great job up there that I really don’t want to mention.  They’re in the personnel department.  Let’s just say they do a great job for us each week.  I’ll mention them, (Assistant General Manager) Scott Cohen (and) (Director of Pro Personnel) Brendan Prophett.  Those two guys rotate games.  They do a great job up there giving us personnel, probably as good as I’ve ever been around.  Like I say, in this league, it’s tough to get it 100 percent right, but we’re also going to add coaches’ eyes on that, as well, Brian Smith, Jim O’Neil up there, as well.  I think we’re going to really dial in on it.  Somebody is going to get the wides.  Somebody is going to get the backs and we’re going to know exactly what personnel is on the field.  Like I said, those two guys, Brendan Prophett (and) Scott Cohen do a great job.  It’s just sometimes, in that situation, with some late substitutions, we just weren’t tied in as much.  We had made a call already.  Once we made the call, we realized, ‘Uh oh, this other guy is in there,’ and it was hard to get it communicated without having 12 guys on the field.  I was worried about running a guy on, getting a guy to try to run off and having too many guys on the field.

On if the defense was lined up in goal line formation against a three-wide receiver set at the goal line…

If it’s the one I remember, we had a corner on the field.  In that situation, there were actually no receivers on the field.  Jimmy (Jim Leonhard) looked, knew we had 12  (players on the field) and he’s running off.  We had a different personnel group from what we really wanted on the field.  Then, the next time, there were the two receivers and we only had the one corner.

On how much better the team can be in the second half of the season…

We have to address the penalty issue.  We’re up for suggestions, but it’s more about being disciplined (and) being able to focus.  That’s the main thing, focus.  We talked about road discipline before we got in that game.  Now, is it always a great call, bad call (or) whatever.  It is what it is.  We have to be dialed in and eliminate those things.  We did the physical things much better this week than we did the last week, but now it’s like, ‘Guys, think how good we could be when we eliminate those.’  We owe it to each other.  It’s the accountability that we have to have to each other that this is not acceptable.  It never has been and it’s not acceptable.  Right now, we’re 27th in the league in penalties and that’s a joke.  We don’t need to be there.  

On how to correct the penalties…

It’s about understanding the severity of it and how you’re letting your teammates down.  In some cases, it’s a selfish act.  In other cases, (it is) just a lack of focus and attention to detail.  We know we can get at (that).  That’s just it.  Nobody wants to let each other down.  Some of those things are really hurting us right now.

On being concerned about depth at cornerback…

I am.  You’re exactly right.  Those two guys (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie), that’s what we envisioned.  By the way, Revis is back to being Revis.  With that being said, I want to compliment Patrick Turner.  He’s a young man we picked up from Miami.  He’s on our practice squad.  He has (great) size, that kid.  (Revis and Turner) went at it (in practice) last week.  I mean, they were going at it, full-speed.  I thought it was great.  I’m not going to say that he was exactly Calvin Johnson, because if I did, every single team in the league would claim him, but he gave a great look and I think it really helped us.  Those two guys (Revis and Cromartie) shut you down and you’re immediately going to say, “Can’t throw it here.  Can’t throw it here.  Let’s look somewhere else.”  The kid (Matthew Stafford) got hot (and) made some plays on us.

On if Drew Coleman had a tough game against Detroit…

Yes he did.  Like I said, they can’t go in the other two areas then they’re going to look at a different spot.  We know he was kind of under fire there.  He competes hard.  He was facing a pretty good receiver.  (Nate) Burleson is a pretty darn good receiver.

On if there are any lingering injuries from Sunday…

We’ll see.  I think we had some bumps and bruises.  I think it ended being fingers.  I thought it was a hand with Jason Taylor and D. Wood (Damien Woody).  Both of them, I think it’s more fingers so they should be fine (and) ready to play.