Transcript: Rex Ryan 12/21

Opening statement…

First off, I was dead wrong, obviously, with the playoff scenarios.  It’s weird.  You would think the head coach of the team would know the situations and know the playoff scenarios.  The only thing that I knew is, in my opinion, I thought we had to win out.  We just had a single focus that we were going to have to win six straight games. That’s it, so when I found out this morning, even then I heard, “That’s not true, the Jets still have a chance.” I was thinking, Baltimore has to lose twice and Pittsburgh has to lose twice, which is impossible.  I was thinking, ‘What is the scenario? There’s no real legitimate chance.’  That’s not the case at all.  We’re actually in a better situation right now this week than we were last week at this time.  That’s unbelievable, but again, we’re there. We’ve got a chance to make the playoffs.  Hey, we’re going for it.  There’s no doubt.  Did it hurt yesterday losing that game?  Absolutely, but that thing’s behind us.  I really don’t care.  (Our) focus right now is let’s attack this opponent, attack this week and the preparation.  We’re going to go for it.

One thing I want to make sure that everybody is clear on.  Throwing in the towel is not who I am, and that isn’t who this football team is.  We aren’t quitting.  I don’t care if we haven’t won a game.  We aren’t quitting ever in anything we do in life, and I mean anything, because if you’d fight me, you’d find that out.  That’s how I’m approaching it.  Write anything you want, but that’s ridiculous.

On if emotion came into play when he said the team couldn’t make the playoffs…

(It was) emotion or (I was) just ticked off.  When you look at it, man, we had an opportunity.  I’ve said it the whole time.  I believe in this football team.  That was the thing that was hurtful.  That I was ticked off about that we didn’t fulfill the goals that I had for this football team that we came up short.  We never made the playoffs when I thought we had the ability to be a playoff team.

I hate coming up short in anything.  I think that was it.  I had no idea (about) all the scenarios.  There were some obvious ones I knew about.  Obviously Jacksonville because they had beat us, so a head-to-head tiebreaker they would go.  I knew about Miami, who had the same thing, but I don’t know all the scenarios.  I never claimed to.  I just know that in my mind our football team had to win out.  When we didn’t, I assumed the playoffs are over.  Believe me, if that’s the case, there’s no quitting in this team.  Indy is going to get the same team whether we’re going for the playoffs or not.  We’re going to compete to the best of our abilities.  There’s no doubt.  I’ve got a track record to prove it.

On if he is concerned about the message he sent to his team about not making the playoffs and if it was perceived that he was giving up…

That’s not my mind or anything.  I just thought the reality was we weren’t going to the playoffs.  In the same statement I said I believe we’ll win a Super Bowl, just not this year.  I’m not backing off anything that I said from the day I took this job.  I think we have that kind of team.  Again, sometimes maybe my honesty gets me in trouble.  I never thought we had an opportunity to go to the playoffs.  Then you find out that, yes, we do.  We don’t have a possibility,  we have a huge possibility if we win out that we can be in the playoffs.  That’s what I’m saying.  Again, there’s no quit to anything.  There never was.  Anybody that knows me at all knows that that’s not going to happen.  Period.

On if he talked to the team today about playoff scenarios…

Yes, I did, because I assume they were like me and had no clue of what the playoff scenarios really were.  I basically said, ‘Jacksonville needs to lose a game.’  They’re at New England, so I’m a New England Patriots fan for a week.  I know that Denver has to travel to Philly at Philly.  I’m a huge Philly fan this week.  I know the scenarios.  Miami, they’ve got to lose one of two games, Houston and Pittsburgh.  I know all the scenarios now, so go ahead.  I think I’m an expert on it now, but I was unprepared to give you that thing (Sunday night) because I had tunnel vision on the job at hand.  I just thought we had to win every game.

On his emotions this morning when he found out the Jets were still in the playoff hunt…

I couldn’t believe it.  That was it.  I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’  We’re still in it.  With all the things that have happened to our football team, all the scenarios, everything that we’ve done, that we still have an opportunity here.  It’s amazing.  It’s almost like, wow.  This isn’t a normal situation.  We still have an opportunity and a heck of an opportunity.  By the way, we’ve got to beat the Indianapolis Colts this week.  A lot of teams have done that this year (smiling).  I don’t know if they lost a preseason game or what.  They’re loaded for bear, but, hey, we’ll see.  We’re going to compete.  I’ve had some of the worst days of my life coaching against Peyton Manning and company, and I’ve had a couple of decent ones too.  We’ll see what happens.  We’re going to go there and we’re going to give everything we have.  We’re going to attack, get after it and leave it all on the field.  We’ll see.  I don’t know who’s playing for the Colts.  I’ve got a letter from (Roger) Goodell here to Jim Caldwell saying he should bench Peyton Manning and the boys.  I wouldn’t be mad at them if they stayed home, but I’m assuming they’re all playing.

On Tony Gonzalez saying he was surprised to see a zone on the touchdown pass…

I give Atlanta a lot of credit.  What they did, if (Gonzalez) would have stayed at the number two position, we would have had the hit on them.  They motioned a guy over so they expanded our zone.  We were in a check.  We actually should have had a guy on top and inside, outside and on top, and one inside and underneath, outside and underneath.  The one ball that’s not going to be complete is that one if we play the coverage properly.  It’s unfortunate.  We’ve got to look at why we didn’t play the coverage properly and get it done because we should have five-on-three receivers in that situation.  That’s why you play that exact coverage against bunch routes.  You can’t play a better coverage against it.  I’ve seen a few huddles snapped in my day.  I know for a fact that that’s the best coverage you can be in.  I understand Gonzalez and Roddy White were targeted 20 times and caught seven balls for 65 yards.  That’s a big day, but he caught the big one.  He’s a better tight end than he is a coach, Gonzalez is.

On the defensive coverage on the last play of the game…

I’m not going to get into the specifics of the coverage.  I just know for a fact who did what.  I just know you almost invite a throw in there.  We invite it.  (Matt Ryan) threw it and (Gonzalez) made a nice catch.  That’s it.

On if he is concerned that Mark Sanchez is regressing…

The first interception was a mistake.  There’s no question.  The last one I can understand because the time is running down and you’ve got to force a throw in there.  That last one, it doesn’t matter who’s quarterback, you’ve got to make a play in that situation.  They came up with it.  Again, we’ve got to address it.  The thing with Mark, he’s come in and we’ve talked.  Mark knows he made a mistake.  He knows that he can’t make that mistake, yet he made it.  We’ve got to make sure we’re clear, everything is crystal clear, on what we expect of him on every situation and what we can’t have happen.  I thought we were through it, but obviously we’re not.  We’re going to get better at our communication with each other and we’ll get this fixed.

On if Sanchez was aware that it was “four-down territory” on the final drive when he threw the interception…

Yeah.  But I think it’s more of a fact that the time’s running down.  So it’s almost like you’re going to have to make some throws into some tight coverages for us to get an opportunity to kick a field goal, which was not exactly very good yesterday.

On if he had a verbal confrontation with referee Ron Winter…

I don’t know what happened there.  No comment.

On if Jim Leonhard went after Michael Turner’s ankle…

That’s a ridiculous statement.  Michael Turner is 250 lbs.  Jim Leonhard is about (190 lbs).  The only thing they have in common is their ankles are the same size.  You’ve got to tackle what you can tackle.  He’s up top, we’re talking about why the guy ran him over.  He’s a running back.  He’s going to get hit.

On going onto the field during the game…

I was trying to get the attention of the referee.  It had nothing to do with Mark or anybody on offense.

On why he was upset after the game…

You guys saw the game.  I saw the game.  Again, you know, it’s the heat of the battle.  You’re going to be upset.  You guys can look at the TV copies or whatever.  I haven’t seen our TV copy.  I’m not here to question the officials.

On the penalty on Alan Faneca…

I don’t know.  It might have been something else.  Clearly our guy still was up.  He’s trying to throw a block before the whistle.  So it must have been something else.  I think there was some confusion on who it was because somebody said, Was it Brad (Smith)?  Was it Faneca?

On if he threw the ball at the officials’ feet…

That’s not true at all.  I’ll just say what happened.  He flipped the ball back to me.  I spiked the ball.  No sense us having a game ball.  We just got beat.  So I don’t know if he thought I was Mike Smith or we had won or what.  I don’t know.  He flipped the ball back to me and I spiked it.  I never spiked it on the guy.

On the penalty on Thomas Jones…

I never got to talk with the referee on that.  I was surprised we got the flag.  Obviously, that was a critical error, a critical mistake on our part.  It knocked us out of field goal range.  I have not seen anything with Thomas Jones.  It’s news to me.  I have no idea what happened.  Maybe you do.

On why Darrelle Revis wasn’t covering Roddy White on his reception during the touchdown drive…

It’s a pick situation.  Sometimes it will work in your favor to play over top of it.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  He came into where we wanted him to go in.  You can’t let him inside in that situation.  You’re protecting on top.  They made a nice play.  You (have) to give them credit.  I know we had the 15-yard face mask penalty after that, as well.

On how the Colts possibly playing backups affects the Jets preparation…

If you’ve got to prepare for Peyton Manning, I’m sure we’ll be able to handle the backup (Curtis Painter).  I don’t know anything about this guy.  I haven’t seen film on him yet or anything.  I can’t even tell you who it is because I was thinking it was Jim (Sorgi), and (Painter is a) sixth-round pick or something.  That just tells you where we’re at in our preparation right now.  It’s way too early.  I’m sure we’ll get used to playing against him, if that’s the case.

On if there is extra motivation playing an undefeated Colts team…

I think our motivation is we got a chance to make the playoffs.  I think that should probably be motivation enough.  That’s probably a little icing on the cake maybe.  But, again, we want to win for ourselves.  We don’t want to win for the Miami Dolphins of 1972.  We just want to try to get in (laughter).

On if it is alarming that Mark Sanchez isn’t protecting the football…

He does need to protect the football.  There’s no doubt.  Mark knows it.  Mark knows that he needs to protect the ball.  I look at it from, what can I do?  Mark is going to, of course, be a stand-up guy.  He’s going to look at himself critically.  We should all do that.  It’s quite simple:  we’re 6-0 when we win the turnover battle, we’re 0-5 when we lose the turnover battle.  So it’s critical.  We’ve got to figure this out.  We’ve got to figure out why.  I still think Mark gives us the best chance to win.  However we manage that, we’ve got to look into it.  I look at it myself how I can help.  That’s what we’ll do again.  We go right back at it.  Again, like I said, there’s no quitting in me or this group.  Right now it is a problem.  But we’re going to try to fix it.  We’re going to try to fix it in a hurry.

On if the team got away from the running game…

I think you’re pounding into a brick wall.  They did a good job.  You’ve got to give them credit.  I thought we had some opportunities to make some runs.  It was tough sledding in there.  We weren’t able to get things on the second level.  It kills you.  Interceptions happen in third-and-long situations.  Two of his three interceptions were in third-and-long.  The other one was a first-and-10, play-action where he made a mistake.  That’s where mistakes happen.  You’ve got to try to put yourself in winnable situations or manageable situations on third down.  We were 4-7 on converting third downs in the first half.  When it went to longer situations, I think we hit one of them.  That’s generally what happens in this league.  You’ve got to have more success running the football than we were.

On if he feels the team is wasting a great defense this year…

My whole life would be that way, you know what I mean (laughter)?  I don’t look at it that way.  We’re not done.  We’re going to fight our tails off.  We’ll see about this opponent because I got to watch them on tape.  But I know we’re going to give everything we have.  At the end of the day, if you can do that and look yourself in the mirror and know that you prepared your best, you gave everything you had on the practice field to get better, in the classroom, on the game field, then you don’t have regrets.  Right now I have a lot of disappointments.  Our execution wasn’t what it should be in several areas, right down to a simple thing of kicking a field goal with one of the best kickers in the league.  You feel pretty good about kicking an extra point, and we missed it.  We never had a chance to kick it.  So those are things.  We’ve had a breakdown by the defense.  Like I said, I put a lot of pressure on our defense because I truly believe that we could be exceptional and we could be dominant in that phase.  I think we had been a dominant running football team.

Again, we’ve got to prove it.  We have two weeks left in the regular season to try everything we can to get in these playoffs, and if we get in then we’ll see what happens.  I know just by my honesty and everything else how I feel about this football team, that if you fall short, you set yourself up for criticism.  But I don’t think you can get to the playoffs or get to where you want to go as a football team, as an organization, by tiptoeing.  We’re not doing that.  We’re going to give everything we have.  I said at the end of the day we’ll count them up and see if it’s good enough.  I never knew the math or whatever, but I assumed that we had to win out.  So I raised my head maybe a little too early.




Trackbacks

  1. […] there’s a chance? Catching up with Rex Ryan’s opening remarks to reporters on Monday, via The Jets blog. First off, I was dead wrong, obviously, with the playoff scenarios. It’s weird. You would think […]

  2. […] there’s a chance? Catching up with Rex Ryan’s opening remarks to reporters on Monday, via The Jets blog. First off, I was dead wrong, obviously, with the playoff scenarios. It’s weird. You would think […]