Transcript: HC Rex Ryan 12/22/2013

Opening statement…

First off, I’d like to tip my hat to the fans. Our fans are great. When you look at it, we’re 9-2 at home if you count the preseason. I know nobody counts it, but you play for a reason. Clearly, we’re doing a good job at home, and I always talk about how our players will feed off of the enthusiasm of our fans. I know there were a few missing this game, but we certainly heard the ones that were here loud and clear. I’m proud of this team. We’re down 10-0 and had to battle back. That football team is ranked eighth in the league in total defense, and we put up 422 yards against them. I told you that this team is on the climb. It’s on the rise. It was pretty clear – at least, to me – that’s what we saw today. We didn’t turn the ball over and didn’t give up a sack. It was a very impressive performance offensively. Then, on defense, they had their moments. They had a couple of good plays. They were able to knock it into the red zone. I should have gone to goal line there and never did, and that allowed them to run the ball in there. They executed well, but this team keeps fighting. There’s no question about it. We know there’s one game left on the road, where we’ve struggled all year, but I’m looking forward to the challenge in front of us.

On the Jets victory lap around the stadium after the game…

I appreciate (the fans). It’s the last game of the year, but their support has been absolutely terrific. That’s why we wanted to take the victory lap and let them know how much we appreciate them. It’s just a little sign of respect to let them know that we do appreciate them. Unfortunately, our season ended before we wanted it to, but we certainly appreciate them.

On Fox Sports reporter Jay Glazer’s report…

I understand that. With me, what’s said in a meeting or whatever will stay there. Whether that report is accurate or not, I’m going to tell you this: those things will stay in house. I’m not going to report on something like that.

On whether he knows if he will be back next year…

No. I know I have a contract for next year. What I do know, guys, is that I’m coaching this team. I’ve said this all season long: my job is to focus on the present and what’s right now. The immediate thing is, guess what? We’re going to enjoy this one and they’re getting a Victory Monday. You can rip me for that one if you want. That’s fine and dandy. Our guys will be out in their Jets gear buying Christmas presents, so look for them around town with Santa Claus. They’ll be there. That’s just the way it is. I know I have a job to do this week and I’m going to do it to the very best of my ability.

On whether he thought about this potentially being his last home game…

No. Again, I’m just trying to get a win. My thought is: shoot, let’s get out here and do whatever we can do. That’s it.

On Jets DB Dee Milliner and his coverage of Browns WR Josh Morgan…

See, I don’t know…did he really, guys? I thought he was horrible (joking). That’s what was reported, right? It’s funny. I said at the end of the year that we’ll see if this guy wasn’t the best corner in the draft. I don’t know. That kid’s (Gordon) a pretty darn good receiver, (Milliner) had six [pass break ups] and an interception, but we’ll see. I’ve seen a few players come down the road in my day. This guy right here is going to be an outstanding player. There’s no question. We know we have another game in front of us, and it’s going to be a huge challenge for him going against Miami. They pretty much slaughtered us the last time out, so we’ll see how we do. But that young man is going to be a player. There’s no doubt.

On Geno Smith…

(He had a) tremendous performance. If we get some of those hands down a little bit, his numbers would be a little higher. I don’t know how many balls they tipped, but they did a pretty good job of that. I was really impressed with him. I’ll tell you, my favorite play was obviously when he ran for it on that third down (where) we’re trying to get a little kick pass to the flat, the fullback in the flat. The one (where) they were going to be down there tight to play the run, they did a great job defending it and he saw it and just took off with it. It’s just a huge play but it just shows you how he’s come on and (had) the presence of mind that, “Hey, shoot, I’m going to run with this because we need this first down.” He ended up picking it up with his legs. So, (I’m) really impressed with him. (He) threw the ball well. He had a 91 quarterback rating, 91.7 quarterback rating, so I was really impressed.

On if his body of work warrants another year coaching the team…

All I know is I’ve got a game in front of me and that’s where the focus is going to be. We’ve got a tough one on the road against Miami who absolutely handled us in our building. So, we’ve got our work cut out for us but I’m looking forward to getting back to work and putting on a great performance.

On when he will sit down with John Idzik and Woody Johnson to discuss his future…

No. Again guys, this organization, we know what we have in front of us. For us to be at our best, our focus has to be right now on the present and that’s what it’s on.

On how the team has performed given the questions heading into the season…

I’d like to get the body of work done and then we can have time to really look back and focus on specific things or whatever. But right now it’s just about (enjoying) the moment. We played a good football team, albeit I know what their record is, they ranked 14th or something in offense and eighth in defense. They’re a pretty good football team that way. They have a lot of talent there. They’re well coached. I’m not answering any questions, but hell, that’s my answer.

On what he told the team before the game…

Just that we know we have an opportunity in front of our fans to compete. We were excited about that opportunity, there’s no question about it. We wanted to put on a good show for ourselves, number one, but our fans as well. We know that this is our last shot and we were going to give everything we had and that’s it. We weren’t holding back. We were going to play like we always do. We play together. This is a team that’s a close team and it’s one that takes a lot of pride in playing physical and we take a lot of pride in the fact that we are a team. I think that was noticed today. We were down 10-0. Shoot, our guys were just like, “We’re ready to roll.” It kind of reminds me of that UFC fighter that’s turning purple, he’s choked out but he still fought, found a way to get out and win and that’s kind of what we are. Today, they had a stranglehold on us down 10-0 but our guys kept fighting, which doesn’t surprise anybody that’s in our walls, that’s for sure.

On getting angry at officials when Smith was pushed late out of bounds…

Who me? Surprised I didn’t get a penalty? (I was) surprised that there wasn’t a penalty thrown earlier and then obviously I missed (the flag) so I think I was apologizing for (not seeing the flag).

On the biggest reason he thinks the team is on the rise…

I just see how we play together and I think that’s a big thing and I think we understand who we are and we’re playing to it. We use our roster. But I see it on the practice field. I see it in the classroom. That’s what leads me to (believe) because that’s the toughest thing. The games kind of take care of themselves but the toughest things are to have a team that’s motivated all the way through the season to get better and that was a challenge. We knew that, “Hey look, we might not have this, we might not have that.” But I know one thing, we’re going to have 53 guys pulling in the same direction and that’s what I certainly know we have.

On what it has meant to coach the Jets…

To me, I just think that, shoot, it’s a great opportunity. Shoot, I was just like all these guys in the stands today, just a fan of the Jets and a fan of football and I was given an incredible opportunity. That’s how I look at it.

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