Transcript: HC Rex Ryan 9/06/12

Opening Statement…

Dustin did not practice yesterday. He was with our strength coaches and John Mellody. He did some things on the side, but he did not practice. Sione (Po’uha) (and) (Mike) DeVito, both of those guys were limited, as far as what they did. It seemed like we were all out there. Eric Smith was out, but I think for the most part, everybody is ready to roll.

On if Eric Smith will not play against Buffalo.…

Yeah, I would say so. It’s not official, but it’s pretty much official that he’ll be out.

On Buffalo’s defensive line…

It’s a big-time group. There’s no question about it. Those two inside guys, everybody knows about Mario (Williams) and, obviously, he is a tremendous player, without question he is a tremendous player, but I think those two tackles are big-time as well. (Marcell) Dareus is a big man who has good movement. (He’s) not just a run-plugger, he does much more than that. Kyle Williams has always been, in my opinion, one of the most underrated players in football. They use him right now as a penetrating three-technique, but he’s strong, he’s quick, has excellent change of direction and (is) a very active guy. We voted him to the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago and he’s a tremendous player. (Mark) Anderson is a pass-rush guy, a speed to power-type guy. Obviously, we’re going to have a huge challenge in front of us and it’s going to be interesting to see how they match up. Our offensive line is about as good as it gets and it’s going to need to be. They don’t do a whole lot of things defensively. They’ll do some zone coverage. They will play some cover-one man, but generally, they’re going to let those front four get after your quarterback in a similar fashion to how the Giants play their front four. It’s certainly going to be a challenge for us.

On Antonio Cromartie playing wide receiver…

We’ll see.

On whether Sione Po’uha and Dustin Keller will practice today…

Sione, I think again will be limited. We’ll see how Dustin is. We do these pre-evaluations before practice. They’ll be there on the side and we’ll see how much he can do. He (Keller) looked decent running, but I don’t think he was ready to play and run 100 percent. With that hamstring, you want to get him as close to 100 percent as you possibly can. We’ll see. I’m still hopeful that he’ll play against Buffalo, but we’ll see.

On why the Jets have been so successful against Buffalo…

This is a hard playing team, there is no question.  I think we are similar that way.  Our guys really get after it.  We have had some good games with them.  The one loss was really an unusual game.  We threw six interceptions in that game but I think Thomas Jones ran for 250 yards.  We were over 300 yards rushing and you usually don’t lose those games but we did in overtime.  We played well. There is no question about it.  We played extremely well and hopefully that streak continues.

On if their winning record against Buffalo gives them extra confidence…

No,  I don’t think so.  I think when you look at it, as I mentioned before, Buffalo is a different team defensively and they probably needed to be.  When you look at them statistically, when you add Mario Williams, you draft (Marcell) Dareus and you have Kyle Williams coming back, that is a big start.  You draft a corner (Stephon Gilmore) who I think is going to be a good player, so that is a different defense right now.

On if the offense will be able to pass on Sunday…

I hope so.  I think you have to be able to run the ball and throw it in this league to win.  The one-dimensional thing, I don’t think it works as well as when you can do both.  Certainly that is what we want to do.

On if he allows himself to look past the upcoming game…

No, because when you look at it, number one, I never knew we were at Miami (in week three) quite honestly.  I thought they were coming here.  That will tell you how far I have looked ahead.  I knew our first two opponents, no question, Buffalo here and then at Pittsburgh and that is about as far as I got.  I know we have to play those other teams, there is no doubt, but we will address that when the time comes.  We have to take care of business this week and that is where our focus is.  At the end of the day, your schedule is what it is and you better win ‘x’ amount of games if you are trying to get in the playoffs.  How important is this one?  This is a big game.  It is always important and especially a divisional game, it is even that much more important.

On if Stephen Hill will be the starter opposite Holmes…

Yes.

On Stephen Hill and whether he is concerned about his dropped passes versus Carolina…

I think he has been doing well.  He seems to be catching everything. He did have those two drops in a game.  He responded by catching five balls though later in the game. Again, every receiver drops passes.  It is just how you respond.  You cannot lose confidence.  You go right back at it and throw at him again.  We think he has got good hands, he is a good route runner and I know he is a rookie (and) he is going to make some mistakes but again, I am confident in him.

On if Sunday signifies a fresh start for the team…

Yes, I think so.  I definitely think it puts last year in the rear-view mirror.  We’ll see what happens.  I think this group’s been challenged and everything else.  People want to see us score 50 points in a preseason game. That never happened.  Probably when you combine all three games, four games, whatever it was.  That probably never happened. (laughing)  But we get to prove it, we get to see what kind of team we are.  The experts think we’re one team, we think we’re different, and we’ll see who’s right.

On Bilal Powell…

Well, I think he’s got skills to be a guy that is effective as a runner, as a pass protector and a receiver. That’s why we drafted him.  When he came out of Louisville, Anthony Lynn, who I think is obviously a great teacher (and) a great running back coach, but he’s also a great evaluator.  He was really high on Powell and (Powell) struggled his rookie year. He struggled but he was sharp, sharp mentally.  He could do those things and it was just giving him an opportunity.  He looks slimmer to me and man, I love the way he protects.  He puts his face in there in that protection.  He’s a very aggressive blocker and that’s what you have to be to pick up these linebackers blitzing and things like that.  So, (I’m) really happy with where he’s at.

On if Powell’s biggest area of improvement this year was his blocking…

Actually, he was really good at that.  Even when he first came in, (he was) smart.  There’s so much that goes into it.  It’s not just the physical part, but also the mental part.  And mentally, he was as sharp as anyone we had in the room, even last year.  So it’s really getting him a chance to run with the ball, put the ball under his arm and watch him run, and also out of the backfield.  When we drafted him, we thought he could be a replacement for L.T. (Ladainian Tomlinson). If L.T. never came back, then that was a role we thought he could play.

On how he thinks his group is different than what the experts think…

I just think we’re a better football team than people give us credit for. I also think our organization is a lot better than people give us credit for. The circus thing is kind of a little old for me, but if that’s the way it is, I think our record shows otherwise in the three years we’ve been together. I think we’ve done a tremendous job of drafting players (and) developing young talent. I’m not afraid to say it, I think this is going to be an outstanding football team, the best team I’ve had since I’ve been here. How that reflects on our record, I’m not sure, but I think this team, this organization, is headed in the right direction and I don’t know if that’s the national perspective, but it’s my perspective.

On if he thinks the team should be taken seriously…

We’ll see. I promise you our opponent will take us seriously regardless of who it is.

On if he believes Mark Sanchez was rattled when they traded for Tim Tebow…

No. I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been with Mark. After the season, I think he was just like the rest of us and myself included. (After last season,) you’re hurt, you can’t wait to get back at it. That’s what he did. He’s the guy that went out to see Chad Pennington, he’s the guy that grasped this offense better than anybody else. From a physical standpoint, he had to push all of those weights, nobody else. His motivation is much more than having Tim here or having other things. He’s a competitor number one. He wants to be great and I think he’s making strides to be that quarterback that we want here.

On if the Wildcat has already served a purpose by making the other team prepare for it…

I think so. When you look at it, it’s a body blow. It’s preparation time and maybe instead of spending your time defending this, you’re really having to defend this. I think because you don’t know how many times we’re going to run it, (or) how many times they’re going to run it. You really don’t know. So it does take a lot of preparation time and it may take even more than 15 percent (of the time preparing) because I’ve had to defend it. I know David Lee is over there (and he is) an outstanding quarterbacks coach, (he’s) a heck of a coach, heck of a guy. He was the one with Tony (Sparano) that brought the Wildcat into this league. Don’t think for a second that we aren’t preparing for it because we are.

On if it helps that people haven’t been able to analyze the team’s version of the Wildcat…

Yeah, I think so. They have tape from Denver, they have tape from Miami, and they have tape from us. I think we were very effective when we ran the Wildcat during my three years here. That was an effective part of our offense.

On if Powell is the number two running back…

Him and Joe McKnight both. I think Joe has a little bit of a hamstring issue. He did practice yesterday so we’re hoping to get him back. I think it depends. Both of those guys will play for us. I don’t think that there’s a clear cut number-two guy.

On where Chaz Schilens fits into the offense…

We’re just now seeing Chaz get healthy. So we’re going to see. He’s been very impressive this week in practice catching the football. Running, he looks like he’s near full speed. Here’s a big guy that’s six-foot-five and can run a 4.4 (40 yard dash time) as well. (I’m) really excited about him. You also have Patrick Turner who’s a big physical presence over there (who is) six-foot-five and then we picked up Clyde Gates who is probably as fast as anybody in this league. I like our group of receivers.

On P Robert Malone…

You guys saw it yesterday. I think he averaged close to 4.8-(seconds of) hang-time. I think he (averaged) 48 yards a punt yesterday. That was impressive. He’s been impressive.

On speaking with David Lee during off-season…

He’s clearly a guy that we thought a lot of and we just wanted (to) bring him in to get to know him. He was really impressive to say the least.