Transcripts: Ryan, McElroy, DeVito 12/3/12

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, 12.3

Opening Statement…

First off, I thought the game, I know it’s been described as ugly and all that stuff but any time you are one point better than the opponent or 30 points better, it’s a beautiful game.  I thought that was a beautiful game. Obviously, anytime you find a way to get a win. I thought the defense was, that’s about as good as we’ve played in a long, long time. Statistically, they had that 40-yard fake punt, I don’t know what that would’ve given them had we had prevented that, but it was really a great game on defense. The 0-15 on third down obviously was huge for us. We’ve been struggling at getting off the field on third down and we came up big.

But the play on the backend in particular, guys like Ellis Lankster and  Kyle Wilson had a big game. (Antonio) Cromartie, the type of game he had, Larry Fitzgerald’s about as good a receiver as there is in this league and he gives up one catch for 23 yards and he just continues to play at a super Pro Bowl level and, obviously, I know the voting for that but they shouldn’t even have one if that kid doesn’t get in there. Muhammad Wilkerson’s still, that’s another guy that just keeps continuing to make plays. (I’m) really happy with the defense in particular. And then on offense, two guys that don’t get a whole lot of attention I think, Jason Smith, I thought had his best game. I thought he did a tremendous job playing that big tight end for us. I thought he had a tremendous game, (and) did a great job of finishing those blocks. Then, Austin Howard, he just keeps getting better and better and I thought he had a super game. Brandon (Moore), you expect that from him as a Pro Bowl player and things but he was tremendous as well.  One other guy too, Robert Malone, I think when you look at the game that he had. You’re going against one of the premier punt returners in the game (Patrick Peterson) and our thing was look, just kick it out of bounds. Whatever you do, just kick it out of bounds. Finally Peterson got so frustrated, he fielded that ball on the two-yard line (and) made us all hold our breath.  I thought the game (Malone) had was absolutely tremendous and I think, without question, he’ll be getting the game ball for his efforts.

On who the starting quarterback will be on Sunday…

Well, I think right now, I definitely need a little more time to make that decision. I’m comfortable and confident with all three quarterbacks.  I think all three guys, well now have proven they can win in this league, with Greg (McElroy) at the end of the game and obviously, Mark’s (Sanchez) history here and the way Tim (Tebow) has played. So, I’ve got three guys I’m confident in but I’ll make that decision as the week goes on.

On whether Tebow could be the starter…

I’m just saying this, I think when you look at Tim, he is a proven winning quarterback in this league. Each game’s different, I think when you look at who you play, the opponent you’re playing and things like that, you make decisions on what gives you the best (chance to win). I make decisions on what gives us the best chance to be successful to win. And really this week, obviously, is going to be about competing and beating Jacksonville and that’s what will go into all decisions.

On whether Tebow has a chance to be the starter…

You can put him in there, you can put whoever in there. Tim, we’ll have to monitor his situation as the week goes on. He was cleared to play, but it was my decision that (he didn’t). I never felt that he could (play), I just never thought that he was where I think he should be. He might be able to play, but I don’t think he’s near 100 percent and I think I just wasn’t comfortable. Quite honestly, I let Tim talk me into activating him the week before and I think that was something I regretted and I wasn’t going to let him talk his way into it this time. That’s basically what happened.

On whether he’s not sharing his decision for competitive reasons…

Right now, I haven’t made that decision. But again, obviously, that could be a thing that I’ll consider as the week goes on. But right now, I’m not ready to say that. I want to make sure that I talk to Tony (Sparano), Matt (Cavanaugh), everybody and make sure that I get a sense of what will be the right decision. I know nothing about Jacksonville. I haven’t watched one film on Jacksonville as far as their defense is concerned. There are a lot of things that go into every decision you make, even how we’re going to play Kyle Wilson. Is Kyle going to play corner or is he going to play the nickel? Those are decisions you make based on opponent specifics.

On how he’d describe his quarterback situation…

Well, I have three good quarterbacks and I feel good about (all) three quarterbacks. I think we’re in a lot better situation than probably a lot of teams.

On what McElroy provided that in a game that was “ugly” by the media’s standards…

Beautiful by mine, clearly. I just thought at the time, it was the right move that sometimes you have better days than others and it’s just something I felt needed to be done and gave our team the best opportunity to win. That’s what it’s always about and that’s why I made that move.

On whether he has confidence in McElroy playing on the road…

I think he’s played and all these guys have played in big games. It’s not (something new). He’s not foreign to big games, he’s won a National Championship, Tim has won a National Championship, (he’s) been a quarterback, Mark’s obviously played in big games before. We’re fortunate to have guys that are tested that way.

On how he will divide practice reps for the quarterbacks…

As the week goes on and the days go on, I’ll make that decision and we’ll make that decision as a staff.

On why Coach Sparano told Sanchez that McElroy was going in…

Tony went over, I told Greg (and) I told Tony. And he just grabbed him (Sanchez) and clearly, I would’ve, but we were playing defense, right away, we were up on defense. I saw Tony had grabbed Mark (and), obviously, I was going to find my way to tell Mark myself, but I wasn’t going to go grab him and let him know. Tony already did it. So when he asked, when I stepped back, I reached over I told Greg, I told Tony, Tony went to (Sanchez) and then I saw (Sparano) with (Sanchez) and then I was over on defense. The message was clearly delivered, he (Sanchez) knew exactly where it was coming from. I made that decision. I made sure that Tony knew that that was my decision. He went and told Mark. I saw (Sparano) there. I wasn’t going to go over and pile on him. I’m trying to get focused on the defense.

On if he has made up his mind of who will be the starting quarterback…

I just want to make sure that I get all of the facts and everything else. It’s a big decision. Obviously, the decision, I think, has to be made in what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On if the decision is open for discussion among the staff…

I want it to be an open discussion, so I don’t want to say there is definitely a way I am leaning. I want to make sure that everybody knows that it’s an open discussion. I want honest feedback.

On if practice has anything to do with who will be the starter…

We’ll see.

On it sounding like he has decided to make Sanchez the starter this week…

It sounds like you’ve already made your opinion. But again, I haven’t. To me, it’s a decision that you make based on the moment, on who gives you the best opportunity to win that particular game. I have more time. I will make what I think is the appropriate decision on who gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On if Tebow would have replaced Sanchez if he was active yesterday…

Again, I really don’t want to get into the “what ifs” and all that stuff because each situation is different. I just felt like I’ve never really pulled Mark before in a game, but I just felt that for our team, the best move was that we were going to make a change. I thought that was going to give us (the best chance of winning). Sometimes, if you step back and look at things, obviously the quarterback position is different than any other position that’s why I’m slower to make that move. I’ve benched a lot of great players as a coach, a lot of great ones, on defense in particular. I just felt like I needed to make that change.

On comparing the short and long term when making his decision…

I just have to focus on (my job). My job is to win games and I’m going to focus on what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On his conversation with Sanchez in the locker room after the game…

I think anybody that goes through that, when it’s a decision that I personally made to put a guy down, I think you have a little more time to explain why (and) I thought I needed to do that, so that’s what I did. Obviously, nobody wants to be pulled from anything. Mark and everyone else I’ve ever put in a situation like that always believe that they would give us the best opportunity to win. I think that’s why they’re so competitive. That’s just the nature of the man that’s playing, so I understand that. Anyways, it was a conversation I thought I needed to have.

On if the fans will impact his decision…

There will be no impact that way.

On why he made the quarterback change…

I just thought at that particular time, in that game, that I needed to make a change. I just felt it. We were fortunate that we ended up finding a way to win the game, but that was the reason.

On if he would have felt comfortable replacing Sanchez if Tebow was active…

Again, I don’t want to get into the what-if’s and all that stuff. The fact is that Greg was the guy that was active. I thought the decision was in the best interest (of) the team. That’s why I made that decision.

On if yesterday was the final “wake-up call” for Sanchez…

Mark Sanchez (has) won a lot of football games for this franchise, has won some big games for us, has produced a lot of big wins for us and has been a good player for us. ‘Final wake-up call?’ I don’t know about that.

On making a run at the playoffs…

It’s just about finding a way to beat Jacksonville. That’s where it is. We’re a sub-.500 team, so we’re just trying to scratch and claw our way back into it. Obviously, you want to be playing at the end of the year for an opportunity to get in (the playoffs). It’s hard to get in the playoffs, but you want to fight like crazy to get in there if you can.

On making tough decisions as a coach…

There are a lot of decisions you make as a coach that are tough decisions. A lot of times, they’re easy decisions if you always put the three priorities first: the team, the team and the team. When you do that, the decision is sometimes easier. But as a head coach, there are a lot of tough decisions. You have to take personal feelings outside of it because it’s bigger than just me, this person or that person.

On McElroy…

I think with Greg, you see every day the improvements that he makes, albeit running the scout team. This is a smart guy. He grew up under Nick Saban, who’s a great coach, obviously. He’s had a lot of advantages even going (back) to his high school (Southlake Carroll) in Texas. You talk about big games, the National Championship Game probably pales in comparison to the State Championship Game he quarterbacked in. He’s grown up that way. I’m sure he’s comfortable with any situation he’s in.

On Dustin Keller and Joe McKnight’s injuries…

Dustin’s (injury) doesn’t look like a high ankle sprain, (so) that’s good. We’ll know about him later. He has some swelling there. Joe McKnight’s ribs (tested) negative as far as (being) broken, so that’s good. We’ll know more about the other guys as the week goes on.

On Bilal Powell getting the early carries instead of Greene…

Both guys got a lot of carries. I think (Shonn) might have had (24) attempts, so that was just something we decided to do.

On if he will consult other NFL coaches he trusts about making the quarterback decision…

It’s certainly a possibility, but I think I’ll just lean on the guys in here. The decision will be made based on our situation, our football team and what ultimately I feel will give us the best chance to win.

On if he will decided the starting quarterback by Tuesday night…

I’m not going to get into it 100 percent, but that would be my initial thought.

New York QB Greg McElroy, 12.3

On what the day after the game feels like…

Just a normal Monday, honestly. Woke up, got a great breakfast here at the facility, got a work out in, now I’m just watching the film of the game. Just a standard Monday, wouldn’t have it any other way.

On what he saw on film…

Well, actually I’ve watched it briefly, I just (watched it quickly), but I was about to break it down and take notes on it.  Obviously, (I have) a lot of stuff to learn.  But it was a good experience for me and I was actually happy with the way things looked at first glance.

On if there’s any indication to whether he’ll start on Sunday…

No, no indication. (There’s) no information at this point obviously. That’s going to come, I assume, in the next few days. I know Coach Ryan and Coach Sparano and everybody involved, they’re going to make the decision that’s best for the team. I think we all feel comfortable with their decision and we all are looking forward to what the decision may be.

On whether they have a quarterback meeting today…

No, it’s a victory Monday so it’s basically an off day. It’s one of those things that’s voluntary but you can’t go a day without coming up to this place. For some reason, I have a hard time getting away from the facility. So I had to be here, I saw Tim (Tebow and) I saw Mark (Sanchez) and I think most of the guys on the team will be around the facility at some point today.

On whether Coach Cavanaugh or Coach Ryan has said they’ll have a decision by Wednesday…

No, I haven’t really visited with those guys. It’s just one thing that I’m sure they’ll let us know and it will obviously be in the best interest of the football team.

On how it’s been talking to Tebow and Sanchez not knowing who will be starting on Sunday…

It’s not worth worrying about. It doesn’t change our relationship (and) it doesn’t change how supportive we are of one another. Whoever’s on the field, I know the other two guys will be pushing for that person and supporting him every step of the way and that’s been the case up to this point and I wouldn’t expect that to change.

On Brandon Moore’s comments that he was borderline cocky in the huddle…

(Laughing) I don’t know. That thing, confident, bordering on cocky, I would like to think its leaning a little bit more towards confident. (Laughter) But yeah, one thing I’ve always tried to approach this game with is you just never let them see you sweat. And that includes the players in your huddle, the players in the opposite huddle, the players on the opposite sideline, on your sideline, never let them see you sweat. Regardless of the situation, always stay with an even keel, always have a positive mindset and good things will happen and that’s been the case up to this point.

On whether anyone reached out and congratulated him…

One or two. One or two hundred that is. (laughing) A lot of people are very, very supportive and people that have just always been in my corner and I have a tremendous support group and I am very, very thankful and grateful for those people. A lot of people were able to reach out and tell me congrats and tell me that they were happy for me and it was really great. It was an experience I really appreciate. A lot of people were able to reach out and (get in) touch (with) me and all those things, I appreciated that.

On what it’s like going from a third-string quarterback to possibly the starter…

It doesn’t change any approach at all obviously. (When) you love this game, (when) you play this game a long time, you’re always going to approach it the same way.  Whether I was in high school as a backup, whether in college you’re a backup or a starter, and especially at this level, you just approach it the same it doesn’t change anything. Whether you’re a third-string quarterback, second-string quarterback, starter, you always have to prepare the same because you never know when your opportunity’s going to come.  I think you have to take every opportunity that you possibly have and you try to make the most of it and when that opportunity’s there you better be prepared because you don’t know when you’re going to get another one.

On whether he had damage control after his comments at the end of last season…

I reached out to a lot of players as soon as everything happened and just apologized. (I reached out to) a lot of the veteran guys and just apologized and just tried to explain what the situation was and how things happened. A lot of guys were upset and rightfully so. I completely understand that and that’s one thing I did have to own up to it and I had to do a little bit of damage control for sure. Those guys are understanding and Rex (Coach Ryan) made a point that, “Hey, last season’s in the past and rip off the rear view mirror and let’s go forward.”  To everyone it really wasn’t an issue at that point. Just don’t worry about it, don’t do it again. I think Wayne Hunter actually said it best, “Rookie mistake, don’t do it again.” I think that was the best advice. That’s the way a lot of them handled it.

On whether he thought he was going to get cut after his comments at the end of last season…

You don’t worry about those situations. That’s kind of a hypothetical so it’s not something that I worry about. Obviously, it’s always a possibility it doesn’t matter what the situation is. We play a game for a living and it’s not the most stable career, I’ll be honest. But at any point you don’t know when your number might be called so it’s always a possibility but I wouldn’t say that that one particular incident really changed my view on that. You always have to be on edge and you always have to be prepared for a possible situation like that.

On whether he breaks down film with Tebow and Sanchez…

Every game (gets broken down), regardless of who’s on the field. I always come in and I watch it and I grade it. It’s just a plus-minus (grade). I usually do a footwork grade, I do a passing grade, and a running grade and a position grade. So, just pluses and minuses across the board. I’ve done that because I chart the plays, as of when I was on the sideline in the past 11 games, I was always charting the plays and writing down what the coverage was. I’d go back and grade Mark and I’d grade myself on how I did with the coverages. I think I’m a little bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to the grading. It’s something I love. I love this game and I love studying it and its part of the reason why I just have a tremendous passion for this game.

On the case for him to be the starter…

You don’t need to make a case, obviously. There’s no case being made obviously. Coach Ryan will make a decision and he’ll do what’s best for this football team. He’s a tremendous coach, he has a tremendous vision and he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish. Coach Ryan is the man to make that decision, so there’s no case needed to be made for (any) of us. It’s just going to be Rex’s decision and we’ll deal with it when he decides.

New York Jets DE Mike DeVito, 12.3

On who should play quarterback on Sunday…

That decision is above my pay grade. I couldn’t even tell you. I trust all three of those guys. I’m grateful that we have all three of those guys on our team and I know the coaches will make a really informed and smart decision for the benefit of the team. I trust in that and all I can do is worry about what I’m doing on defense.

On if the situation at quarterback could divide the locker room…

I think in most locker rooms it could do that, but not in this locker room. We put a real (emphasis) this offseason on building a really tight-knit group, a team that cares about each other (and) a team that really bonds together as a family. We’ll face this just like every other situation, as a family. It definitely won’t divide this group of guys. Last year, I might have had a different answer for you, but this year I have no doubt that this team is going to stick together.

On Greg McElroy…

(He is) just a really smart quarterback. He’s not always put in the most favorable positions running (the) scout team, but just his ability to set the right protections and find the open man against our defense, we see it week-in-and-week-out. He’s a special quarterback and a guy that can get the job done. He faces one of the most complex defenses in the NFL each week, so he knows how to play NFL football.

On the strong defensive performance…

It was so needed. We really needed that. That’s the defense that we’ve seen all (of) training camp (and) that we’ve seen off and on all season. It’s the defense that we know we have on this team. It was great to see it manifest itself on Sunday to the full extent and to play that way across the board was just awesome. We needed that going into this last quarter of the season.

On if the defense can move up in the statistical rankings even more…

That’s what I was saying last week too, ‘Let’s wait until the end of the season before we start deciding where we’re at. Let’s wait until the end of the year, and then we’ll look back and see how we played.’ It’s right there in front of us. We know we can play that way week-in-and-week-out. Let’s continue this upward trend and continue to play Jets defense.

On stopping teams from scoring…

As far as we think in that room, we know that we recognize, when any team scores, they can win, and if they don’t score, they can’t win, and that’s on us. We can’t really be concerned about the other side of the ball and what’s going on. We trust everybody in that locker room. We trust the coaches. We trust the guy’s playing. We know everybody out there is doing their job. That’s all we can focus on. Again, it’s in our hands. If the other team doesn’t score, they can’t win.




4 comments
Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

John,

Great prediction...you were spot on with the Eagles points, but missed by 38 for the Giants

Major Pain 0303
Major Pain 0303

Ive been with my Giants the last 2 weeks and have won 90 dollars. I doubled down on them again tonight. Win me some more money GMEN.

Matt 'Chilli Sauce' Ward
Matt 'Chilli Sauce' Ward

Hope you're right Jon, if your next article is about Hillis Hynoski and a Hot Williams, then we should all be happy. Otherwise it could be a horrid illiteration.

Skookaloop
Skookaloop

Mr.F--

Nice writing,.....

38 - 27, seems like a High Score to me....

i just see more of the Run Game,

chewing up the Clock...

the Last team with the BALL wins.......